Please leave a comment.


I love receiving and reading comments ~ please leave one.
If you are a regular I am pleased to see you again ~ make yourself at home. If you are new to my blog, welcome too, and please introduce yourself and I will reply very soon.

Monday, 23 March 2015

BUSY DAY AT DIAL-A-RIDE



For those who do not know, I drive one day a week for our local Dial-a-Ride bus service.  We have 1200 members now and are getting busier ~ the service is a life line for local people unable to get to and from GPs, Dentists, Opticians, Shopping or even visiting friends  . . . plus many other reasons to use us.

As an ex-ambulance man I love the work because I see it as an extension to my previous job and the work is very similar at times.  I am always able to help a few folk during my day's work on Monday.

Today was a very busy day which I just loved and fortunately I had rather some challenging situations to deal with which made the day more interesting.

I was driving a vehicle, affectionately called Diana, a five seater plus wheelchair facility if required.

Here it is so you get some idea ~ a little like the pope mobile on my last post, only bigger.



 . . . and here is the rear view, showing the ramp and wheelchair fitting area, but no wheelchair was used today.  What you can see is a folded four wheel zimmer trolley, very useful to steady the wobbly.



During the morning I was scheduled to pick up two elderly ladies from a nearby town and take them to the bus stop at our Post Office, about 6 miles away. I picked them up, seated them in the vehicle and said I needed to pick up an elderly gentleman and his dog and take him to a park just before their bus stop. They said, ok, and we chatted on the way ~ I know them very well. We arrived at the gentleman's house and out he stepped, very wobbly, with a huge Golden Labrador dog, which made a beeline for me and almost knocked me off my feet, much to everyone's amusement, including mine.  Anyway, I got hold of the lead and walked the dog behind his master up the drive towards the vehicle. I could see that the gentleman was quite incapable of controlling such a powerful dog.  Previously I had taken him out a few times, minus dog, and had to help him in and out of the vehicle, so I was very surprised he had opted for such a solo adventure.  Anyway, the immediate idea was to get the Labrador into the back of the vehicle up the ramp so he could be seated or lie down just behind his master.

He would not go in, try as we would, in spite of all our encouragement and persuasion.  The owner said he would travel in the back with him and I said that was totally illegal because passengers have to be seated with a seat belt.  So for plan B.  I asked one of the ladies if she would kindly move along the bench seats so the owner and the dog could fit in. She was quite ok about it but even with him sitting in the middle the dog would not go in . . . 

With a lot of coaxing the dog did eventually climb into the vehicle but there was insufficient room for him and his tail was sticking out where I needed to shut the door and his 'derrier' was in the way too. Reluctantly I had to ask the lady to move again into the front between me and the other lady, which she did with considerable dexterity for one aged 83. Fortunately she saw the funny side of things, along with the other lady, but they were both looking at their watches and getting anxious about their timetable. The guy moved over and I pushed the dog in quickly.  We got to the park and I got the dog out first and held his lead and he pulled so hard I had to go with him a few steps.  Then I got the old boy out and gave him the dog who immediately pulled so hard he did a 360 degree spin and then just had to let go but fortunately the dog came back when he called him. Reluctantly I had to leave him because there were passengers to attend to.  I drove the ladies to the bus stop and dropped them off. They were quite amused by it all.  I did hear later than the old guy plus dog were successfully picked up from the park for the return journey by a larger bus, as scheduled, but the driver had to chase after the dog to retrieve it. Maybe it was a Golden Retriever. 

A little later I picked up a blind man I know who goes shopping on Monday afternoons.  I used to know Ray's blind wife as well and often saw them out walking in town together holding hands and using their white canes with their other hands. 

Unfortunately Ray lost his wife four years ago and now lives alone but does so remarkably well.  We have something in common since I lost my Maria two years ago next month.

I was talking with him and told him the story of the blind man guiding me on my journey when I was in the ambulance service, as told last week, HERE for those who missed it.  Ray said he can relate to that and does the same on the bus when he travels from Bristol but if he falls asleep he is lost and has to ask someone.  I said, "You know Keynsham well Ray, don't you?  Any idea where we are now?  He said yes and he told me and he was right on the button.

I dropped him off at the supermarket, got a trolley for him and helped him to the customer service desk and they arranged for a very nice lady to accompany and help him with his shopping.  I was able to stay with him until she came.  She looked at me and said she would look after him.  An hour later I picked him up and took him home and once he knew where he was in relation to the railings leading to his flat he was ok to pull his trolley after him, but using his stick to guide him home.  I find it all remarkable ~ I do admire that guy.

Next time, back to the ambulance stories I think.

56 comments:

  1. Looks like I'm spinning on the globe with Keith and Eddie! ha.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, there's quite a crowd of us on at the moment.

      Delete
    2. Hi Betsy
      Hi Keith
      Yes we are all in a spin and have been joined by someone from Toronto, maybe Jane I think or Suzie . . . :)

      Delete
    3. Is your dance card full? :)

      Delete
    4. I was asking Keith for a dance but it looks like he fell off the earth!

      Delete
    5. My dance card is as empty as my head!

      Delete
    6. I'm still on it. Leicester. . . . .

      Delete
    7. Yes, I knew it's Leicester...you disappeared for a moment. Glad you didn't roll off the edge.

      Delete
    8. I see a few pals on the globe - spinning, spinning, spinning...

      Delete
    9. Yes we are all there ~ hold on Susie are you dizzy?
      Betsy . . . to check to see if Keith has flown into orbit I have another globe at the bottom of my sidebar which will show him hiding under me . . . are you all of a whirl? :)

      Delete
    10. Ill have the dance Betsy . . . tango or foxtrot?

      Delete
  2. Diana is a smart looking ride! What a day you had! I can't believe the man and dog were still at the park and ready for their ride home! So funny...I was just sure he would be dragged away, holding onto the leash!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it is a nice car to drive and has steps so the passengers, or should I call them members can enter the vehicle. Dogs seem to have a little more trouble . .
      Yes that dog could easily pull him off his feet . . lol

      All our buses have nicknames . . .

      Delete
    2. Tell the man he needs to wear roller skates and the dog can just pull him where ever he wants to go! :)

      Delete
    3. He could bring a skateboard and the dog could tow him and hitch a lift downhill . . . haha

      Delete
    4. Hope you have your camera with you if that happens. :)

      Delete
    5. I would have to get Jeff Gordon to ride me in car 24 after them to catch them up . . . lol

      Delete
  3. That story is very interesting. I enjoyed reading it. No lonely days for you is there!
    That reminds me I must book a Dial-a-ride to go to the Health Centre nest week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Keith . . . some Mondays at Dial-a-Ride are a little less exciting.
      Hope they can book you in ok . . . I expect they can operate like us on a 24 hour notice of booking. But sometimes we can fit people in at shorter notice.

      Delete
    2. I wish! You have to give a weeks notice here. A bit short on drivers I think. I have to go to the Leicester Hospital today (Tuesday) so it will have to be a taxi (£8.50). There's no bus service to there.

      Delete
    3. It should be a 24 hour service . . . . all about money and politics I am sorry to say . . :)

      Delete
    4. I wish! You have to give a weeks notice here. A bit short on drivers I think. I have to go to the Leicester Hospital today (Tuesday) so it will have to be a taxi (£8.50). There's no bus service to there.

      Delete
    5. Should be a 24 hour service really . . . but it's all about money and politics . . . councils waste a lot of money on other things but skimp on something really useful to help older people . . . :)

      Delete
  4. Exciting day for you. I guess the man is used to the strength of his dog... or at least seems to be able to still survive! I'm glad the ladies saw the humour in it, but I bet they're crossing their fingers they don't have to deal with him again any time soon :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it was a busy and funny day. If it happens next week I shall try to get him onto a bigger bus . . . I think the ladies would rather he was not there and would not wish for a repeat performance.#Nice to see you Suzie . . x

      Delete
  5. I'm 'Lindsay' Ontario! I'm waving!!!
    Jane x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi . . . yes I can see you . . .
      I remember your call sign and knew it was you . . . great to see you . . . Eddie x

      Delete
  6. Hi Eddie - they're all good to read and inspiring too from all points of view - cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Hilary ~ very encouraging and just for that I shall write another soon . . . :)

      Delete
  7. Hi Eddie......this story sure made me smile....I can only imagine the scene! I'm sure that you can say that you were not bored that day. How sweet of you to be so patient and caring for your passengers. Keep the stories coming....I enjoy them.
    Blessings to you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Shug . . . lol . . . no I had no time to be bored . . . glad I did not have to run after tie dog . . . :)

      Delete
  8. Hi Eddie....
    I actually read this post the other day, but some for reason had not commented!
    Why the heck did that guy have that great big dog?
    Did you ever find out?
    Love the blind man story....very sweet...
    Enjoy your evening....crappy weather here....
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Linda . . .
      The guy is nuts! He did not wait for me to get the steps ready the other week, opened the door and fell on the pavement and I had to pick him up . . . the dog is his and I guess he thought he would exercise it . . . lol
      Yes that blind man is a very nice guy . .
      Crappy weather now but nice this morning and afternoon. Helped the lady in the garden.
      Cheers
      Eddie . . :)

      Delete
    2. Yikes! Get a smaller darn dog!!

      Delete
    3. Waving from Mississauga Ontario!

      Delete
    4. Saw you . . . . lol
      Glad we did not fall off . . . lol

      Delete
  9. Hello Diana! What, that dog's tail was sticking out? That dog's a dog haha! Dear Lord, Eddie, you must be a patient man. I'm learning a thing or two from you every time I'm reading a post of yours.

    Two years ago next month... What can I say....

    Hope you're doing fine now, Eddie my friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diana seems to have won a few hearts, with or without the dog's tail.
      Well I am used to dealing with patients so I guess I thought it best to be patient . . . . haha.
      I sometimes call my dial-a-ride passengers my patients ~ old ambulance habits die hard.
      My word ~ have you known me for two years? ~ thought we 'met' more recently than that . . . bur so pleased we did .. . .
      I have a nasty leg ulcer at the moment . . . . geesh! ~ I'll be over soon . . . :)

      Delete
    2. Hahaha good one! Patient Eddie! No, you wrote "two years ago next month." A nasty leg ulcer? Say it ain't so. Can it be cured you reckon?

      Delete
    3. lol . . . I have been writing since Jan 2009 . . . and you are telling me it took another 4 years before you noticed me . . . . lol . . . oh well better late than never . . haha
      Yes leg ulcers are horrible things . . . they are curable but they are very persistent and hang on . . and on. I am hoping the Manoka Honey treatment will work . . . and quickly . . . :)

      Delete
    4. I think he meant 2 yours for Maria.....
      Remember where Blue came from Eddie!
      Another of my lovely peeps!

      Delete
    5. Ah . . . I see. Yes 2 years for Maria in 26 April , , , , :)

      Delete
  10. What a great idea that dial-a-ride is and Diana is stunning. I'd never manage to park her; I can barely manage my little Ka!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rae. Yes, I don't know what some of the folk would do without the Dial-a-Ride service. But Diana is the baby of the fleet ~ we have a 16 seater bus and a few slightly smaller ones. Your little Ka is a nice car . . . . :)

      Delete
  11. You and Diana certainly do have some interesting adventures!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes . . . . if only the buses and ambulances could tell their stories ~ but I try . . . :)

      Delete
  12. haha with a dog with such energy he could get a sled and have it tug him everywhere

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good idea . . .or a trolley as we used to say, with wheels, and get the dog to pull him . . . have not seen him this week . . .maybe the dog took him elsewhere for a walk . . . lol

      Delete
  13. Forum Nice Post ,I Like This Post ,thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  14. Nice post! i like this article thanks for sharing :D

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your comment. You are most welcome to my humble abode.