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.

August 29, 2008

Dirty Harry

Harry’s obsession with mud has been well documented here and here, but yesterday on a walk through the woods he did the unthinkable.

Approaching a particularly wet and boggy part of the path he obeyed our command to wait. We were so busy congratulating ourselves on how we had avoided another puppy mud bath, that we didn’t notice Harry’s attempt at snorkelling.

That’ll teach us to be so smug.

Black faced pup

August 28, 2008


Harry recently received a unexpected present from another puppy walker – the most enormous bone we’ve ever seen.

Last night, after a spell of obedience work, we gave him this gigantic treat. We fully expected Harry to smack his lips and plunge straight in, but instead he approached it as if it were an alien from outer space.

After circling it a few times, he barked at it once, lay down and eyed it very cautiously. After a while he wriggled closer to it but continued to stare at it suspiciously, as if it would disappear if he so much as blinked. Closer and closer he crept, until eventually his nose was almost touching it.  And there he stayed for quite a while, just staring at it, totally overwhelmed by his good fortune. Finally, he could contain himself no more and dived in, totally delirious with pleasure.

Harry remained in a state of total rapture for over 2 hours, only raising his head a couple of times to check we were still in the room. Not that he really cared.

Harry and the biggest bone ever

August 27, 2008

Weekly update – 32 weeks

Harry has finally had his kennel cough vaccination as the final test result came back negative. He now has a clean bill of health following his spell of tummy trouble. It was all self-inflicted after he ate a particularly large lump of fresh, steaming cow poop which he thought was some sort of free lunch. We haven’t been anywhere near a cow since.

Behind the bars of the staircase

While at the vet we took the opportunity to weigh Harry and discovered that he’s now 32.2kg – that’s the same weight that our previous puppy Alfie was when he left us, and he was a big dog. We’re thinking of taking bets on how big Harry is actually going to be when he’s finished growing.

It’s been a week of firsts for Harry, first time in a pedestrian underpass, first time passing a field of sheep and first time in the city.  He handled the underpass really well despite all the echoing noises, but the sheep perplexed him. They all had tails, they were the right size, and they looked like puppies, but they didn’t smell right. Harry stood transfixed at the fence and just couldn’t work it out. Why didn’t they come over to play with him? And then one of them barked. Well, it wasn’t a bark really – it was more of a baaaa – and that just freaked him out. He came scampering back to hide behind our legs. What were these strange creatures?

Harry would say his highlight of the week was the return of summer and being able to lie out in the sunshine again, but we think his trip to the city was definitely his best bit. Even though he was shattered when he got home.

One shattered pup

August 26, 2008

City Boy

Harry went to the city today on a big adventure.

Harry has always been very noise sensitive and can still be a little skittish when there are loud noises he can’t immediately identify, so this was always going to be a testing time for him.

The station was heaving with people heading home from a music festival and there was some really noisy construction work going on, but Harry handled it all very well. He strode right through the station into the city centre just like a regular commuter, although he was more than happy when we stopped not far from the station for a coffee.

On his walk through the city Harry stayed alert and focused all the time and didn’t seem to give a hoot about all the people charging right in front of him as they rushed around during their lunch break.

Harry might have stayed cool, calm and collected while in the city, but when he got home he took to his bed and stayed there for the rest of the afternoon.

Chilling out

August 22, 2008

Out and about

Since Harry started wearing his blue tabard, when we’re out and about in busy areas, a lot of the fuss Harry used to get has stopped. Although he still turns heads and attracts a lot of attention, people now hesitate and ask before they try to stroke or pat him.

This makes our lives a lot easier, not to mention Harry’s. Now he’s much more able to focus on what is required of him, without wondering whether or not he’s going to get patted on the head by a well meaning stranger as he passes by.

Secretly though, we think he misses all the fuss.

Walking in his blue tabard

August 21, 2008

Been a long time

It’s been an awful long time since Harry was able to lie in the garden without getting soaked through from all the rain we’ve been having. But yesterday the temperature rose high enough and the sun came out long enough for Harry to consider having another go at trying to roast himself.

Roasting in the garden

August 20, 2008

Weekly update – 31 weeks

Now 31 weeks old, Harry should have had his kennel cough vaccination during the last week but as we’re still waiting for the final test result from the vet, it has had to be delayed. Hopefully the result should be back and he’ll get his vaccination sometime over the next couple of days.

Oh no - not another photograph

This week has been much more work orientated for Harry.  He’s had his usual trips to the supermarket, coffee shops and restaurants, and even spent quite a lengthy spell (for him) in a clothes shop. Harry’s also been on a visit to a local hospice for their summer event where he naturally charmed everybody.

Harry also worked very hard for his Good Citizen Bronze Award and we’re very proud of him. We’d done a lot of practice at home, especially on the extended ‘stay’ command, but puppies can be very unpredictable, especially at the age Harry is now. Fortunately when it came to exam time he didn’t forget any of his obedience training and did all his tasks perfectly.

Harry’s has loved watching the Olympic horse riding events on TV this week, but his best bit has to be the visit he had from Grover, they had great fun playing together and Grover loved tormenting Harry from under the kitchen chairs, but after a while Harry was exhausted so he tried to take a quick nap. He’d reckoned without the persistence of Grover.

Grover tormenting Harry

August 19, 2008

Olympic Bronze

Harry took his Kennel Club Good Citizen Bronze Award today.  It’s not quite like an Olympic event – the test is non-competitive – but it felt like it. The aim of the scheme is to produce happy, contented dogs, which are well behaved and under the control of the handler. The certificate is only awarded when the required standard has been reached.

Parts of the test include walking on the lead without distractions, walking through a door or gate correctly, taking a controlled walk among other people and dogs, and finally staying in one position on command without moving for one minute while we stood five paces away. This last discipline worried us. Some days Harry can be an incredible fidget and just can’t stay still for 5 seconds, other days he can stay immobile for ages.

It turned out to be one of his wriggle-free days – Harry managed it without any trouble and now has another rosette to add to his collection.

Congratulations go to Harry and the other 6 pups and dogs that passed today. Well done!

Bronze Award Certificate and Rosette

August 18, 2008

Happy Monday

It’s Monday and everyone at Number 58 is happy. We’re happy because Harry has stopped trying to party in the middle of the night. Harry’s happy because he had a visit from a new playmate – Grover.

Harry did get a bit frustrated though.  Grover, at 13 weeks, is still small enough to get under the kitchen chairs where Harry cannot follow, so he took up prime position and proceeded to torment Harry. For hours.

Grover and Harry

August 15, 2008

Friday Fatigue

The last two nights have seen a change in Harry’s normal routine, instead of sleeping through the night he has inexplicably woken us up at 2.30am.

The first night we rushed downstairs, to let him out as we thought he needed to go to the toilet, but no, once outside he just wanted to play. This did not go down well. Here at Number 58 there is only one 2.30 in the day and it most certainly is not the one in the middle of the night. He tried every trick he knew to try to get us to play and was most put out when we insisted he went back to bed.

Last night it happened again.  This time we ignored him and tried to pretend that it wasn’t happening. After the first few whimpers he started to bang on the kitchen door. More crying and more banging, until eventually he gave up and the house was quiet once again. At 6.30 it started again. This time, we felt sure, he must need to go out. Reluctantly we dragged ourselves downstairs, but all he wanted to do was party, party, party.

By 9am we were on our third cup of coffee and still bleary eyed from lack of sleep. And Harry?  Well, he was so shattered from his nocturnal antics that he just crashed out.

Fast asleep