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.

July 31, 2008

Checking out

Harry loved staying at the hotel we visited, and naturally he managed to charm both staff and customers alike.

He became a firm favourite with another visiting family who had two small children, and after breakfast on both days, he had so much fuss from them that it was difficult to extract him.

When it came time to check out, Harry made his position clear. He just didn’t want to leave.

Harry checking out

July 30, 2008

Weekly update – 28 weeks

This last week has been more routine for Harry than the previous one, with lots of trips to town and the supermarket, the pet shop and frequent visits to coffee shops and the odd ride on a bus.

His last ride on the bus was a little bit fraught though, as the bus driver went round a roundabout a little too fast. Unable to hang on Harry slid across the floor ending up very near to the door. We thought it might freak him out a bit, but he just stood up, gave a quick shake and settled himself back down next to the seat, albeit a lot closer.

At the weekend Harry had his longest car journey yet when we travelled down to the Guide Dog Gala Day, but he coped really well and behaved beautifully at our stop on the motorway services.

He really enjoyed his trip away, especially as he got to sleep in the same room as us at the hotel. We thought he would want to play all night so we weren’t expecting to get much sleep, but as soon as we put out the light he settled down and we didn’t get a squeak out of him until 7.00 the next morning – when someone in the hotel slammed a door and woke us all up.

Harry’s best bit of the week has to be the Gala Day and all the different experiences he had there, but the highlight of the whole trip must be the rosette he won.  He was just so pleased with himself.

Harry and his rosette

July 29, 2008


Apologies to Harry, but just for once, today’s entry on the blog isn’t about him!

We returned from our trip to the Gala Day to some great news – our previous puppy Alfie has qualified. We’ve had a lovely card from his new owner, part of which reads:- I am now the proud owner of new Guide Dog Alfie. Alfie and I qualified on 22 July. Alfie is a wonderful dog, not only as a guide but also a great friend.

It’s a great feeling to know that all the hard work has finally paid off. It isn’t always easy, and sometimes the pups can drive you to distraction, but there’s a great deal of pleasure and fun to be had along the way.

It’s hard to believe that the bundle of fluff that arrived at Number 58 back in October 2006 is now a fully qualified and working Guide Dog.

So well done Alfie, here’s to a long and happy working life.

Alfie in the garden

July 28, 2008

Gala Day

Over the weekend we travelled down to Warwickshire to attend the annual Guide Dog’s Gala Day at Stoneleigh Park. There were literally thousands of people and hundreds of dogs there.  The site was huge and seemed to go on for miles, with all sorts of things happening from display teams and live music, to a spectacular fly past from an RAF Spitfire. It was definitely the busiest and noisiest event Harry has ever attended.

We were a bit concerned that Harry might be a little overwhelmed by it all, especially as it was so hot, but he didn’t seem to mind one bit and had a great time. There were lots of huge trees and plenty of indoor areas so we took lots of breaks and sat in the shade. We had hoped to meet up with Harry’s mum Jazz and her owners but unfortunately on the day Jazz wasn’t too well so she didn’t make it.

We got over our disappointment quite quickly though – on a whim we entered Harry into one of the “Best in Show” classes and we were stunned but delighted when he won 2nd Prize for Best Condition Puppy (six months and over).

We always knew he was special – but now he has a rosette to prove it!

Harry and his Rosette

July 25, 2008

Pilates Pup II

Harry has been attending Pilates classes since he was only 8 weeks old.  He normally chews on his bone for about 10 minutes, then spends the rest of the hour watching.

Obviously all this watching has had an impact and he’s managed to pick up a few exercises along the way. It seems as though he can do “Hip Twist – Level 5” better than we can.

Harry does Pilates

July 24, 2008

Weekly update – 27 weeks

This last week has been pretty hectic for Harry.

Settled in to watch the golf

After his day out at the Country Club to watch the golf, the following day he was invited to visit the Head Office of an Insurance company. This trip was full of new experiences for Harry, on arrival there were sliding glass doors which made quite a loud whooshing noise as they opened, then there was a very highly polished floor in reception. Harry had difficulty sitting on it as his feet kept slipping, so he took the easy option and lay down.

This was followed by turn-stiles, similar to those found on London Underground. We expected Harry to be a little nervous of them but he sailed straight through, although he was very curious about the click, click, click noise they made as they turned. Then we had to take the lift – Harry is no stranger to lifts but this was the first time a lift had been crowded and full of people. Harry strode straight on, full of confidence, knowing that he would get lots of attention from the people on board. He was so excited and his tail wagged so much we had to turn him round quickly so it didn’t get trapped in the doors.

Harry then left home for a few days, and went to stay with another Puppy Walker, while we made a trip up north. We’re not altogether sure what Harry got up to while he was away, and he certainly isn’t telling, but he was tired when he got back home – he slept like a log for hours. He’d obviously had a very exciting time.

Now he’s back home it’s back to his normal routine – let’s hope he doesn’t find it too boring.

Posing Pup

July 18, 2008

Country Club Pup

Harry, along with a few other Guide Dog pups, attended a golf event at the local Country Club yesterday. He had a fabulous time greeting all the golfers at the 10th Tee, and when they stopped for refreshments, Harry turned on the charm and got lots of fuss and attention. He was so fascinated by all the golfers teeing off that he sat quietly for about three hours just observing.

Early on in the day the Course Marshall offered to take us for a trip round the course in a golf buggy, but Harry wasn’t too keen. After a few teams had passed through, Harry got a little braver and more curious so we took up the Course Marshall’s kind offer of a ride. Harry had an absolute blast and after that we just couldn’t keep him away, every time a buggy came through Harry thought it was for him.

Harry was so determined to take another ride that while some golfers were on the tee, he jumped on their empty one and tried to drive it himself.

Up front in the golf buggy

July 17, 2008

Those Ears

Harry’s ears are so big, so soft and so silky that everyone he meets is overcome by an insane urge to play with them. No one can resist those ears.

That includes his friend Price, although Harry wasn’t too too happy about them being nibbled.

Price chewing Harry\'s ear

July 16, 2008

Weekly update – 26 weeks

It’s really hard to believe but Harry has now reached the grand old age of 6 months. To celebrate we took him to the vets to get weighed and discovered that he’s now 29 kg.  It seems that his weight gain has finally tapered off as he’s only increased by 3 kg in 4 weeks.

One thing that hasn’t slowed down is the growth of his ears. They are enormous – sometimes when he’s chomping merrily away at his food they get caught in his mouth. When he runs they either fly out behind him or flap up and down like the wings of a baby bird trying to fly for the first time.

Flying ears

Harry’s obedience training is still pretty good although over the last few weeks we’ve suffered from spells when he seems to have forgotten everything we’ve ever taught him. But that’s just his age. In canine terms, he’s a teenager and sometimes a stroppy one at that, but in general he’s a very good pup, very laid back, very respectful and an all round good guy. Not that we’re biased or anything.

Harry’s had a really busy week and sometimes it seems at though he has more social engagements on the calendar than we do. He gets invited to all sorts of parties and functions and sometimes it feels like we’re only there to drive him to and from his engagements. Tomorrow he’s been invited to attend an event at the local Country Club and Golf Course. It’s a tough life.

Although he’s always exceptionally well behaved on such occasions, he does like nothing better than letting his hair down, and romping around in true puppy style. Especially when there’s another dog and some mud involved – the walk in the country park when he met Ruby has to be Harry’s highlight this week. I just wish we could say the same.

Totally covered in mud

July 15, 2008

Not such glorious mud

Yesterday evening we took Harry for a walk in the local country park. We we were only 100 metres or so from the car, and congratulating ourselves on finishing the walk without Harry getting dirty, when it happened.

Harry met Ruby, a gorgeous 11 month old Labrador, and that was it – the two of them were off. Chasing each other, running round trees and messing around in the ditch. Harry loves this particular ditch, it’s the one he likes to wallow in. This time though, Harry took his love of mud to new heights and emerged looking like this.

Black pup, white tail

We won’t talk about how long, how many buckets of water and how much puppy shampoo it took to get him clean. And we certainly won’t mention what the inside of the car looks like. Let’s just say we’re thinking of having it professionally cleaned.