Picture of Harry

Hi. My name is Harry, I'm a Guide Dog Puppy in Training and this is my Blog.

Atherton Appeal

Harry supported Guide Dogs' appeal to equip the brand new training school for the North of England at Atherton. He was keen to help as he was to be one of the first puppies to train at the new school.

Harry was at the launch of the appeal on 7th October 2008 where he got to meet the Press. One of the newspaper articles can be seen here.

May 30, 2008

A day in the life…

08:00 – Breakfast! My favourite thing!
09:30 – A car ride! My favourite thing!
09:40 – A walk in the park! My favourite thing!
10:30 – Got rubbed and petted! My favourite thing!
11:00 – A snooze! My favourite thing!
12:30 – Lunch! My favourite thing!
13:00 – Played in the garden! My favourite thing!
13:30 – Wagged my tail! My favourite thing!
14:00 – Another snooze! My favourite thing!
15:00 – A shopping trip in town! My favourite thing!
16:30 – Milk bones! My favourite thing!
17:00 – Got to play! My favourite thing!
19:00 – Dinner! My favourite thing!
20:00 – Wow! Watched TV with the humans! My favourite thing!
23:00 – Sleeping on my bed! My favourite thing!

Sleeping pup

Thanks to Karen at Pilates who reminded us that everything Harry does is always his favourite thing!

May 29, 2008

Coffee Pup

Yesterday Harry found himself in the wrong place, at the wrong time. A cold cup of coffee was knocked over and the contents spilled on to him as he snoozed under the kitchen table. Rudely woken from his dreams, he looked up in shock as the last few drops dripped on to his head.

Harry was most indignant and flounced off to spend the rest of the afternoon sulking behind the sofa.

Harry behind the sofa

May 28, 2008

Weekly update – 19 weeks

Today Harry turned 19 weeks old and has finally tipped the scales at more than 20 kg, 22.2 kg to be exact. It seems the slow down in his weight gain was short lived and he’s back to increasing his weight by about 1.5kg a week. His tail is still 13 inches (33 cm) and hasn’t grown in length for 3 weeks now, but it’s still getting thicker and more powerful every day.

On Monday we found the first one of Harry’s baby teeth. Not the first one he’s lost, but the first one we’ve found. We’re not quite sure where all the others have gone – he certainly hasn’t been leaving them under his bed for the canine tooth fairy. Our guess is he’s swallowed them, but we haven’t been looking too closely to check to see if we’re right, because that would involve checking well, you know, let’s not go into that.

Harry on the train

Over the last week Harry has become more comfortable with travelling on the train but he still hasn’t yet travelled on a bus – that could possibly be an adventure for later on this week. It was jumping the gap between the platform and the train that seemed to bother Harry, and the gap up on to the bus is bigger, much bigger. Given his weight there’s absolutely no way he’s going to be picked up and carried on.

Harry’s been out and about in town again this week, and this time it’s involved lots of new and different shops, shops with stairs and lifts. He handled these new experiences with confidence and ease, especially his trip in the glass lift where he could see the whole world going up and down in front of his very eyes.

Harry’s also been doing a bit of fund-raising for Guide Dogs as he helped out over the weekend with a bucket collection at a local supermarket. Now that he’s a bit older, he doesn’t get so overwhelmed and simply loves all the fuss and attention he attracts, especially from young children, toddlers in particular.

And Harry’s favourite bit of the week? Well, that would just have to be that tasty morsel he found on his free run. It’s one highlight we’re not too keen on him repeating.

Harry in the meadow

May 27, 2008

It’s a jungle out there

Up until today Harry has always had his free runs on his own, not through choice, but through necessity. It was a matter of size – he was always too small to keep up with the older pups. Today though, Goldie came to visit and it turned out that both pups were due for a free run.

They had a marvellous time romping around and exploring the nature reserve together. Everything there has grown at an enormous rate recently and Harry couldn’t always see out over the top of the long grass and undergrowth. But he didn’t mind at all, because Goldie was there to lead him through the jungle.

Goldie and Harry in the undergrowth

May 23, 2008

Harry the Horrible

It’s a well documented fact that dogs get more information about the world around them from their nose than any other way. Dogs noses are supposed to be fifty times better at smelling than human noses and if they could talk they’d tell you lots of interesting things. Just by smelling a lamp post they could tell you which of the neighbourhood dogs had visited there, how recently and what condition they were in – were they fit, healthy or sick or maybe getting old.

So when a dog is out on a free run it’s really no surprise that they spend most of the time with their nose to the ground sniffing and Harry is no exception, he just loves to sniff. Except today the sniffing moved on to tasting. It’s not that we mind, after all it’s what puppies do, but it’s WHAT he was tasting. After he’d sampled a bit he obviously thought it was so tasty that he’d help himself to a huge chunk. No amount of asking him to ‘give’ would release the treasure from his jaws.

See that black stuff round his mouth? That’s poop. Cow poop.

Harry the Horrible

If he thinks he’s going to be able to snuggle up to us tonight while we watch TV, well he can think again.

May 22, 2008

Commuter Pup – Part 2

Despite having had a bit of help the first time he travelled by train, Harry still has a distinct wariness about the whole thing. So today we enlisted the help (yet again) of his good pal Goldie to show him how it should be done.

Harry spends much too long looking at the gap between the train and the platform before deciding that he really doesn’t want to make the jump. Goldie is a seasoned rail traveller and was already on our train as it pulled into our station. Once the doors opened and Harry saw Goldie on the train there was just no stopping him from jumping on, and he was all, Gap? What gap?

Getting off wasn’t a problem today either. They both waited patiently for the doors to open and once Goldie had alighted Harry was eager to follow, totally oblivious of the gap. As we were at the end of the line and the train wasn’t going anywhere we asked Harry to jump on and then off again.

If there’s one thing Harry loves more than Goldie, it’s showing off in front of her.

Harry and Goldie on the train

May 21, 2008

Weekly update – 18 weeks

Harry is now 18 weeks old and weighs 20.6 kg. It appears as though his phenomenal weight gain is finally beginning to slow down as he’s now gaining less than a kilo a week now. Phew. Harry’s tail hasn’t grown any longer this week although it certainly getting thicker, especially round the base and if he wags it with any kind of enthusiasm it’s best not to stand too close.

This last week has seen Harry become the proud new owner of eight adult teeth, four on the top and four on the bottom. He’s probably quite pleased about this as he was getting a bit fed up with being referred to as the toothless wonder.

It’s been a busy week for Harry, apart from his regular trips to the supermarket, coffee shops and a bit of retail therapy for the humans, he’s been to his first (and probably only) professional photo shoot. He had a brilliant time and absolutely loved being the centre of attention.

Harry the poser

Harry’s obedience continues to be excellent, we’re very impressed that he still remembers everything he’s been taught, and learns new commands very quickly. His recall when out on free runs is especially good, even when he’s playing with another dog he’ll always come back when we call him. Now that he’s a little bit older he strays a little further when he’s out on his free runs although he does keep looking over his shoulder just to check we’re still there.

Free runs have certainly been the highlight of the week as far as Harry is concerned, especially the one where he got to wallow in the mud. Our favourite was the one where a deer bolted out of the woods straight in front of us, Harry stood very still and responded immediately to the whispered command to sit, although he was probably so shocked that he didn’t really know what else to do.

Harry in the woods

May 20, 2008

Supermodel Pups

Harry and Bracken had an important appointment after they’d been for coffee yesterday. Their presence was required at a photo shoot organised by Guide Dogs.

Harry is quite used to having a camera waved around in front of his face and looking cute, but this was different, this was a professional photographer, and he didn’t have any treats. Harry doesn’t always need a treat to pose for the camera, most days he does it for free, but it always helps to be prepared.

Yesterday, however, Harry was an absolute pro, and so was Bracken. Without any fuss or treats they both posed beautifully for the photographer for about 15 minutes, and when it was all done and there were no more photographs to be taken, they got to share a refreshing glass of ice cubes.

Bracken and Harry pose for the camera

May 19, 2008

Social Butterfly

Once a month or so, all the local puppy walkers try to get together for coffee, tea or even hot chocolate at a lovely coffee shop where the owners, who are exceedingly dog friendly, are very welcoming and don’t mind the mayhem caused by up to ten Guide Dog puppies being on their premises. We are given the use of an upstairs room which means we don’t offend or upset other customers who may not like dogs. The puppies are always really excited to see each other and considering the confined space are really well behaved.

Harry loves these occasions, not only because it also means a visit to the nearby pet shop, but because he gets to see all of his friends in the same place, at the same time. Despite his size, Harry is still the baby of the group, although his good friend Bracken is only 4 days older.

Bracken and Harry

Harry always has a struggle with self-control, on the one hand he knows he has to sit and behave well, but on the other hand ALL his friends are there and he just wants to PLAY. Today, though, we were joined by two retired Guide Dogs and a working dog with her owner. The effect on Harry was startling. He watched their behaviour for a while and then tried to copy them, lying down, as close as he could get to our seats and immediately stopped wriggling and trying to get to his pals.

We could have stayed there longer, drinking copious amounts of cappuccino, but unfortunately we had to leave. Harry had another appointment in his social diary, and Bracken was going too!

May 16, 2008

Glorious Mud

When Harry had done wallowing in the mud he was just so pleased with himself. He’d had a great time and loved the squelchy noises it had made, but now it was time to go home. There was only one problem, would you want to put this in your car? Well, be honest, would you?

Mucky pup