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.

November 28, 2008

Those ears again

Today Harry went out for his first Christmas Lunch.

Well, he didn’t have Christmas lunch exactly – we did, but he did have to sit through the ordeal of a restaurant full of high spirited, noisy people and the pulling of numerous Christmas crackers.

His pals Blaze and Grover were also there and, as a reward, Grover and Harry got to have a free run in the park afterwards. We have always known that he had big ears, but it’s really only when Harry is with another pup that we notice just how big they are, and how they flap up and down when he runs.

If one day, he takes off like a bird, we won’t be surprised.

Harry and Grover in the park

November 27, 2008


Harry is certainly showing signs of getting braver and now runs quite a distance ahead of us on free runs. He’s all I’m a brave explorer and I can go anywhere!

Except, of course, when there’s a bridge over the river to be crossed, and then he’s not so sure.

Harry hesitates before crossing the bridge

November 26, 2008

Weekly update – 45 weeks

Although Harry thoroughly enjoyed his week in the Lake District, he dropped back into his normal routine at home very well. We thought he might find it boring and fully expected him to be upset at not sleeping in the same room as us, but as soon as we walked into the house he headed straight for his bed and jumped in with a big sigh. You could almost hear him thinking Aah! There’s nothing quite like my own bed.

Harry lying on the grass aged 45 weeks

Harry has been back to regular training walks in town and with visits to the supermarket, clothes shops and coffee shops. He’s also attended a Pilates class and been on a visit to the local Girl Guide meeting that he loved, which is not surprising considering the amount of fuss and attention he got there.

Since the clocks went back a few weeks ago, Harry has been a little bit wary of fast moving traffic coming towards him, especially when the vehicles have their headlights on. He’s getting more and more confident and is now a lot happier in the dark, although when it’s dusk or raining he can still get a bit concerned.

Harry in his blue Guide Dog coat

Harry’s also started to become much more independent in the last few days. He now no longer waits for us to put him to bed at night, instead when he’s had enough, he’ll take himself off to the kitchen to curl up in his bed. That’s a big bonus for us as we no longer have to strain to hear the TV over the top of his snoring!

November 25, 2008

Hard to get

Harry is always happy to go shopping, unless there’s a shoe shop involved, in which case he’s likely to roll his eyes right to the back of his skull, yawn, lie down on the spot and go Hey guys, wake me up when she’s finished, ok?

Recently we took him on a visit to his favourite kind of shop – a pet shop, only this was a new one to Harry, one he hadn’t visited before. It took us a while before we could actually get him in as he insisted on first introducing himself to the dog waiting outside. There was lots of sniffing and nudging, but his new friend didn’t move. He offered all sorts of behaviour to his new potential playmate, but still it didn’t respond. Harry looked up with a very puzzled look on his face, completely perplexed.

Harry checks out a new friend

Harry has never been confronted with a life-sized model dog before, especially not one wearing a coat like him, and he just couldn’t figure it out.  In the end he decided that, he too would play hard to get, so he turned his back and walked into the shop as if he’d never seen it in the first place.

November 24, 2008

Any excuse

It’s a well known fact here at Number 58 that you can take a pup to the shops but you can’t go shopping with a pup, at least not serious shopping. So when a major supermarket shop became inevitable, Harry was released from duty and dashed off to the local coffee shop with Steve. Any excuse!

Harry in the coffee shop

Harry loves this particular coffee shop, his nose always quivers with pleasure at the scent of the coffee as we walk past, and when we stop to go in his tail always starts to wag with tremendous enthusiasm.

Harry doesn’t drink coffee, but if he did then he’d probably order a tall skinny cappuccino, with a blueberry muffin on the side.

November 21, 2008


Harry had a bit of a love-hate relationship with the water while we were on holiday. He was desperate to play in it, but it was so cold that he didn’t really want to go in.

A couple of ducks swimming around on Grassmere soon changed his mind, he was so curious about them that he just had to follow them into the water.

Harry creeping into the water

Harry set off tentatively at first, trying to creep up on the ducks but they were far too quick for him. Once he was actually in the water the cold didn’t seem to bother him, and after wading in he stood perfectly still just looking around wondering where they’d gone. Harry just couldn’t believe they’d left and didn’t want to stay and play with him.

Harry in the lake

November 20, 2008

A Close Shave

One of Harry’s new experiences on holiday was meeting the local inhabitants. One of the walks we did involved going through two fields both of which were populated with sheep.  He’s seen them before, but never so close.

His first reaction was amazement, they looked like dogs but they weren’t behaving like dogs and they were eating grass! We gave him a few minutes to figure it all out, but he decided they weren’t really worth bothering with. He did, however, take great interest in the smelly deposits they’d left behind. Given Harry’s predilection to such tasty morsels we walked purposefully on, not giving him the chance to sample such delights.

Harry watching sheep

The walk also involved passing through a kissing gate and climbing over a couple of stiles set in the stone walls, another first for Harry. He managed them all really well, but when we approached the last stile, a particularly high one, Harry thought he would show us how it was done and launched himself at it.

Unfortunately, it was higher than even he could manage in one jump and he missed, grazing his tummy in the process. He shook himself off, looked up at the stile in disgust, and then climbed very carefully up the steps. He stopped at the top to have a good look round and he was all  I missed? Me? Never. I meant to do that. Honest!

November 19, 2008

Weekly update – 44 weeks

Harry’s had a fabulous week – he just loves going on holiday, especially to the Lake District. Everywhere we went there were new things for him to do, to sniff and investigate, even the shops were a completely new experience for him as they are so different to the ones he visits at home.

Public transport was also different, Harry loved going on the car ferry but the trips we took on the lake steamer were the best. All week he had been watching the boats, fascinated by them as they came in and out down by the piers, desperate to get on one. When we did eventually take a trip, he thoroughly enjoyed travelling on the top deck where he was able to watch everything as we sailed by, even if he did get a little windswept and his ears flapped in the wind.

Harry posing by the boat

Harry had lots of new and exiting free runs, which invariably involved water at some point, although the lake was so cold that he preferred just to paddle. We had a couple of really windy days which caused some waves on the lake, which really puzzled him. After chasing a few, and then being chased back, he decided he much preferred to dig for stones at the water’s edge instead.

The hotel was a great learning experience for Harry as he met lots of other working Guide Dogs. It was a bit of a shock to him that they didn’t want to play every time he met them, but he soon got used to it and even started to copy their behaviour, lying quietly under the table without even being asked. Harry also got to attend his first disco, he was a bit puzzled at first by all the feet moving around, but he was untroubled by the loud music and soon got bored with watching. He snoozed for most of the evening, occasionally giving out a very loud snore.

Harry made lots of new friends on his holiday, both human and canine, but his favourite was Kirk a black Retriever/Labrador cross. In the evening they would lie quietly together in the bar, but they had the best of times foraging in the leaves together in the free run area of the hotel grounds.

Harry and Kirk foraging in the leaves

November 18, 2008

When the boat comes in

All week Harry was fascinated as we walked by the boats and was desperate to see what they were all about. Earlier in the week we had travelled across Lake Windermere on the car ferry which Harry had really enjoyed, and now every time we walked into Bowness past the piers, he would stand and watch them coming in and out.

Harry at the pier with the boats

Finally on Saturday the weather cleared up and the waves on the lake subsided enough for us to consider a boat trip. As we stood on the pier waiting, Harry just couldn’t believe his luck – at last a boat was coming and he wasn’t being asked to walk past and on into town.

Lake cruiser approaching the pier

We had been warned that some dogs get upset and distressed by the vibration of the boat’s engine so we were fully prepared to do the return journey by bus, but we shouldn’t have worried. Harry took to the boat like a duck to water and after introducing himself to all the passengers on the upper deck, he spent the rest of the journey with his nose literally hanging over the edge, determined not to miss a thing.

Harry - nose hanging over the edge of the boat

November 17, 2008

A Room with a View

Harry has been on holiday again.

We took Harry back to the Lake District, to the same hotel we visited in August, but this time for a whole week. Our intention was to keep Harry’s Blog up to date with his adventures but unfortunately our room, which had fabulous views of Lake Windermere, didn’t have much mobile phone reception. This meant our internet connection was dreadful and uploading photographs became a nightmare, so the whole plan had to be abandoned.

Harry didn’t seem to mind too much though, because as far as he was concerned the room was just perfect.

Not only did he get to sleep at night in the same room as us, but there were windows low enough for him to see out of. Harry was delighted to find that his bed was located right underneath one and spent most of the first afternoon staring out the window, watching the birds and gazing wistfully at the lake, daydreaming of all the exciting things still to come.

Harry gazing out the window