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.

October 17, 2008


We’re now counting down the hours until tomorrow morning when Harry will finally have his stitches removed.

Harry, on the other hand, is fast asleep, his paws twitching furiously. He’s probably dreaming about something really exciting – like having a whole deserted beach all to himself.

Harry on the beach

October 16, 2008

Stir Crazy

Harry is going stir crazy confined as he is to short lead walks, all he really wants to do is go for a good long romp in the fields, have a really good sniff around and maybe eat a blade of grass or two.

We took him to a coffee shop this morning to try and alleviate his boredom and he was so happy just to lie there and watch. Every time someone new came in they were scrutinised, then if he liked the look of them, they were treated to a furious wag of his tail. Harry could spend hours under any table, in any coffee shop, just people watching.

When we got home he lay in his bed and stared at us, willing us to take him out again. He was all, I’m going crazy with this new routine! Why can’t we go out again? Why can’t I go running in the woods. Why? Why? Why?

Harry wearing his Mad Dog expression

October 15, 2008

Weekly update – 39 weeks

Tomorrow is the 16th October and that means Harry will have reached the grand old age of 9 months. He’s very different from the cute little pup that turned up at just 6 weeks old, and although he’s still cute, he’s starting to behave much more like the mature dog he’ll eventually turn out to be.

Harry waiting patiently for dinner

Harry has always been pretty intelligent and learns quickly, especially when a treat is on offer, so teaching him the various commands for his obedience training was never particularly difficult. Like all Labradors, Harry is seriously food orientated and when it comes to meal times he always lets us know, even if we’re just 5 minutes late with his dinner.

We actually gave up mentioning the word dinner a long time ago, because the mere mention of the word sent him running, faster than the speed of light, into the kitchen so he could sit and wait in a very focused manner beside his bowl. Recently we have run out of different words to use, so we have now started to spell the words out. What we hadn’t bargained on though, was a pup that could spell. Yesterday we spelled out the word D-I-N-N-E-R and couldn’t believe it when Harry shot out the room and headed straight for his bowl.

Despite the fact that he still has stitches, he insists on lying in his favourite position – doing his frog impersonation. If he ever decides to go swimming (instead of just paddling) we’re pretty sure he’ll be doing the breaststroke and not the doggy paddle.

Harry doing his frog impersonation

Harry’s week has been fairly boring. He’s been quite restricted on what he’s been allowed to do, and much to his disgust he hasn’t been allowed to jump in the car, on to a bus or even a train. Although he has been out to the local shops, the library and a Pilates class, he much prefers to go further afield so he can travel in the car or on public transport. The only good thing about this week, as far as Harry is concerned, has been the relatively good weather – it means he’s been able to spend lots of time lying in his favourite spot in the sun.

October 14, 2008


Harry is starting to get really bored with his recovery now. Although he’d like to think he could manage a huge walk in the woods, the reality is that his fitness level is not what it was before the operation, and that he still needs lots of rest.

This doesn’t stop him from looking for things to do though, and this afternoon he thought he’d like to help out with the household chores. He appeared at the kitchen door with the floor cloth in his mouth and was all, Come on then! Are we going to wash this floor, or not?

Harry with the floor cloth

October 13, 2008


Harry’s recovery is now well under way. He had a brief trip to the vet on Saturday – just so they could check his stitches and we made an appointment for next Saturday so they can be removed.

Harry is allowed only short lead walks at the moment, and although they are increasing in length daily, Harry still thinks he could do more, but every time we get home he is shattered and has to sleep.

It’s very hard to find things to occupy him at the moment, but he had great fun at the weekend helping in the garden. Harry discovered the joy of crunching dry leaves in his mouth then running inside, leaving a trail of bits all through the house.

He was devastated, when at the end of the day, they all disappeared into a big green bag. He would have much preferred to recycle them himself.

Harry looks mournfully at the green recycling bag

October 10, 2008

Not so happy

Harry didn’t get much sleep last night. Neither did we. He didn’t take too well to the protective collar the vet gave us to stop him licking his wound.

Harry wearing a \

Unfortunately, Harry couldn’t quite figure out that now he had the collar on, he was at least twice as wide as he was yesterday. Unable to settle comfortably, he wandered round the kitchen most of the night and kept crashing in to things. Noises really seem to carry at night, and we were sure we were going to come downstairs this morning to find the kitchen totally wrecked, but nothing was out of place.

What we were faced with though, was a very sulky pup and he was all “Hurry up and get this thing off me! I’m hungry! How am I supposed to eat my breakfast with this thing on?” He might be a bit under the weather, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with his appetite.

October 9, 2008

Today’s the day

Today has been marked on our calendar for a little while now, with the word ‘vet’ marked on it – in big, bold capital letters.

Today’s the day Harry was scheduled to have that little operation.

We dropped Harry off at 8.30 am, and as usual, he was really pleased to be going to see the vet. He went in all excited, tail wagging furiously and greeted everyone with his usual charm. After a brief chat with the vet about the procedure involved, we left – leaving Harry behind.

I’d like to say we did something really productive with the day, but we didn’t. We kept looking at the clock wondering how he was getting on. Just after lunch the nurse rang to say he was fine and we could collect him at 2.30. We raced round the house doing all the chores we’d promised ourselves we would do, completing them in record time and then rushed off to the vets.

As soon as we entered we could hear him. He was objecting in the strongest possible terms to his confinement. We had a longer chat with the vet this time about Harry’s post operative care and what to expect. The vet also explained that in addition to his operation, they had also done a biopsy of the skin around his neck to try and find the cause of the persistent redness. All their initial tests had proved to be negative so a sample of the biopsy will be sent away to the lab for further investigation.

With all the talking done Harry was finally brought out to see us. He looked very sorry for himself but his tail was still wagging – at a furious rate.

Harry hasn’t really been in the mood for photographs today, so instead he thought you might like to take a look at this. He might be feeling a bit under the weather, but he’s still thinking about the great day out he had on Tuesday.

October 8, 2008

Weekly update – 38 weeks

Harry has had a busy, but very different week this week.  In addition to his regular trips to town, the supermarket, the barbers and a few journeys on public transport, he’s also been on a trip to visit some friends who were staying in the area.

In order for us to get to the place they were staying we had to cross a ford, so we parked the car and decided to walk across. We thought Harry might be a little concerned about walking through running water, but not at all. Although he desperately wanted to play in the river, he managed to contain the urge to jump in, and trotted straight across.

Harry crossing a ford

His trip to the Guide Dog Training Centre in Bolton on Tuesday was also a new experience for Harry. He absolutely loved every minute, and really enjoyed meeting a few of the Guide Dog Trainers, some of who he’ll meet up with again when he moves on to the next stage of his training. Harry was delighted to have his photograph taken with them by the Press. He really can be such a poser sometimes.

Harry posing with Guide Dog staff

His best bit of the day, and probably his whole week, was when he bumped into his pal Cindy. Harry used to play with Cindy when he was a very small pup, and just for a moment he didn’t recognise her – she looked so grown up and was wearing her training harness. When Harry suddenly realised who she was, he just couldn’t sit still and wriggled around until he finally managed to say hello, Cindy seemed pretty pleased to see him too.

Harry and his pal Cindy

Next week is definitely going to seem pretty boring in comparison.

October 7, 2008

Paparazzi Pup

Harry was invited to attend the launch of the Atherton Appeal at the Guide Dog Training Centre in Bolton, so naturally we went along too. Sometimes Harry has so many entries on the calendar – puppy classes, invitations to go out for lunch and play time or free runs with other pups, that it seems as though we’re just a taxi service.

Harry had a thoroughly exciting day at the launch, meeting lots of new people and other Guide Dog pups, he even got to meet two exceptionally well behaved working dogs. When it came to having photographs taken, Harry just needed to be reminded what to do – walk straight, don’t pull and don’t forget to smile for the camera.

Harry getting ready to walk towards the cameras

Harry’s really chilled when it comes to having his photograph taken – he’s had the camera waved in front of him almost everyday since he arrived at 6 weeks old. He’s even mastered the art of looking straight at the lens, but today was a little bit different. Today the photographers wanted to take shots of him in action, and they had really big cameras. But Harry didn’t bat an eyelid and behaved as though he’d been posing for Press photgraphers all his life.

Press Photographers

October 6, 2008


Harry’s going through a clingy spell at the moment. If we are all out together and one of us goes off on our own for a while, he gets a little agitated and cannot wait until ‘his pack’ is reunited. He seems to feel the need to keep us all together at all times, but when it comes to going out for walks, he has absolutely no problem going out with just one of us – that’s perfectly legitimate in his book.

Harry doesn’t get upset if one of us goes out without him, but he does run to the window in the front room and stare longingly as you walk away down the garden path. Somehow, he always hears the ‘click’ of the gate on your return and miraculously re-appears at the window.

It’s a great welcome home and always makes us smile, but sometimes we do get the urge to be a little bit wicked and play peek-a-boo with him. And we would, except we’re not quite sure what the neighbours would think.

Harry peering out the window