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 9, 2008

Bed and breakfast

Harry went on a sleepover yesterday.

We were helping with the annual bonfire and firework display in the village and didn’t really want to leave Harry on his own while all the fireworks were going off, so he went to stay overnight with another puppy walker.

This morning, when we went to collect him, Harry was very nonplussed to see us. He’d had a great time and showed no sign of wanting to leave. And who could blame him?  His bed had been given prime position in the kitchen, right in front of the Aga and Harry looked very much at home. Who says it’s a dog’s life?

Harry installed in front of the Aga

October 27, 2008

Surfin’ Safari

No trip “up north” would be complete without a trip to the beach – Harry’s idea of heaven, so on Saturday morning we took we took him down to Tynemouth beach.

Harry, inspired by tales of local celebrity Harvey the surfing Labrador, decided that anything Harvey could do, he could do better. After a good look round the beach to make sure Harvey wasn’t around to steal the limelight, Harry bravely strode out into the surf and selected his wave.

Harry striding out into the waves

But as the wave crested and then broke, Harry lost his nerve decided that maybe surfing wasn’t really for him. He ran back to the shore as fast as could, the wave nipping at his heels all the way.

Harry frantically outrunning his wave

As he recovered his composure back on the beach, Harry decided to stick with what he does best – digging holes in the sand. Besides, he doesn’t have a surfboard, and everyone knows you can’t really surf without a board.

From now on Harry’s going to let Harvey have all the glory and he’ll stick to watching from a distance – on YouTube.

October 24, 2008

New horizons

Although Harry really enjoys his free runs, it’s usually on the moors, along the river, at the nature reserve or in the woods.

This evening, as we were staying up in the North East, we took Harry for a free run along some farm tracks.  Open farmland is not something he normally sees, so he got a bit of a shock when he saw a recently harvested cornfield for the first time. He didn’t really know what to do. He stood and looked at it for a while and then he went to investigate, but it was much too prickly underfoot.

So he did what any self respecting puppy would do, he found the ditch that ran along the edge, dived in and ran the full length of the field, emerging at the other end totally covered in mud.

Harry at the edge of the cornfield

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

August 26, 2008

City Boy

Harry went to the city today on a big adventure.

Harry has always been very noise sensitive and can still be a little skittish when there are loud noises he can’t immediately identify, so this was always going to be a testing time for him.

The station was heaving with people heading home from a music festival and there was some really noisy construction work going on, but Harry handled it all very well. He strode right through the station into the city centre just like a regular commuter, although he was more than happy when we stopped not far from the station for a coffee.

On his walk through the city Harry stayed alert and focused all the time and didn’t seem to give a hoot about all the people charging right in front of him as they rushed around during their lunch break.

Harry might have stayed cool, calm and collected while in the city, but when he got home he took to his bed and stayed there for the rest of the afternoon.

Chilling out

August 19, 2008

Olympic Bronze

Harry took his Kennel Club Good Citizen Bronze Award today.  It’s not quite like an Olympic event – the test is non-competitive – but it felt like it. The aim of the scheme is to produce happy, contented dogs, which are well behaved and under the control of the handler. The certificate is only awarded when the required standard has been reached.

Parts of the test include walking on the lead without distractions, walking through a door or gate correctly, taking a controlled walk among other people and dogs, and finally staying in one position on command without moving for one minute while we stood five paces away. This last discipline worried us. Some days Harry can be an incredible fidget and just can’t stay still for 5 seconds, other days he can stay immobile for ages.

It turned out to be one of his wriggle-free days – Harry managed it without any trouble and now has another rosette to add to his collection.

Congratulations go to Harry and the other 6 pups and dogs that passed today. Well done!

Bronze Award Certificate and Rosette

July 31, 2008

Checking out

Harry loved staying at the hotel we visited, and naturally he managed to charm both staff and customers alike.

He became a firm favourite with another visiting family who had two small children, and after breakfast on both days, he had so much fuss from them that it was difficult to extract him.

When it came time to check out, Harry made his position clear. He just didn’t want to leave.

Harry checking out

July 28, 2008

Gala Day

Over the weekend we travelled down to Warwickshire to attend the annual Guide Dog’s Gala Day at Stoneleigh Park. There were literally thousands of people and hundreds of dogs there.  The site was huge and seemed to go on for miles, with all sorts of things happening from display teams and live music, to a spectacular fly past from an RAF Spitfire. It was definitely the busiest and noisiest event Harry has ever attended.

We were a bit concerned that Harry might be a little overwhelmed by it all, especially as it was so hot, but he didn’t seem to mind one bit and had a great time. There were lots of huge trees and plenty of indoor areas so we took lots of breaks and sat in the shade. We had hoped to meet up with Harry’s mum Jazz and her owners but unfortunately on the day Jazz wasn’t too well so she didn’t make it.

We got over our disappointment quite quickly though – on a whim we entered Harry into one of the “Best in Show” classes and we were stunned but delighted when he won 2nd Prize for Best Condition Puppy (six months and over).

We always knew he was special – but now he has a rosette to prove it!

Harry and his Rosette

July 18, 2008

Country Club Pup

Harry, along with a few other Guide Dog pups, attended a golf event at the local Country Club yesterday. He had a fabulous time greeting all the golfers at the 10th Tee, and when they stopped for refreshments, Harry turned on the charm and got lots of fuss and attention. He was so fascinated by all the golfers teeing off that he sat quietly for about three hours just observing.

Early on in the day the Course Marshall offered to take us for a trip round the course in a golf buggy, but Harry wasn’t too keen. After a few teams had passed through, Harry got a little braver and more curious so we took up the Course Marshall’s kind offer of a ride. Harry had an absolute blast and after that we just couldn’t keep him away, every time a buggy came through Harry thought it was for him.

Harry was so determined to take another ride that while some golfers were on the tee, he jumped on their empty one and tried to drive it himself.

Up front in the golf buggy

June 26, 2008

Not impressed

At the weekend we took Harry to the carnival in a nearby town. It was one of those grey Yorkshire days when it rained and rained, and then rained some more, but everyone was in excellent spirits.

We waited for the parade to pass and then joined the back of the following crowd to the field where the main event was to take place. The only thing going slower than the pedestrians was a mammoth steam engine which followed us all the way. Harry certainly wasn’t impressed by this noisy lump of metal and snorted at it, in reply the engine gave the loudest hoot ever. Not to be outdone, Harry stuck his nose in the air and strode purposefully away. If he couldn’t get the better of it, then he was just going to ignore it.

Being chased by a steam engine