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.

January 15, 2009


Harry continues to improve, and although he’s not particularly fond of the special easily digestible dog food provided by the vet. He is eating it, but under protest and only because there’s nothing else on offer.

To be honest, we don’t blame him, it doesn’t smell very appetising at all. Another puppy walker suggested warming it in the microwave first as her pup had preferred it that way. Well, he did stop viewing it with such disgust, but he’s still not exactly rushing to his bowl when he’s given the command to eat, and now the whole kitchen smells of it.

Harry is a lot brighter though, and there are signs that the mischievous pup we know and love is about to return, but for now he’s just taking it easy.

And that means “No photos puhleeze – I’m not looking my best”!

January 14, 2009

Weekly update – 52 weeks

Harry is just 2 days short of being a year old, and now weighs a mighty 36.2 kg – quite a difference from the 5 kg little ball of fluff that came to live with us last March.

Harry’s week started off really well with an overnight stay in a hotel in Leigh. He settled in really well, behaved well in the restaurant and loved going up and down in the lift. He made himself very much at home, both in our room and in the hotel bar – especially in the hotel bar.

Harry relaxing in the hotel bar

Harry relaxing in the hotel bar

Harry also had a couple of shopping trips in town and a trip into Leeds city centre. He loves going into the city as he really enjoys all the hustle and bustle, but mostly because he gets to visit the busy coffee shop in the station where he can lie under the table and watch the world go by.

Harry’s week started to go downhill a short while after when he developed a poorly tummy. An examination by the vet showed he was very tender, an x-ray and some blood tests followed, all of which proved inconclusive. Harry appeared to be feeling very sorry for himself for the next couple of days, he didn’t have a whole lot of energy and was sleeping an awful lot.

We did everything we could to try and make things easier for him and he got to travel in total luxury in the back of the car, complete with his duvet, towel and water bowl, while our weekly supermarket shopping perched precariously on the back seat.

It’s a dog’s life!

Harry in the boot of the car

Harry in the boot of the car

January 13, 2009

He’s back

We finally brought Harry back home from the vet’s about 7 pm last night with the news was that both the x-ray and blood tests showed nothing untoward. That said, there is obviously something wrong, as when the vet re-examined his abdomen while sedated, he still flinched. We left armed with 2 days supply of a special easily digestible dog food (to be given four times a day), a kaolin based medicine that looks a lot like chocolate sauce, and another appointment for first thing Wednesday morning.

We had been warned that Harry was still a little dopey and would probably sleep if off for an hour or so. 1½ hours later he managed to rouse himself from his bed and then stood looking totally stunned in the middle of the kitchen floor, crying pitifully.  All attempts to take him for a toilet stop in the garden failed, he didn’t want to go out the door. We tried to tempt him with some of the special tinned food we’d been given, but he turned his nose up at it. We were at a complete loss. Finally he settled down in the front room for another sleep and that’s when we discovered his bed was soaking wet – he’d peed in it while he was asleep.

Another hour passed, and this time when he woke he was hungry and tentatively managed to eat some food, topped off with the chocolate sauce medicine. He even managed to stagger outside to go to the toilet, although his back legs were still a very wobbly.

This morning Harry was much brighter and wolfed down his breakfast (having first viewed the new food with great suspicion), but he’s been sleeping an awful lot. Whether this is because he still doesn’t feel 100%, the after effects of the sedative or because the medicine is making him feel groggy, we have no idea.

We’re hoping there will be no discomfort tomorrow when the vet examines him again and that the special diet and medicine has worked it’s magic.

Fingers crossed.

January 12, 2009

Leaving Harry

Over the weekend Harry wasn’t exactly his normal self. This morning he had a touch of diarrhoea so we made an appointment for the vet. We duly attended at the appointed hour but we weren’t ready for what happened next.

Not such a happy pup

Not such a happy pup

During the examination Harry showed signs of being very tender around the abdomen –  so tender in fact, that the vet expressed a desire to x-ray him immediately. He was worried that Harry had eaten something he shouldn’t have and it was causing an obstruction. The vet led us through all the possibilities – stones, toys, pieces of bone, he even asked us if we had any socks missing.

We had to leave Harry at the vets as he needed to be sedated for the x-ray. We weren’t sure what would happen next – it all depended on what they found.

So we went home without him, to sit and wait for the phone call. And count our socks.

January 9, 2009

Going up

Harry has ridden in a lift on a number of occasions but we were amazed with his reaction to the one in the hotel while we were staying there. After we checked in, he set off purposefully across the lobby heading straight for the lifts, then sat patiently to wait.

When it arrived and the doors opened, he walked straight in, walked around in a circle so that he was facing the correct way and then sat down again. He was so comfortable with the experience that it looked as though he’d been travelling on it every day of his life.

In fact, we wouldn’t have been surprised if he’d pressed the button for our floor.

Peeping round the door

Peeping round the door

January 8, 2009

He’s so vain

We had an overnight stay in a hotel earlier this week and took Harry along for the experience. He settled in the room really well, but spent an awful lot of time in the area next to the door. It too us a while to work it out, but eventually we realised he was actually looking at himself in the mirror on the wall.

Harry preening in the mirror

Harry preening in the mirror

January 7, 2009

Weekly update – 51 weeks

At the start of this week Harry was still on holiday and although he was visiting different shops, cafes and garden centres in a different town, he still remembered all his training and behaved really well.

Harry was also having lots of fun on the beach, especially when some friends came to visit us and he found a new playmate – someone that was prepared to paddle in the sea with him and wave large bits of seaweed around for him to chase after.

Harry chasing seaweed

Harry chasing seaweed

Once we got back home, the first thing Harry did was charge straight through to the kitchen, where he threw himself down on his bed with a sigh. We could almost hear him thinking “Ah, there’s nothing quite like my own bed!”

Harry settled back into his normal routine with no problem at all,  we thought he might miss going for a free run on the beach every day, but it didn’t happen. He was more than happy to go on his training walks and really enjoyed being out and about in town again, especially when it meant travelling by train.

This week we also took Harry on a visit to see our previous pup Alfie who qualified with his owner back in July. Although they had never met before they got on really well, and hopefully Harry picked up a few hints and tips from him.

Of course, being back home meant that he got to see his pal, Guide Dog pup Blaze. She is starting to look so grown up now and has a habit of tilting her head in a very flirty kind of way. Sometimes it almost looks as though she’s fluttering her eyelashes – a fact that is not entirely lost on Harry.

Blaze looking cute

Blaze looking cute

January 6, 2009

Laptop pup

Harry has long had a fascination with the TV, especially when there’s a wildlife programme showing, but recently he’s also started to take a keen interest in the laptop.

When he’s bored with whatever is showing on the display he tries to help by pressing his chin on the keyboard.

If he carries on like this he might even end up doing his own blog.

Harry at the laptop computer

Harry at the laptop computer

January 5, 2009

When Harry met…

Over the weekend Harry got to meet our previous pup Alfie for the very first time. Alfie is now a working Guide Dog and appears so grown up and confident, not at all like the little pup he was when he was with us at Number 58.

That’s Alfie on the left – he lives with his owner, his owner’s wife and her Guide Dog, Simon.

Alfie, Simon and Harry meet and greet

Alfie, Simon and Harry meet and greet

Harry, not to be outdone by two perfectly behaved Guide Dogs, remembered his manners – there was no pulling on the lead or giddy behaviour and the initial greeting went off really smoothly.

Once they were all in the house and off their leads then it was time to play. Harry, of course, managed to get himself right in the middle of things.

Alfie, Harry and Simon playing

Alfie, Harry and Simon playing

January 2, 2009


Harry enjoyed taking a different toy down to the beach everyday to play with. Mostly he like to carry them along the shore and then drop them in  the water, but when it came to the frisbee he really didn’t get the concept of it flying – he tried to bury it instead.

Trying to bury his frisbee

Trying to bury his frisbee