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 14, 2008

3 Day Eventer

For the last three days Harry has been mesmerised by the TV. In particular, the equestrian events at the Olympic Games.

Harry is fascinated by the horses and while he has enjoyed the cross country and show jumping, his favourite by a long way, is the dressage.  He just cannot tear himself away.

Sniffing the TV

August 13, 2008

Weekly update – 30 weeks

Harry started this week still licking his lips at meal times at the prospect of the chicken and rice diet he’s been on. We thought he might turn his nose up at his regular dried food, but when we re-introduced it it was business as usual, with Harry hoovering it up in record time. Harry is very food orientated and can always be guaranteed to look at you adoringly if he thinks there may be a treat available.

Lying at the bottom of the stairs

Harry’s test results from the vet have all come back negative, although there’s still one last result to come and hopefully we’ll get that in the next couple of days. Once he’s got the all clear we’ll be off for another trip to the vet as it’s time for Harry to have his kennel cough vaccination.

Harry thoroughly enjoyed his time in the Lake District and learnt quite a lot from the working Guide Dogs he met there, we were especially impressed that by the second day he didn’t always have to be told when to lie down and stay still, he just did it.

One thing that was new to Harry was speeding traffic as we walked along some roads that were not restricted to 30 mph. At first he was a little startled as the cars seemed to hurl themselves towards him at quite an alarming rate, often with their headlights on in the rain, but after a while he became accustomed to it, although he much preferred not to walk on the right hand side of the road facing the oncoming traffic.

A trip to Ambleside really tested Harry as the town was absolutely buzzing. The pavements are quite narrow and it seemed as though there were thousands of people there, all jostling for space and all with either small children, babies in buggies, or dogs. Harry managed his walk through town like a star but he was absolutely shattered when we got back to the hotel.

Harry’s favourite bits were his walks round the lake. He loved to paddle and dig for stones on the shore, but best of all were the jettys – he just loved to walk up and down them watching all the interesting things happening on the water.

Harry on the jetty

August 12, 2008

Play time

Harry was desperate to play with some of the working dogs we met at Windermere, and finally on our last day his wish was granted. As we took him down to the free run area for a last play before heading home, we bumped into Floyd and Magnus with their owners.

Harry was delighted and couldn’t wait to play with them, but in his excitement he’d forgotten one very important thing – they were both a lot bigger than him.

It didn’t take long for him to realise his mistake.

Floyd, Magnus and Harry

August 11, 2008

Bird watcher

A working Guide Dog should never be distracted by birds, so one of the most important lessons a puppy has to learn is not to chase them. Harry loves to watch birds, but fortunately he’s never really shown much desire to chase. Harry was paddling in the lake, just as a group of ducks swam by, so Harry waded out to have a look.

Wading in to the lake

We held out breath as Harry headed straight for them, but we needn’t have worried, he just stopped and watched. Someone was feeding them from the nearby pier, so they swam quite fast – straight past the end of his nose. Harry was fascinated by these things floating on the water, in fact we’re not even sure he knew they were birds. But he was very disappointed that, whatever they were, they didn’t stop to play.

Still wading as the ducks go by

August 8, 2008

Lord of the Manor

Harry’s had another holiday. We took him to the Lake District for a few days to stay in a hotel specifically run for people with visual impairment, their family and friends, and which provides extensive facilities for Guide Dogs. It’s a fabulous Victorian building set in beautifully landscape gardens, and has spectacular views of Lake Windermere.

Windermere Manor Hotel

Although it was a holiday, it was also a big learning experience for Harry as he was in the company of lots of working Guide Dogs. Harry was really put to the test on a number of occasions, especially in the dining room. It took all of his self control to lie still under the table at meal times when all he really wanted to do was go play with the other dogs, but after the first day when the working dogs had all ignored him, he realised that this wasn’t going to happen and started to copy their exemplary behaviour.

Harry made lots of new friends, but his particular favourite was a three year old yellow Labrador named Amélie. Amélie seemed to like Harry just as much and furiously wagged her tail whenever he was around. They had great fun playing together in the free run area of the garden and in the evenings, while we all relaxed in the bar, she would tease him relentlessly before they both settled down side by side.

Harry really enjoyed his time at hotel and felt quite at home there. He like nothing better than relaxing in the shade, lying on the porch beside the front door, like the Lord of the Manor surveying his estate.

Lounging like a lord

August 6, 2008

Weekly update – 29 weeks

Harry is now 29 weeks old and has finally hit 30 kg in weight. Although we’d planned to only weigh Harry every month, we took the opportunity of our visit to the vet on Monday to have him weighed.

It’s been a bit of a quiet week for Harry. Given his recent tummy trouble we haven’t really been on any long trips out to town and what trips we have taken have been planned around his frequent visits to the bathroom.

Posing in the flower bed

Harry did get to go to the Pilates class though. He’s so relaxed about it all that he now doesn’t even bother saying hello to everyone, he just goes over to his regular space, lies down and starts to snooze. Even the recent introduction of the large exercise balls in class didn’t bother him, he sort of raised his eyebrow briefly as if to say ‘what on earth are those humans doing now’? and carried on with the serious business of snoozing.

The introduction of the blue tabard has gone down very well. Harry hasn’t tried to chew it, or wriggle out of it, and he stands patiently while we put it on. His behaviour when he wears it has been exemplary – it’s almost as if he knows that when he’s got it on a certain standard of behaviour is required. Sometimes it even seems as though he holds his head held just a little bit higher than normal when he’s wearing it.

Posing in his tabard

Harry’s highlight this week has undoubtedly been the temporary change in his diet. Harry has always approached his food with real enthusiasm, but he has taken to chicken and rice with what can only be described as exhilaration. In fact he’s been spending much more time hanging around the kitchen ever hopeful that more might just magically appear in his bowl.

We hope he’s not going to be too disappointed over the next few days as he gradually goes back to his regular dried food.

August 5, 2008

Dressed to impress

Harry has always attracted a lot of attention when we are out. When he was smaller a lot of people would comment on how cute he was and how much he looked like the Andrex puppy. Now he’s getting bigger he still attracts a phenomenal amount of attention – people love to stop us and tell us how handsome he is, and of course we have to agree.

Harry’s now old enough to wear a ‘Guide Dog Puppy In Training’ tabard and very stylish in it he looks too. He manages to wear it with a certain panache, the kind that’s normally seen on the catwalk. No doubt he’ll soon be turning a few more heads.

New blue tabard

August 4, 2008

Harry the Horrible – Part 2

It seems a long time ago since Harry first decided to taste cow poop. Since then he’s been very obedient on his free runs and when we tell him to ‘leave’ he usually does. However, not long after this photograph was taken he came across a particularly pungent and fresh deposit left by a very friendly, if rather large, cow. The urge to sample this steaming delicacy was just too strong, and with an attitude that only a stroppy teenage pup can muster, he defiantly tucked in.

Harry by the river

Harry doesn’t understand the concept of cause and effect. But we do and this time there was certainly an effect. We haven’t had much sleep this weekend, as every few hours Harry needed to go to the bathroom. It didn’t seem to bother him that we had to drag ourselves out of bed in the middle of the night to open the door for him.

First thing this morning we visited the vet.  Harry normally enjoys these visits but this time the vet needed to take his temperature, something he wasn’t too keen on. Harry stood patiently while the process was carried out but he had such an indignant look on his face it was hard not to laugh. We left with various tablets and liquids to give him, and instructions that Harry should eat only chicken and rice over the next few days.

The other thing the vet gave us was a little jar. This jar needs to be filled and returned – and that’s all that needs to be said about that. One thing’s for sure though, the next time we see a cow we’ll be walking in the opposite direction.

August 1, 2008

Rock on

Harry is still a little apprehensive about water, although he loves paddling he hasn’t yet been brave enough to go in over his knees.

He does like digging in the river for stones though, usually the bigger the better, but on this occasion even Harry had to admit defeat.

Paddling in the river