We went on a day trip this week, to Isle de la Sorgue, it’s a town built on an island and it’s like a mini Venice. Anne hadn’t planned on going there, but when pilates got cancelled and we were already in Apt, she decided to go to Kerry Apt Union , which is part of the Kerry group, and probably if you’ve bought candied peel, or glacé cherries they came from here.
So Anne stocked up on fruit for next Christmas, and was heading for home when she saw the sign for Isle sur la Sorgue, and remembered that there is a training centre there for guide dogs for young people from 12-18 years, part of the MIRA organisation.
First we visited the town itself, where Anne tried to find directions to MIRA without success, but we had a good walk around the town, and a coffee while Anne texted her daughter to get the address off the internet. It was getting near lunchtime and everything stops for lunch in France, so Anne was worried the place would be closed up when we got there, but as luck would have it we got there just as two trainers returned with their pack, and they welcomed us and gave Anne a guided tour , and then I was allowed to play with all the pups in training. Great Fun.
Anne:- MIRA France is a very small organisation, they train just 8 dogs at a time, with 2 trainers. They have the site setup to mimic a small town, with a road, traffic lights, a phone booth, an enclosed area where they reproduce day to day sounds, and a half a car, that can be placed as an obstacle anywhere on the road. And at the weekends the dogs go back to their puppy walkers. Most of their dogs are imported from the main organisation in Canada, and they use lab/retriever crosses and purebreds, and Bernese Mountain dogs and crosses . But there was the same lovely dedicated attitude and enthusiasm that we see at IGDB back home.
So from there we headed to Fontaine de Vaucluse for some lunch, and I was given a bowl of water with English writing on it…very impressive!
Fontaine de Vaucluse
View from the restaurant
A very picturesque rown
A lovely day, the best bit was the rough and tumble with the other dogs!