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 15, 2008

Mud, Mud

Mud, mud, glorious mud,
Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood,

So follow me, follow, down to the hollow,
And there let me wallow in glorious mud.

Mud glorious mud

Flanders and Swann were singing about a hippopotamus, but then they hadn’t met Harry.

May 14, 2008

Weekly update – 17 weeks

Today Harry turned 17 weeks old and it’s now 10 weeks since he arrived at Number 58. On the one hand hand it seems that Harry’s only been here for a relatively short space of time, but on the other it seems as though he’s always lived here. He has made himself such an integral part of our every day lives that it’s difficult to remember what it was like ‘Before Harry’. He has grown from a small bundle of fluff that peed and pooped everywhere, into a confident, inquisitive and adventurous puppy.

Grown is a relatively small word, but in Harry’s case it has a BIG meaning. When he arrived he weighed 5.8 kg, today he weighs 19.8 kg. His tail was only 6 inches (15 cm) but today that same tail measures 13 inches (33 cm). His ears, however, seem to have a life of their own and just keep getting longer, they almost look as though they should be attached to a spaniel, rather than a Labrador/Golden Retriever cross.

In the evening sun

Harry is a very sociable and amiable puppy and has lots of friends in the canine world. Not just the other Guide Dog pups that he regularly comes into contact with, but also the neighbourhood dogs who he meets on a day to day basis.

As the weather has become warmer this week Harry has developed a love of basking in the sun, although we have tried to restrict this to late afternoon or early evening, as he has frequently tried to roast himself alive in the midday sun.

When he’s out on a free run Harry loves to scrabble around in the mud and he’s also taken to digging in the garden with a vengeance. Most of the time he digs in the gravel under the seating area in the garden, usually to bury his bone.

Burying his bone

Today though, he thought it would be great fun to try and escape from the garden by digging a hole under the fence in one of the flower beds. He was ably assisted by his good pal Goldie, and between them they almost managed to dig their way down to Australia. It took the two of them about five minutes to wreak havoc in the garden, and took us about an hour to clean up the mess and rescue what plants we could.

If it was up to Harry to pick his best bit of the week, no doubt it would be today’s Big Dig, but we get to choose Harry’s highlight of the week and we’re choosing his big adventure on the train. An adventure that he’ll be repeating this week.

May 13, 2008


Throughout this recent warm spell we’ve tried to keep Harry as cool as possible, even though he insists on lying in the sun at every available opportunity trying to roast himself. A great place to go is the chiller section of our local supermarket and I confess we’ve spent more time than is normal there. Our fridge is now groaning under the weight of all the goodies we’ve had to purchase.

Even free runs are planned around where there might be shade. Now that the trees are in leaf, the nearby ancient woodland seemed like the perfect place, but we’d forgotten about Harry’s keen interest in flowers, and the bluebells were in full bloom. There wasn’t much free running done, it was more a case of I’ll just sit here and smell the flowers.

Harry and the bluebells

Note. This post was originally called Harry and the Bluebells but it sounded too much like a well known Philadelphia soul band from the 1970s. And besides Harry doesn’t really sing. At least not in public.

May 12, 2008

Travelling in style

Harry’s initial reluctance to travelling the car seems a long time ago, although in reality it’s only six weeks or so since his squawking deafened us on a regular basis, and he looked like this………..

In the boot

He now travels happily in the boot of the car and loves to take in the view from all three windows, which means that our supermarket shopping can get sat on or even trampled on. Up until now we’ve put the shopping on the back-seat, but the bags just never seem to stay upright, and we’re forever scrabbling around under the seats to locate stuff.

Now that Harry’s bigger he fits nicely into a special car-seat harness, which means he can travel safely ‘up front’ with the humans, and we get to reclaim the boot for our own purposes when we need it. We had a practice run over the weekend to see how Harry would adapt, but we needn’t have worried. He took to it like a pro and sat there, slap in in the middle of the back-seat, watching out the front windscreen.

No doubt it’ll only be a matter of time before he starts barking out orders and becomes a fully fledged back-seat driver.

Riding up front

May 9, 2008

Commuter Pup

Harry has been to the local railway station a couple of times to see the trains, but today was a big adventure – his first ride on a train. He was pretty laid back about the whole thing until it actually came to getting on. Having thoroughly examined the gap between the train and the platform he was just about to jump on when the booming voice of the internal speaker system gave out an automated announcement. Harry immediately decided that maybe commuting wasn’t quite his thing. The guard was very patient and waited while we tried to coax him on to the train but Harry still wasn’t sure. Eventually he had to be picked up and carried on – no mean feat considering his mighty 19 kg weight.

Help was at hand, however, at our destination. His best friend Goldie was waiting for him on the platform, and because she understood Harry was nervous, she obligingly jumped on and off the train a couple of times to show him how it was done. As Harry is desperate to do everything Goldie does he immediately jumped on the train after her, looked around and pretended there’d never been a problem in the first place.

When we got home he tried to show his appreciation in the only way he knows how.

Goldie and Harry

May 8, 2008

Hot Dog

The last few days have been really warm, almost hot, and Harry has been feeling the effects. He has been lying on the wooden floor instead of his bed and munching his way through lots of ice cubes which have helped to keep him cool.

Late in the afternoon when the temperature hit 23ºC we decided to take him down to the river for the first time. The idea was that Harry could have a paddle and maybe a bit of a splash around in the water to cool down. Harry loves to splash around in puddles but the river was maybe a step to far. No amount of encouragement could get him in the water. It was just so big and he didn’t really know quite what to do. Besides, there were these strange creatures called ducks and they were sitting on the top of it, and even worse, they were watching him.

Now a Guide Dog puppy has to be pretty confident about almost everything, and Harry certainly wasn’t about to let those ducks know he wasn’t too sure about the river, so he turned is attention to the sand and began to dig. He made out that his sole purpose for being there was to dig and dig and dig some more. After a while the ducks lost interest in his digging and swam off, so Harry wandered over to the edge of the river and stuck a paw in. Then he turned round and was all, OK, I’ve done it, I’ve been in the river, so can I please go back to digging now?

Checking out the river

May 7, 2008

Weekly update – 16 weeks

Today Harry turned 16 weeks old.

Harry’s weight continues to increase at a phenomenal rate, this week he’s gained 1.7 kg taking him to a staggering 19 kgs. His tail hasn’t grown much in length but it’s certainly getting thicker and can pack quite a punch if you stand in the way while it’s wagging. It’s a far cry from the puny little pipe-cleaner of a tail he had when he first arrived.

His obedience continues to be good, although he has a little trouble with ‘stay’. Harry is so desperate that he might miss out on his treat that he gets a bit excited and tries to follow as soon as we move away. He’s working hard on his self control though, and we’re sure he’ll get the hang of it in another couple of days.

In the garden

There’s a bit of a mystery here at Number 58 at the moment. Over the weekend Harry’s baby teeth finally started falling out, first he lost his two front teeth at the top, and then yesterday the bottom two. Although we’ve searched high and low, and we’ve even looked under his bed in case he stashed them for the canine tooth fairy, there’s just no sign of them.

Harry’s latest obsession is mud. He loves lying in it or even digging in it, but best of all he loves rolling in it. Secretly though, we think he likes getting covered in mud because he gets brushed when it dries, and he absolutely adores being brushed.

Harry’s best bit of the week though, has to be the champagne reception he attended. Not because of the champagne or all the lovely people he met there, but because he got to see his pals Bracken and Teddy. He was just so pleased to see them.

Bracken Teddy and Harry

May 6, 2008


Today was Puppy Class and Harry was delighted to meet up with all the other Guide Dog pups, even though he had to work hard while he was there.

Puppy Class

It was so hot that the pups were put through their paces outside in the sunshine, before taking a well earned rest, while the humans got to do what they do best and chatted while drinking coffee.

The concentration required to do all this obedience work can be such hard work, especially when there are so many interesting distractions outside, that a snooze is absolutely essential. So as soon as Harry got home he found the coolest spot in the house and fell asleep absolutely exhausted.

Crashed out pup

May 2, 2008


A couple of days ago we needed to go to the local garden centre to buy a new fence following Harry’s hurdling exploits. Harry trooped round like the perfect puppy and didn’t seem to mind at all when we stopped to admire this plant or that plant, or even the odd flower or bush.

With our new Harry-proof bit of fencing in hand, we headed towards the checkout. That’s when he saw them. The small decorative stone statues of animals. It was the tortoises that really got his attention. They had heads, they had four ‘paws’, and most importantly they had tails – surely they would play with him! He sniffed the air – something wasn’t quite right, so he shuffled forward a bit, but they didn’t move. Feeling particularly brave he went right up to one and nudged it with his nose, but still it didn’t move. Throwing caution to the wind, he gave a short bark, lay down and then rolled on his back. Surely they couldn’t resist this invitation to play? Sadly for Harry, they did.

Harry isn’t used to being ignored and took it badly. With a snort of disgust he stood up and sticking his chest out, he turned his back and made a huge show of examining the nearby plants and water features, harrumphing all the while.

It does seem though, that Harry has now developed a keen interest in botany, and in particular, flowers.

Studying a daffodil

May 1, 2008

Champagne Harry

Harry, along with Guide Dog pups Bracken and Teddy, was invited to attend a fund-raising Champagne reception at lunch time today, so we donned our best outfits and tagged along.

Naturally Harry had a great time and charmed all the ladies, but he didn’t really much care for the taste of champagne.

Champagne Charlie

He has, however, now acquired a taste for the high life.