Hey LuceFand! Sorry it’s been so long. And if TMS had her way it would be even longer as my belly and paws are covered in the mud I just swam in and she’d have a pink fit if she knew I was near the PC hehehe!

So we were on the train the other day, and I was wildly excited because I spotted a big word I hadn’t seen before on her phone screen that began with “FUN”. She was all dressed in black, so I thought maybe we were playing the dog-hair trousers game and rubbed my back on her leg every chance I got. I was sure when we got off the train there’d be a doggie play date or a new park or something really FUN!

But all that happened was she took me to this very boring quiet place where there were lots of flowers I wasn’t allowed to sniff, miserable crying people who I wasn’t allowed to greet, and sandwiches that nobody shared with me. I was very good, purely because I was very bored.

But guess what happened on the train? Some guy started telling TMS about how great the guide dogging people were, and she told him our story. He could hardly believe she’d trained me herself. Later on he tapped her on the shoulder and gave her £20 to buy me something. She tried not to take it, but he wouldn’t take no for an answer. She thought for about five seconds about dropping it in the big doggie moneybox thingy, but then she got on her phone and ordered me a giant bag of tennis balls to lose in the park.

I’m almost grown-up now. I hardly ever dive-bomb other dogs in the park now, although I still sing all the way there. I only jump up on people the very odd time, and my work is always good to excellent except when I sneakily carry my ball home from the park. I lose it almost every day so she sometimes forgets to check.

My friend Poppy and her human came to visit us about a month ago. Poppy almost wasn’t allowed on the plane even though she’s got the guide dogging papers and everything, so TMS is very nervous about taking me on planes now, which is most annoying as I love planes, tubes, trains and all forms of transport except cars. But sometimes cars take me to the park or the beach, so when someone says “Walkies” and points to a car then I love them again.

I love TMS quite a lot now, although if I was offered a new home with someone who did more parks and more food I’d be away tomorrow. I sleep in her room now, where I used to prefer the sofa. I think she really likes it when I fart in the night, as it always provokes a loud reaction.

Hi LuceFans!

Someone asked on Facebook “How much do you love your pet?”, and this was her soppy reply:

“I don’t blink an eye at the fortune her medical bills cost me. I forgive her when she rips my arm out chasing a stray ball or almost pulls me into the lake after a swan. I get up without complaint at 3AM if I hear her moving around downstairs just in case she needs a pee. Her monthly food bill is almost as big as mine. If I have to leave her alone, the heat, light and radio are left on. If I was single she’d sleep on my bed every night. I leave home an hour early just to take her for a good run before work. But these things are nothing compared to what she does for me. She takes on the huge responsibility of getting me from A to B safely every day. She finds crossings, bus stops, stations – even ones she’s never been to before. She refuses to cross the road when there’s a quiet car coming that I didn’t hear. She avoids rough pavements, holes, rubbish and even puddles. How much do I love my pet? There isn’t a word for that!”

So if she loves me so gooily much, then how come she’s bought one of those collars that makes the back of your neck sore and your fur stand on end? It’s been sitting threateningly on the dressing table for a fortnight now, but she’s too much of a wuss to actually use it on me. The only reason I know it hurts is that she tried it on herself and yelped a bit. After my performance yesterday, I suppose the bad dog collar will be put to use some time soon. It wasn’t my fault that I forgot I was on my Flexi lead when that golf ball went sailing past. I nearly pulled poor old TMS off her feet! You should have seen her running to keep up with me! And her face! Oh it was fantastic! And then when we were crossing the pretty bridge at lunch-time and that arrogant swan sat staring at me. Oh come on, tell me you wouldn’t have tried to jump in the lake and grab it by the scrawny neck. It stared me out last week. I barked and barked like a really huge Labradog, and it just sat there staring and laughing at me. I’ll get him one day. But I’d better hurry up as we only have eight more days of working here at Apple before we go back to our lovely house and my cousin Sheeba in Ireland.

The guide dogging I’ve been doing in London has been really hard work. Trying to drag my clumsy TMS through crowded streets and on and off bunged stuffy tubes and buses is no easy feat, but I do it every day and I love it. I hardly ever make a mistake now.

We’re renting a room from another guide dog Kira and her owner. Kira is a Lab/Retriever cross, and she’s about three years older than me and much quieter. I have a lovely big thick bed because of my arthritis, and we curl up on it together. Her human works me sometimes and he thinks I’m great. My TMS works Kira at the same time. She thinks there’s not enough tension coming through Kira’s harness handle, but that’s just because she’s used to me stretching her arm like a rubber band.

I’m quite a lucky dog really, but TMS is an even luckier human.

Everyone’s going on and on about the release of iOS 8 today. What is it anyway? Can you chase it or eat it? If not I’ll just go back to sleep.

Paws up who knows what roadworks are? What, just one? Oh my goodness, do I have to teach you everything about guide dogging?

OK, roadworks is where you’re dragging your TMS down your favourite path in the World towards Horse Poo Park, and all of a sudden this huge luminous barrier jumps out right in front of you and takes over the whole pavement. So you put your hackles up and start barking really fiercely at the barrier thinking maybe you can scare it off, but the crazy thing isn’t one bit scared and just stands there. So you guide your TMS out gingerly on to the road and walk right beside the fearless barrier until you see a gap underneath, and you try to drag the TMS back on to the sand where the pavement used to be. But TMS tells you to go straight ahead. And when you see the end of the barrier you bring your TMS safely back on to the pavement and start pulling and singing again.

She was so proud of me that day! Mostly because I worked it all out for myself with hardly any help from her.

But she didn’t say proud for long. She got really mad when I put on my horse poo perfume like I do every time we go to that park behind the office. So she doesn’t let me go there any more. Miserable old bat!

So much has happened since our last catch-up! We’ve moved back to London, apparently just temporarily, because TMS got offered a contract with a great company. I’m really missing my cousin Sheba, the Retriever around the corner in Ireland, but we’re living in this great house with this great family, and there’s a little girl called Emily who lets me bounce on her big trampoline with her. It’s brilliant fun! And there’s a giant common right opposite the house where I have a long run every morning. There’s not much in the way of horse poo perfume on the common, but when it’s there I find it. TMS has taken to carrying wet wipes and alcohol gel with her at all times.

The people in the new office aren’t half as much fun as in the old Irish one. It’s a huge open plan floor, so I have to be tied up all the time. I’d probably stay close to TMS most of the time anyway, when I wasn’t checking out the local feed and bins.

I didn’t forget how to guide on tubes, trains, buses and escalators, and TMS thinks I’m great for that. I really love working in crowds.

The guide dogging people still won’t give us the piece of paper that makes it legal for us to fly on planes, and we’re scared every time we have to fly home to see TMS’s sick mummy.

TMS tested me yesterday to see if I’d pass the public access test published by Assistance Dogs International. There are about 14 tests I need to pass, and TMS reckons I’ve got about 80% of them, which would be a pass. The bits I was bad at were staying in a sit or down position around dogs, children and food. I wanted to steal the food, play with the god and lick the children. I’m much gentler with children these days, but I still love to lick them.

So life is interesting and good right now. I’m sprawled out on my bed under TMS’s desk chilling after a long run and a big organic breakfast. I’m one happy doggie!

OK LuceFans, I have two stories for you.

Story 1:
Once upon a time there were a scorpion and a frog. They hung out together for a while, and said some stuff, and probably chased a cat or two and burst a ball or two, and then the frog jumped into the river with the scorpion on its back. The scorpion stung the frog, and as he was dying he asked, “Why did you sting me?” and the Sscorpion said, “Because I’m a scorpion, duh-brain!”

Story 2:
Once upon a time there was this great dog called Lucy. Her TMS took her led and harness off in the front garden as usual yesterday on their way home from work, and Lucy stayed like a good dog until TMS said she could go. Then straight away she jumped over the high hedge into next-door’s garden, then out over their gate and ran screaming round the back of the houses in pursuit of a cat. When she came to her senses, Lucy Dog ran straight back home to her TMS instead of going to the park which was closer, which got her lots of kisses and Good Lucy. TMS said, “I love you so much, and you’re so good for ages, and then you go and do a crazy thing like that! You could have been hit by a car! Why, why, why?” And Lucy dog said, “Because I’m a dog, duh-brain!

Oh my goodness, do I love a chase! It’s built into my psyche. I would really love to kerb this overpowering urge I have, but it comes on me so fast and gets me so exfrighted that I don’t have time to think. And it gets me in such bad trouble, and TMS shouts at me and it makes me sad because I love her so much.

I do love her. And she totally adores me. You should have seen her stupid toothy face when someone at work told her that I lie at her feet staring adoringly up at her all day. She strokes me and gives me KissyFace and TouchyNose about a million times a day. I never thought I’d enjoy all this soppy love stuff, but maybe I’m turning into some sort of big soft Labradog or something.

The guide dogging people came out to check our work about a month ago. They said our “up to the kerb” was a bit ropey, so me and TMS have been working really hard and we’ve pretty much fixed it. They noticed that I can get anxious when I’m working in a new place (they don’t know about exfrightment), and TMS is being even more patient and helping me to build up my confidence.

But they did say that if I can’t stop chasing cats I’ll never make a reliable guide dog. They’re right, I know they are, but I’m a junkie, a chase addict. I get high on the chase. I live for it. How can I stop it? Help me, LuceFans!

Guess what, LuceFans? TMS and I had our two year anniversary on Saturday. We did some great stuff to celebrate.

First she took me for a run in the field. I sang my pretty lungs out all the way up there, but it proved to be too boring for words: no kids to eat, no balls to burst, no dogs to dominate. So I ran around for about ten minutes, being called back by the old control freak every time I found something good to sniff.

We had this conversation on the way home:
TMS: No, Lucy, not that street – the next one is ours.
Lucy: No, it’s this one, honest!
TMS: I don’t think so … but I trust you.

Oh how I laughed in side my head. But I guided the silly fool down the wrong street like I knew where I was going. Then we turned a new corner, and another new corner, and TMS’s face started to look worried, and I got to sniff lots of new streets and cats in front gardens and car tyres, and eventually we came back to my running field from a new direction. I could see by the look on TMS’s face that she was peeved, but she did the “let’s pretend it’s all a big adventure” thing that she used to do in London when I guided her past our gate.

She eventually did her silly GPS thing and we found our way home.

Then later we went to a pub (apparently she was celebrating other human stuff too, but I don’t care about that), and she bought me a starter of chicken strips all to myself … and ate one before grudgingly giving me the rest. Happy Birthday to Me … NOT!

So I’m officially three years old now. I guess I’ve grown up a bit: I do less singing and jumping and looking around everywhere on harness. But I still know I have the best singing voice this side of the bad dog place.

I saw a picture of myself in a newspaper yesterday. I’ll put up a link when it comes online. TMS’s dam read us the story, and it was talking about how good I am at guide dogging and how I should be legally recognised. The guide dogging people are having a meeting about me tomorrow.

This time two years ago:

* I didn’t know what “Leave it!” (said in a really cross voice) meant.

* I didn’t like TMS.

* I didn’t know how good it felt to burrow your head into someone’s legs and have your ears scratched and the top of your head kissed.

* I was eating a really yucky kind of food and pooing a lot.

* I thought popping your head into and out of the harness was just a game.

* I’d never tried guide dogging, and didn’t have a clue how buzzy it is to get a clumsy oaf safely in between two cars parked very close together, or around a hole or a set of roadworks, or across a busy road.

* I’d never ridden in a removal van, a ferry or a plane.

* I thought I’d soon be going back to the bad dog place.

* I’d just finished eating my first live crab.

It’s amazing how much has happened in the past two years. I’m a great guide dog. I love TMS and she loves me right back. I’m a transport junkie, especially buses. I can sit quietly in an office for eight hours as long as I get out for a quick “go pee” at lunch-time. I have a great new leather sofa-bed and nobody moans at me for lying on it. Life doesn’t get much better than this!

Hi LuceFans!

A nice man came to visit us last week. While I was chilling in the front garden next to my latest “digging my way to Australia” project, he walked through our gate smelling of dogs and tripe and food, and I really really really wanted to jump on him, but I thought he might bark at me so I didn’t do it. Then he came in and sat down on our sofa, and I thought I’d lie next to him, but he tapped me with a newspaper and I ran to TMS and lay on her feet instead.

They spent the next hour talking about what con artists dogs are, and how we run their lives, lying on their sofas, deciding when they get up in the morning and all the rest of it. We played the “leave it” food game that we used to play a lot when I first took over TMS’s life, and we did a few boring “sit”, “down” and “stay” manoeuvres, and then while I was deciding whether or not to die of boredom, I heard the nice man tell TMS that I’m a beautiful and very well-behaved dog. So yeah, tell me something I don’t know! But he said he wouldn’t need to come back, which made me a bit sad.

When the man left, TMS told me he was the bad dog man. I wonder if he’s from one of the two bad dog places where I used to live? He doesn’t smell scary. Apparently he’s called John, like the lovely solicitor in London who used to play ball with me.

We had a very long day yesterday. We had to leave work to visit a client at 7:30 AM, but we got soaked by a massive rain shower as we walked to work, so someone from work gave us a ride home so TMS could change her sopping clothes and dry my gorgeous coat. Then off we went to Belfast to visit the clients, who of course all adored me. I was very good in the meetings and when I guided TMS around the building. I’d never been there before, but I knew I had to keep TMS away from obstacles, and follow the people from room to room, and walk TMS up to an empty chair, and lie quietly under the table as the humans said incomprehensible things, and sleep with my head on the CEO’s shoe, and I did it all perfectly.

I was just chilling out in the evening, recovering from the mental exertion of guiding TMS and behaving in a new place and the long walks to and from work, when who should show up again but the bad dog man! This time he took us in his very doggie-smelling car to where he lives. I could hear and smell lots of dogs, but I only got to meet one Labrador, Robbie, and he had no interest in me whatsoever. We did this role play thing where we’re pretending to walk up the road “la la la” and a doggie comes trotting past. What will Lucy do next? Will she begin to scream and yell and shake and jump around and pull TMS towards the new dog? No, stupid! Lucy will look in the dog’s direction, whimper a bit, wag her tail furiously, and give that sexy boy the big eyelash treatment. I think the poor boy must be blind, as he didn’t get all exfrighted or soppy or anything. He totally ignored me every time we walked past one another. By the third or fourth time I was so disgusted I wouldn’t even look at him. Lots of “good Lucy”. Then later they put us in the exercise pen together, and I did lots of growling and whimpering and snuffling and chewing his neck. But I think he must be deaf as well as blind, because he didn’t lick my ears or sniff my pee or anything. He’s weird!

TMS has asked the guide dogging people again if they’ll please give us the piece of paper that allows us to be legally recognised. I guide TMS to work and to town and on buses and trains and everything, and she’s never hurt herself while she was out with me, not even a tiny hurt, so why don’t they want me to be a “real” guide dog? I don’t get it. I think paper is stupid, and if they gave it to her I’d probably rip it up first chance I got, the way I do with mail if she doesn’t grab it as soon as it comes through the front door. But if she wants it, then please, guide dogging people, let her have it, if only so I can have a quiet life again.

Hi LuceFans!

We went into our local cafe the other day, and the poor young owner came over to our table, very embarrassed, to ask whether TMS had a “certificate” for me. Apparently some petty-minded idiot has reported her to the local council for having a dog on the premises. TMS assured her that I was a guide dog. She doesn’t pretend that I was trained by the guide dog school, and if anyone asks she’ll happily tell them she trained me (excuse me TMS! I think you’ll find that *I* trained *YOU*). We gave her our phone number in case she gets any more grief.

This got TMS thinking about how awkward things get sometimes without the paperwork that school-trained dogs get when they qualify. My guide dogging is pretty good these days. I think I’m better than some guide doggies with new yellow harnesses that I’ve seen, but there’s still no way to have us legally recognised, which makes TMS afraid to take me on planes and trains and all the exciting places she wants to go.

She’s said please please please to the guide dogging school, but they won’t give those silly papers to doggies like me who are trained by blind people rather than schools.

TMS says you can help get us legally recognised by signing our petition at:

http://chn.ge/15hG92d

Even if it doesn’t help, it’ll give TMS’s ego a bit of a boost and she might stop going on at me about how frustrating everything is. She says that a campaign she started a few years ago helped get the law changed in 2010 so that guide dogs can now use escalators in London Underground stations. If that’s true, there’s a bit more between TMS’s ears than I thought – but not much.

In the interest of giving me a quiet life, please sign our petition, and ask your friends to sign it as well. It only takes a minute.

Thank you!