Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

News Rack On The Mac

June 6, 2011

The popular paid app on iOS News Rack came to the Mac OS not so long ago. However, it being £4.99 in the UK App store, I didn’t want to risk buying it just in case it was terribly inaccessible and on the off chance the developer might not be forth coming about accessibility improvements. However, after a quick email to OMZ: Software, I was pleasantly surprised to receive an informative email disclosing that although News Rack was currently not very workable with VoiceOver on the mac as it was on iOS, they were working on changing this and if I were to buy, I should wait for the 1.1 version release.

So, I thanked them and waited.

They then emailed me a few weeks ago to let me know that despite not mentioning the VoiceOver changes, that the app was more accessible with VoiceOver now.

Upon downloading News Rack in the mac app store tonight, I have discovered much more than I anticipated. A few buttons are not labeled as yet but this app is totally accessible in my opinion. The buttons that are not labelled seem to just change something on the screen. The refresh, mark as read, star, etc are all labelled and there’s a menu button to with short cuts, edit, subscribe to new feed, etc and an action menu that allows you to share the current highlighted article.

Using arrows makes navigating this app super slick. Up and down in the first table switches from folders/feeds. You do need to interact with the table to expand the folders. However, if you hit your right arrow while not interacting, it jumps directly to the article table and vo-right once and the HtML area is immediately there, containing your content. Tabbing will get you there to but you run past the menus and buttons first.

There’s notification alerts, all the sharing options available in iOS. If you love the iOS app and you want to have the same RSS freedom on your mac, download this app that works very nicely with VoiceOver. The beauty of this app compared to some others is that you don’t need to use your google account if you don’t want to or don’t have one.

Great job to OMZ software. Keep it up and I’m happy such a feature filled RSS app is now accessible on the mac from a developer seemingly committed to accessibility.

An article on guidedogs.org.uk

February 7, 2011

I was just checking my emails an in my Guide Dogs inbox, I found this amazingarticle.  It talks about how mobile phones are becoming the guide dogs of the future, can’t leave home without them.

 

There is a lot of reference to the iPhone which makes me happy and seeing other users talking about using them alongside your guide dog as a mobility aid is awesome. Great article, you guys should read it.

An Exciting Partnership, with a football club and Guide Dogs

February 7, 2011

Last September or so, our district fundraiser for Greater Manchester nominated and won the opportunity to be sponsored by City In the Community.  This is a charitable branch of the UK premier football club Manchester City.  This was exciting for the Manchester branch which I am a member to gain fundraising opportunities for Guide Dogs in the Greater Manchester area.

 

The club has sponsored five Guide Dog Puppies and opened up  a competition to its junior supporters. A supporter under 16 years of age can email the club and suggest a name. Winning names, selected by the club will be the name of one of the five puppies and the winner will get a full day out at the Atherton training centre in Greater Manchester, accompanied by two first team players. They will be able to meet puppies in training and current guide dog owners and their dogs to show how these great animals can make a difference.

 

As part of the launch, Bailey and I went along with our district fundraiser during yesterday’s fixture against West Brom at the city of Manchester Stadium. This is Bailey’s third trip to Man-City’s home ground and probably the biggest.

 

As part of this visit, we were escorted to the press room where we waited for our contact and during half time, we entered the pitch and chatted with the half time entertainer guy. I have no idea what his job title is 🙂

So during this quite eventful moment, Bailey is sitting on the pitch of one of the biggest clubs and taking it all in his stride. We launched the competition, explained what it was going to be for and I was asked how important Bailey was to me as a visually impaired person. Of course, I said, he’s essential to my mobility needs. And then for photos. Well, the loyal little friend of mine, took this in his stride and acted like photo shoots were a part of his every day activities as a guide dog, I can assure you, they are not. 🙂

 

I was proud of him, as I always am and absolutely honoured to be given that opportunity. So good luck to anyone who is entering this cool competition and I want to take this moment to thank Manchester City’s charitable branch, City in the Community for choosing guide dogs and furthering our efforts as fundraisers and boosting awareness for what Guide dogs do. 🙂

Potential gigantic project, based in the UK

November 19, 2010

(note, even if in the US, please respond)

Hey everyone,
First of all thanks for reading. This is going to be a little sketchy as the hows have not all been figured out but I’m putting the feelers out there to see if anyone would be interested in either participating or would like a service like this.

Getting work here in the UK as a disabled person is no walk in the park. We all know the restrictions placed upon us and through my own experiences, I got to thinking. If I can’t get a job, why not create one. And not just one job either, hopefully many.

Here’s the idea in a nutshell. A charity set up for disabled people, run by primarily disabled people, services provided by disabled and abled bodied people to disabled individuals that require the services. What services you say?

How would you like this either in your local community or local city? A place to go to learn different skills in a friendly setting where you don’t have to worry about accessibility and you can meet others who may be in similar positions to yourself? A place that offered a variety of sports, horse riding, a range of performing arts, IT sessions, exercise and meditation classes all equipped with the support you may need or would like?

Have you ever gone to a gym and if you are a guide dog or service dog owner, have no where to leave your dog safely while you work out? This facility could solve that problem. and ever wanted to perform in a theatrical production but couldn’t find anywhere who would have the relevant access for you or refused your participation due to your impairment? This facility would allow you to explore your talents and meet people in a comfortable, warm and friendly environment while providing the access you want.

Want to learn to play a sport but your local area doesn’t have the equipment or the ability to let you join in? Here I would hope many sports could be offered within reason.

Experts have shown that interaction with animals is a soothing experience and horse riding is often used as a therapy as well as an exercise regime, but some schools are uncomfortable teaching disabled students due to lack of knowledge. Wouldn’t you like to ride and enjoy the responsibility of taking care of the horses?

Computers and technology are a huge part of our every day lives but sometimes people are scared to learn or would like to learn more. A computer suite with a variety of computers with varying operating systems, different mobile devices would be available with tutors to allow people to learn or create projects.

A kitchen to teach people independent skills or learn to cook new dishes would be ideal, giving friends chance to cook for each other, learn new recipes and skills in a fun and safe environment. Even having language courses and reading groups if that’s what people want to do would be more than welcome. Many options and many opportunities for disabled people to come together, get into work and help others.

Yes, it’s ambitious. And all the finer details are yet to be decided. But could anyone see this being a wanted project and if so why, and if not, why do you think not? Of course integration is wanted for most of us but sometimes its nice to have complete access as the norm rather than an after thought.

Please let me know what you think. And how I imagine you ask, am I planning on achieving this? On the whole, I have no idea. I’m not a business person as of yet but setting this idea up as a charity first and foremost after putting the feelers out is the first step. This could happen. It won’t be easy and not all services will be achieved immediately and will have reasonable fees for the consumers, but please, I would love to hear your feedback.
Cheers
Marie

How iSee the future with iTv

August 25, 2010

How I Foresee the Future with iTv

Whether this could happen, or I am merely living in a fantasy world, time will only tell.

I’m no expert when it comes to technology but I know potential when I see it. There are a few jumps companies like Apple, Comcas in the US and Sky Satellite in the UK would need to do to ensure this possible, which as we all know is a huge ask, but the potential of what ITv would bring to the visually impaired market is astounding.

The iTv product, regardless of the controversy of its name, shared with a major television network in the UK, poses an idea of change. And maybe the big techs at Apple have foreseen my own revelation and are working toward this very idea, not for the sake of their visually impaired customers, who until have not been able to utilise the Apple television but for a combined and easier experience for all consumers. It is safe to say that what will remain on the Apple TV is the ability to stream your own media or media of that from the internet. What has not been discussed, but I will speculate upon, is the idea of cable and satellite companies utilising the iTv device to create a single unit experience.

IOS4 will be running on the device, this is certain and we all know that IOS4 includes voiceover, contrast, zoom and mono hearing. These accessibility technologies give us an opportunity to dive into the future and speculate a little.
Imagine, for one moment, coming home with your $99, as it has been proposed to cost, Apple iTv and connecting it to power, switching it on, registering it independently, going to the iTunes store and downloading your relevant television service app to your iTv device. Log in with a user name and password and any other information that may be required from your television provider and hey presto, it must be magic. Now sitting before you, in a completely easy to navigate screen is the interface of your television provider’s menus. Now, not only can you see your show and what is coming up, but you can browse through the menus and record, view, delete shows you have watched or check out the television guide. Hell, if you really want to go wild, head over to the interactive and use it to your heart’s content.

I’m no technical expert, and anyone in the know, feel free to tell me it’s not possible but from what I’ve seen, this could work.

Now jump forward a few months if you are in the uK, and imagine, huge television providers are being backed into a corner because the new equality is about to launch and every digital provider is proverbially wetting themselves because they now know they have to provide all digital content in an accessible format. Wow, iTv steps in, you develop an app that works with voice over, not only do your low vision users, which is a high percentage of the population, elderly included, now have access but so do many severely visually impaired users all around the country. What a job, you just made a lot of people happy.

And maybe i’m jumping on the dream boat but I think if this could happen, Apple will just have revolutionised another part of my blind world. Hey Apple, hotpoint called, they want IOS4 installed on all of their washing machines. Oh, and Bank of America say they want speech on their ATMs with the ability to have a bluetooth braille display. Apple, the core of what could be is purely in your hands, run and solve the segregation problems and allow visually impaired users of all technologies enjoy the technical revolution.

OK, I’m back to reality but it’s nice to dream and who knows, it could happen. Couldn’t it?

The Kindle and Accessibility

August 25, 2010

I’ve blogged about this issue before, and how Amazon had been backed into a corner. But with the launch of iBooks, with the use of text to speech being allowed, that corner is opening up. I won’t reiterate the arguments I’ve stated previously about text to speech verses audio books but we all know they are not the same thing.

However, I tried to install the mac kindle app tonight, just to see if it would work. It doesn’t. You can’t get past the registration screen. So I emailed Amazon, to see if we get a response. It would be nice if we as visually impaired people had options opened to us. iBooks is getting there, it’s still young and I don’t doubt it will continue to improve but the kindle offers a lot more books and the option to subscribe to papers and magazines also. Having both platforms accessible to us would be fantastic and give a broader choice of books and competitive prices.

Below is the email I sent to
kindle-feedback@amazon.com

For a long time I’ve hoped to download an app, either via the appstore or the mac kindle app and be able to not only use the user interface but read books on my mac or IOS devices. I’m an avid book reader, the only problem is that i’m totally blind and therefore depend on text to speech, Apple’s voice over, to read screen content to me. Sadly, the apps are inaccessible from the start and so I assume, maybe incorrectly that the books are unreadable also.
iBooks have opened a whole new world to me as a blind reader and I hope that Amazon can join the competitive Ebook market, not only for the sighted world but for those of us who depend on a screen reader to communicate the information on a digital screen.
Could you please inform me if there is anything being done, and a possible time line if so for the kindle devices, kindle apps on various platforms becoming accessible to the blind, low vision and dyslexic readers out there?
Thanks for any response.

If you feel like dropping them an email also, I don’t see it would do much harm. The more they are aware of another potential market, the better.
I’ll keep you posted with any response.

How dO You See Me?

July 23, 2010

I’ve always perceived my blindness as a part of me but it seems as though society may have a very different view about what being blind is truly about.

A recent documentary shown on the BBC has made me think long and hard about how the “sighted” world views us as blind people. I know who I am and I’m comfortable with every aspect, I’m a performer, i’m a student, I’m a fundraiser, I’m a writer, I’m a woman, and I’m blind. It’s a fact of my life but when I walk down a street with my trusted guide dog by my side, what am I to others? The blind woman with the guide dog. And this does bother me.

As a blind individual, we are then categorised with so many stereotypes and the majority of us hardly come close to any of those bad habits that some blind people are guilty of. We are not all recluses, we do not all rock, and we do not all need someone to take us everywhere and do everything for us on a daily basis. There are a percentage of us who work, study, own our own homes, have families and live active and social lives without adhering to even one of the stereotypes the general public like to believe we are a part of.

I see some tweets from ignorant sighted people who believe we cannot watch movies, or should not be walking down the street, are shocked to see an attractive blind person or indeed that we are incapable of having sex. Those of us who are out in the world and are interacting with abled bodied people are forever questioned about our abilities and when those individuals are enlightened, utter shock seeps from their every pore.

Blindness does not stop us living our lives and yet still, documentaries are giving a very slanted view of what being blind is really all about.

The one positive point, I, as a blind person took from this BBC documentary, called “the blind me” is that it also represented the flaws of the sighted world and their treatment of blind individuals. Some sighted people patronise the blind, or think us to be stupid along with deaf as they walk away giggling about the blind girl who will not know they just left and I’m happy to say this is not true for all sighted individuals. But to those who have ever used a person’s blindness against themselves, shame on you. It’s not big and it’s not clever. Just remember this, most of us have sighted friends who can tell us about the rude gestures or even our own hearing can betray your rudeness and ignorance.

Just take a moment to think of how, if you are sighted, you perceive a blind individual, and if you are blind, do you really think the sighted world has an accurate assumption of what you as a person are all about? If you could dispel only one stereotype, what would it be? And is it fair for the sighted world to continue to make assumptions?

Personally, I believe there should be more representation of people with disabilities within different media outlets wherever possible and should definitely be more represented within soap operas that are meant to be close to representative of British culture as possible. And if those creators decide to develop a part, research should be done honestly and realistically instead of making blind people either into rocking wrecks or super heroes that can drive ten ton trucks.

I know how I see myself, but I also know the majority of the sighted world see me as a lesser individual with limited independence and desires and goals for my own future. Ah well, I’ll keep proving them wrong, shall I?

My Apple Journey

April 30, 2010

the technology market has exploded over the past 30 years. It’s hard to believe that the first computer was the size of an average room and now we have computer power in our pockets in the shape of smart phones. But the technology for me, as a blind person is very different. I want to take you on my journey through the UK educational system and the support I received in the form of technology and how I and my computing preferences have changed.

When I was in primary school, the computers we used were the early macintoshes. I remember watching things on the screen but my partial vision was difficult to be capable with a mouse. Independent computer use was not at all possible but I was taught to touch type on again, a macintosh when I was around nine or ten years of age. There was no audio output and so I relied on my learning support assistant to tell me if I’d typed something incorrectly do other functions such as save or print.

When I reached high school, information technology was a compulsory class until year nine and again, my teachers had to be the screen reader and controller for me. Hasten to add, I didn’t learn much and my IT skills were minimum at this point.

I remember seeing the jaws screen reader when I was fourteen or fifteen and thought, wow, how cool would it be to be able to use a computer independently. But not until I was sixteen would I know how great that concept would be.

Sadly, I did not get jaws to begin with as there were other kids who would utilise the magnifiers so to save costs my local education authority purchased a licence for supernova, a basic screen reader and magnifier. at least it was then.

The internet was out of reach at this point and only when I went to the US did I discover the net and all it could offer as there were computers with jaws in the disabled student services lab. I learned jaws very fast and was delighted with what I was able to do on the computer. Sadly though, my personal computer still had supernova on it and when I got home, I struggled doing all of the things I’d been used to doing in the computer labs.

When I returned to university in 2006, after being exposed to Tiger on the mac and hating it, I was glad to get jaws and have the full accessibility again. The Tiger story is a rather sad one. I was being shown the system by people who had never used a mac before either, with a manual in their hands and no clue how the system worked let alone the screen reader. so I dismissed the mac, rather ignorantly and returned to windows and jaws.

However, I was getting increasingly tired of system crashes, viruses despite the antivirus software on my PC and the constant inability of jaws to work without a bunch of scripts. The nano was announced to be accessible and I had pined for such a cool music MP3 player for a long time then. However, I knew jaws and iTunes did not work very well together and looked into buying another windows computer and window eyes which I knew was slightly cheaper. My sony Vaio was slowing up and I needed a new computer too but when I looked at the cost, I knew I wouldn’t be able to afford it. So I longingly listened to a podcast on the nano and heard the guy demoing it was a mac user. I thought, if he can use a mac, so can I. So, I researched the mac and voice over, visited the Apple retail store and played with a macbook and two weeks later I brought it home with an iPod nano.

That was almost nineteen months ago and I have never looked back. My productivity is way above what I could achieve on windows; my typing has improved thanks to voice over’s ability to inform me of misspelled words; I have access to far more applications without scripting than ever before and my headaches have been cut down dramatically. If I have an issue with the mac or its accessibility, all I need to do is contact Apple’s great customer service people or their accessibility team. No more worrying about system crashes, if it should happen I can reinstall the OS with no worries independently and if that should fail, Apple care is there to help.

The mac experience hasn’t only moved my technology preferences toward Apple for computing but now for touch screen phones. I now can openly walk into an Apple store and buy most products with the confidence that the product will work out of the box. And when I should get it home, I will be able to set it up and be off within minutes without the headaches windows and its third party screen readers presented for me.

But moving to Apple also changed my attitude about accessibility. Before, I would assume a product to be inaccessible to the blind but now, with Apple’s products at least, I have faith that they will do their upmost to make the products as accessible as possible from the start.

Once the macs became accessible with voice over, they continued to develop it. We waited for the fourth generation iPod nano to become accessible and the third generation iPhone and iPod touch but with the iPad, the first generation was accessible. It shows that Apple have committed and continue to commit themselves to their policy of universal access, delivering accessibility to all of their users to the best of their ability at no extra charge.

This is probably the greatest point for me and one that makes me extremely happy I moved to the Apple mainstream world.

Would I go back?

If Apple bizarrely took away their accessibility features, I would have no choice but given that choice, no, I will not go back. I will do everything within my power to not be subjected to the instability, virus prone, and most importantly expensive side of the blind specific world. If I can use mainstream products, I will and all of my technology is Apple.

Do I believe competition is goood?
Of course. Providing it is done well and done fairly, competition is what makes the world work so well.

Do I believe anyone else can do this?

Sure, if they wanted to but most companies do the bare minimum that is required of them.

Do I think companies making assistive technology have a place in the world?

While other companies refuse to implement accessibility, yes of course. Apple products will not be for everyone, that I understand. They work great for me and for many others but I think far too many people are comfortable with what they know and are afraid of trying something new so they bas it. Companies who provide assistive technology will deny Apple’s great accessibility to be an exaggeration to save their own skins but it is down to us as the consumers to spread the word. If someone tries it thoroughly and still wants windows, go back to it but at least give the macs, the iPhones and such a chance.

Where is my own technology heading?

At this present moment continuing with Apple. With the prospect of getting an iPad and a second macbook later this year, I can’t imagine moving away from Apple for my computer and communicational needs.

I love Apple. Not everyone does or ever will but I really wish all of those people who refuse to give Apple a chance would do so and then make their own informed opinion. And for those new switchers who continuously run back to windows, research a little, you may find the mac has an answer. With the increase of macs being bought every year, more and more developers for mainstream products are considering the mac. No longer is the world going to only revolve around windows, slowly but surely the market is shifting and with major products used within the workplace such as microsoft office being utilised on the mac, time will only tell where this takes us.

I for one think the world is ready and waiting to see what Apple will surprise us all with next.

Strangely enough, my journey began with the macintosh and I hope it continues with the company I praise so much for what they have done for me as a blind, avid, technology addict.

Apple and the blind world

April 20, 2010

With the increase of mainstream accessible products from Apple, it was only time that the “blind organisations” decided to put their opinions into the mix. However, I don’t think some of these people are very well informed.

An article on the RNIB Website has continued my thought pattern of situations that have occurred in recent months, with not only British “blind organisations” but those of other countries.

Assistive technology was necessary for years and due to low market demand, prices are high. Whether you agree with those prices or not, they are fact and it would seem little can be done to change that. However, Apple has made a commitment to accessibility in the majority of its product line, only the Apple TV and IPod classics remain out of touch for its visually impaired end users but all of its computers, third gen IPhones and IPod touches, fourth gen nanos and shuffles and now the newly anticipated IPad boast accessibility features for a huge group of disabled customers from various backgrounds.

Not only are these products accessible, and yes, RNIB, out of the box, but they are no more expensive than our sighted peers would have to shell out for. Similar tablet devices, and I say similar because there are few that can be compared to the IPad, would be able to boast the same level of accessibility without third party software and the price tag, although a little more than what people would want to pay is no more than what everyone else will be paying.

For once as a generation, we are able to buy a mainstream product and not be penalised because we our visually impaired.

The article has some fair pointers, I say fair as I am A, not a low vision user and B I haven’t touched an IPad yet, about certain features or there lack of. The screen reader component is relatively accurate to all attempts and purposes, I realise this as I have A heard someone else recount their IPad experience and B use an IPhone and the experience sounds similar but it almost feels that this article is doing what it can to put off users without “lying”.

One issue I take strongly to is the “not accessible out of the box” line. This is ludicrous. If any of you have used an IPhone or an IPod touch or indeed the mac, or the IPod range, you will know all of these products only require you and your computer to get them going. Unlike a PC computer or a smartphone from another company you can literally plug your apple product in and get it going independently. For RNIB to say it is not accessible out of the box is a blatant understatement and I’m sure they know this as later on they write the accessibility features can be activated in Itunes. Well, RNIB, I’d like to point out you need to link the device to ITunes in order to register it and in that summary section you can indeed activate your chosen accessibility feature.

It almost feels like they are picking as can they honestly say that any product from Nokia or the windows side of the world has automatic turn on accessibility features. On the windows platform alone, you need sighted assistance to turn on narrator or someone to assist you closing apps when you need to install software so I deem the Apple line up as “accessible out of the box” as a completely accurate statement.

RNIB, like other organisations are sticking strongly to “blind specific” products as a rule. Yes, they may acknowledge these products exist and indeed recommend the IPhone on their list of accessible phones, but do they promote them as a viable alternative? I’d say no.

Their sister organisation is not even aware that macs are a viable option. And plenty of IT technicians that are allocated to the blind community either do not know or in fact refuse to train on macs. Slowly, through user demands, I’m aware that several higher education students have received macs through funding but I believe this is more to do with the individuals demanding it rather than it being posed as a viable alternative.

Apple has committed to their accessibility since 2005 and continues to implement its features and invent new ones on its increasing line of products so when will these organisations that are meant to be supporting the VI community catch up and offer the lower cost, potentially alternative solutions? Or will these organisations never take the chance of moving toward a medium where both mainstream products and “blind specific” products are offered as equals? For the time being, I’m saying it’s up to those of us who use these products to advertise their benefits and demonstrate the facts.

When You And I Became A We

March 16, 2010

This is a poem showing how much I appreciate my guide dog.

Golden fur,
Four big paws,
Two soft ears,
sixteen clippy-cloppy claws,
One cold, wet nose,
Two beautiful brown eyes,
One wagging tail,
That is forever hitting my thighs.

Beautiful you are,
From nose to tail,
Lovely you seem,
And you hardly ever fail
To prove your love,
Your trust, dedication and loyalty,
And four years ago,
You and I became a we.

A team,
A partnership,
A bond so strong,
When you stand beside me,
In harness so clean and bright,
Nothing seems wrong,
And all seems right.

Your bouncy ways when you get excited,
Your sulky face when I tell you “no!”
Your happiness when its food time,
And your dedication when I say, “Time to go!”
Your loyalty as you guide me,
Through the streets we both have learnt,
Your my eyes and my companion,
And no matter what life brings it will never hurt
So much if you are there,
Standing strong by my side,
Wagging tail at new friends,
Happy bounces at your four-legged ones.

Still a puppy at heart,
But a great mobility aid to me,
That is why I am grateful,
That four years ago you and I became a we.

Sitting to be stroked,
When you’re off duty and just a dog,
Head so proudly held you’d think you were
King of the hogs.
Drooling as we pet you,
Enjoying the attention and love,
A wonderful buddy you turned out to be,
Four years ago when you and I became a we.

We nicknamed you Lord Bailey,
As you give off that aristocratical air,
Your paws tucked in and your nose held high,
And sniff around with that superior glare.
Sleeping so peacefully,
In your many beds,
Curled up on the living room rug,
Or sprawled out on your cushion bed,
Jumping with joy as you get a weekly treat,
snacking on the ears of pigs because you’re not fond of the feet,
Chewing your bones so loudly,
So loud we have to turn up the TV,

Groaning at my feet when I’m studying,
You never seem in peace,
Twitching and running you go,
While you’re soundly asleep,
And yet hearing all these noises it makes me
Feel so much at ease.

I feel safe while you’re beside me,
You bark to warn of your fear,
You sit beside me when I laugh,
Nuzzle me when I have tears,
When you’re sick I’m beside you,
And it pains me to see you sad,
You’re a wonderful best friend/companion,
A bonny big old lad.

Some think you’re still in training,
Others think you’re old,
But I know what you are to me,
My furry friend with a heart of gold.
Sometimes you’re mischievous and have to be told off,
And sometimes you’re a crazy fool and make me want to laugh,
Others you just lay down calmly and quietly at my knees,
And I am so grateful four years ago,
You and I became a we.

You guide me through busy streets with ease,
Dodge all the lamposts and things,
You may sniff the odd bin or two,
But you’re a dog and I know dogs have needs.
You run free whenever we get chance,
And I love to see you play,
And in my heart I keep you safe,
For today and all days.
You stop at kerbs to warn me,
The road is just right there,
You wait to be told to cross,
And at “forward” you take me there,
You find the shops we need,
And sometimes you pretend you don’t hear,
I guess some shops you hate to be in,
And then others you would never fear,
You know where I like to go,
After us being together so long,
You know when you’ve been good or bad,
and you know when you’re right and when you’re wrong,
You trudge come rain or shine,
You plod on even when you’re tired and want to sleep,
But for all your help I am grateful,
Four years ago when you and I became a we.

A special dog you are,
Like so many others through this world,
Gifted to be patient, honest and true,
And put my safety on your list of things to do.
You ask for warmth, comfort, food, water and care,
And all you truly need other than that is
A cuddle or two here and there.
So calm and efficient yet
Still a crazy hound,
Your personality makes me love you so,
And want you to always stick around,
The bond we share so special,
Your company preferencial,
Your presence a comfort and so
My love is consequential.

So on this day when you became my eyes,
When officially you became my best friend,
I want you to know I appreciate all that you do,
And will until the very end,
So when others understand that bond,
Or see you the way I see,
Then they will surely know why I am grateful,
Four years ago when you and I became a We!