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 24, 2009

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Since Harry left on May 5th, life at Number 58 has not quite been the same.  We have Lacey, our Retired Guide Dog and we’ve boarded a few pups over the summer, but Harry left a huge hole in our lives and we miss the goofy little man dreadfully. On the other hand we are so incredibly proud of him.

I was reading another Puppy Walker’s blog recently and came across the following comment that someone had left. It just about sums up everything we feel about raising a Guide Dog pup:- Your heart will break, and you’ll wonder why you did this to yourself, but then one day you’ll see a dog out working and you’ll remember the real reason you’ve put yourself through this roller coaster ride. And then you’ll be able to be incredibly proud of your pup and the work you did with him, and THEN you’ll be all excited to get your next one and do it all over again.

So, with that in mind, here’s a few photos of our first pup, Alfie that we’d like to share.

Alfie came back to stay with us for a few days over the summer and he very kindly brought his Guide Dog Owner, his wife and her dog Simon. It was absolute privilege to have him back here with us, but to see him working in harness, well, it was unbelievable . We were just so, so proud of him.

Alfie with his owner, his wife and Simon at Leeds Station

Alfie arrives at Leeds station with his owner, his wife and Guide Dog Simon

The two working dogs,  Alfie and Simon, had a great time climbing to the top of  Ilkley Moor

On the top of Ilkley Moor

On the top of Ilkley Moor

and an even better time playing around in the muddy water of the tarn.

Alfie and Simon in the tarn

Alfie and Simon in the tarn

So, we’ve spent the summer getting to know our retired dog Lacey, having other pups to stay, and playing host to our first pup – now it’s time to move forward.

And we are SO excited – a new pup will arrive at Number 58 tomorrow!

We are busy madly puppy-proofing the house as we have become somewhat lax over the last couple of months, but it’s all being done with a smile and a huge sense of anticipation.

The reality is that we just can’t wait!

May 5, 2009

Goodbye Harry

Today is the day we’ve been dreading, the day Harry moves on to his formal training at the new Guide Dog Training Centre in Atherton.

Puppy class was on this morning, but we played truant, preferring to spend the last few hours with him at home and on one last walk.



Harry’s supervisor came to collect him about 30 minutes ago. He walked down the garden path without a backward glance.

We know he will be well looked after and cared for, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

Harry’s purpose in life is to be a loyal guide and companion to someone who needs him more than we do.

We’ve done all we can, the rest is up to him.

April 2, 2009

My Hero

We were recently invited to spend a day with our previous pup Alfie and his owner – an opportunity we just couldn’t refuse. We arranged to meet up in the Lake District at the hotel we have visited with Harry on a number of occasions.

Harry was nearly beside himself with excitement when he realised that not only was in visiting one of his favourite places, but he was actually going to spend time with a “grown up” Guide Dog.

Harry was absolutely besotted with Alfie and copied everything he did, right own to the last detail – it was almost comical to watch. While we had lunch and Alfie lay down under the table, Harry had to squeeze himself into the same small place. When Alfie sat up, Harry sat up. When Alfie lay down again, Harry lay down.

Later in the afternoon, when we all went for a walk the copying continued. When Alfie made his way down to the river, then Harry went down to the river……….

Harry and Alfie in the river

Harry and Alfie in the river

When Alfie stopped running to look at something, then Harry stopped running just to be the same……….

Harry and Alfie on the woodland path

Harry and Alfie on the woodland path

And when Alfie stopped to peer over a wall at something on the other side, Harry was right beside him, looking at it too……….

Harry and Alfie looking over a wall

Harry and Alfie looking over a wall

Harry was never very far from Alfie’s side – it was total hero worship from the moment he set eyes on him and an experience we wouldn’t have missed for the world.

We are so proud of Alfie and only hope Harry turns out half as well.

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

December 8, 2008


On Friday Harry had a very special appointment. He’d been invited to attend the official Foundation Stone laying at the site of the new Guide Dog Training School in Atherton, near Bolton.

The site is still under construction and we were all required to wear high visibility jackets and hard hats, except they didn’t seem to have one in Harry’s size.

New GD Training School

This is the Training School that Harry will eventually attend and where he’ll learn all the skills necessary to become at qualified Guide Dog. Hopefully Harry will be one of the first pups to attend the new centre.

Foundation Stone

The Foundation Stone was laid by the Culture Secretary, the Rt. Hon. Andy Burnham, MP.  Harry, never one to miss an opportunity to have his photograph taken, was more than happy to pose with him (pictured right) for the press photographers.

Harry with the Rt. Hon. Andy Burnham

And Harry’s fee for all this hard work?  He had a new, well deserved, roasted bone when he got home.

December 4, 2008

The white stuff

This morning the promised snow arrived and when we opened the back door for Harry he got the shock of his life. He stopped dead in his tracks, the look on his face was a mixture of horror and amazement – similar to Scooby Doo when he sees a ghost.

It took him a few moments to collect himself, then he bounded out to see what this white stuff was that had invaded his world.

Harry playing n the snow

Everything that was familiar to him suddenly looked different and needed to be fully investigated. As he nudged the branches of a small tree, a lump of snow fell off and landed on his nose. Harry was outraged.

Harry investigates the snow on the tree

Harry had a great time with the snow and spent ages playing in the garden, slipping and sliding around. By the time it came to go out to the shops he’d figured out how to walk on it and trotted down the street like a Siberian Husky.

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 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