Friday 27 November
Well, I was right. We’re off with the family on the shuttle bus to Cairns. I’m sorry to be leaving here – I have just loved my time on the beach. And the apartment is not too hot, particularly if I am left alone to turn on the air con, which I can because it has motion sensors.
Not keen on the metal floor of these shuttles, though – I can’t get a grip and slide around a lot. I prefer the carpet in the plane.
Hang on, I’m going down the back with Rachel – excellent – I’ll get more pats down here.
Now, what’s happening? The family are flying back to Sydney, but the boss and I are going to Melbourne. Oh, that’s right. He’s appearing in the Wheeler Centre’s Interrobang Festival. What the hell is an Interrobang? I think Rachel said something about that one time…
Long flight – 2700 km from Cairns to Melbourne. That’s a total of 6220 km so far on this trip. Nice to stretch the legs on the walk to a taxi.
We’re staying at the Hyatt on Collins. Nice enough room, but no window or balcony. Even though the boss can’t, I like to be able to look out.
Friday night at the Interrobang sounds fun, although the stairs to the stage and green room at the Athenaeum Theatre are pretty dodgy. If I had my way the boss wouldn’t go up those, but he’s made me do it. The show must go on I suppose.
It’s a game show panel, and just before we appeared someone in the audience asked the question: “Which is better, cats or dogs?”
That was a great lead-in for the boss. I sat up nicely next to him so that the audience could see me, and told him to say that of course it was dogs. We got a big laugh for that gag. I don’t think the boss gives me enough credit for setting up his jokes, though. I’ll have to talk to him.
We didn’t win our round in the quiz, although I thought we deserved it. The boss made a silly Sydney-Melbourne comment which may have done us some harm – I wish he’d let me check his material before he uses it.
Back to the hotel for a sleep. Thank goodness, it’s been a long day.
Saturday 28 November
An early breakfast meeting at St Kilda. What’s he thinking? I wanted a lie-in.
Oh, and the taxi driver has dropped us at the wrong hotel. If I have told the boss once I’ve told him a hundred times – use Uber; they are more reliable and they work with GPS systems. I’m only a dog, but I get the value of technology.
Back to the city and Interrobang. The boss gave a lecture on leaving a legacy – it was quite good too.
He’s having an afternoon nap – don’t blame him. Think I’ll have one myself.
The evening Interrobang is a panel of speakers on “Are actions stronger than words?” Well, I don’t have words – at least until I started blogging – so I’m arguing for actions. Good, the boss is as well.
That festival was lots of fun. And the Wheeler Centre staff were efficient and friendly. I hope he does more of that.
Sunday 29 November
Early start again. I don’t know where he gets his energy. We’re off to the airport for a trip back to Sydney. I think we are going home. That’s another 700km making a total of just under 7000km for the whole trip. Wish I got frequent flyer points.
This is one of my favourite days of the year. The family hosts a Thanksgiving lunch for about 50 people. They’ve done it ever since Leon married Rachael, even though those two are back in the States now.
I just love it. There are crumbs all over the place, and if I’m really lucky, some of the guests just feed me pieces of ham and stuff directly. The boss and Maureen really don’t approve, but I just give the guests a big smile, and we work it out. I also get heaps of pats and tummy rubs. Don’t know why the family doesn’t do it more often. Feel a bit sick in the tummy, though, with all that ham.
Bloody hell. When the boss fed me, tonight he made up three more meals. We must be travelling again. We’re keeping Qantas in business. I’d better have a good sleep tonight.
Monday 30 November
And I thought yesterday was early. Taxi picked us up at 5 45 this morning and yes, it’s the airport. We’re back to Melbourne for the Life Without Barriers Victorian Carers Awards. Remember them – they are the ones with excellent taste in bones and ties.
And the boss is wearing that tie this morning. I bet Maureen picked it – he wouldn’t have thought of that – colour co-ordination is never his strong suit.
A really funny thing happened as we were getting off the plane in Melbourne. The boss got his bag ready and made sure my lead and harness were ok. Then he said to me: “Come on when you can.” Which just means that he is telling me we can go as soon as the people in front have moved.
The guy standing in the aisle in front of us turned around, got right in the boss’s face, and said: “Who are you telling to go. Just wait your bloody turn you ignorant pig.”
Unusually, the boss was so surprised he did not say a thing. Just shook his head.
Someone must have tipped the guy off because he was waiting for us in the air bridge to apologise. “I didn’t see your guide dog,” he said. “I didn’t know you were talking to her. I am so very embarrassed.”
The boss thanked him, laughed and told him not to worry about it. Pretty amazing behaviour.
Parliament House in Spring Street. It’s a nicer building than the NSW Parliament – not as cramped. And the audience liked me, so that’s always good.
Then off to a working lunch – well working for the boss, I just dozed – and meetings for the rest of the afternoon.
We’re staying at the Wyndham hotel tonight – windows and a balcony. That’s more like it. Put those things in your hotel profile please boss.
Tuesday 1 December
Up for an early morning walk and a coffee for the boss. We have a good routine going. He takes me out for a walk and I find him a good coffee shop.
Then back to the apartment, pack the bag, and we’re catching a tram down to Docklands. Had to catch two trams, and no announcements on either of them. I’ll talk to the boss about lodging some DDA complaints.
Quick meeting at ANZ and then off to Hawthorn in a taxi. The boss is giving the International Day of People with Disabilities keynote at the Able Australia supporters’ lunch.
He told a few good stories, but the one about me was the most popular. I’ve said to him often that he should use more guide dog material.
Back in a taxi to the airport, and we’re flying back to Sydney.
He’s presenting the Graeme Innes AM Disability Employment Award at the Australian Human Resources Institute awards dinner. But Maureen is going, so he’ll probably leave me at home with Rachel.
Good, I need the break. Hope he feeds me before he goes.
Wednesday 2 December
Quiet morning while the boss writes. But then we’re off again – guess where – yes the airport. On our way to Ballarat – via Melbourne of course. Oh, they’ve picked him up in a hire car.
That’s an improvement boss. I can stretch out across the floor in the back seat. More of this, please.