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.

September 16, 2008

The bigger the better

Harry had such a great time when we last took him on holiday to the beach that we had to take him back. So we packed him up and headed back to Alnmouth, Northumberland.

This time though, it looked a little different. Following all the heavy rain and flooding in the area, the beach was littered with debris, from fence panels and house bricks to large trees, all of it had been washed down river and out to sea, finally being deposited on the beach. Harry thought it was marvellous, there was just so much to investigate. When he wasn’t sniffing, he was wrestling with large pieces of seaweed, he just had so much to chose from. He finally settled on a stick. It wasn’t really a stick, more of a branch, but that didn’t bother Harry, it was his.

Harry and his stick

September 15, 2008


Introducing Burley, the latest Guide Dog puppy to arrive in the area.


In the circles that he moves in, Harry is now the oldest pup, a position he’s not particularly comfortable with. He much preferred it when he was the baby of the group, now he has to be the grown up, the sensible one. Harry doesn’t really do sensible.

September 11, 2008


Harry has had the camera waved in front of him since his first day at Number 58, and now whenever the camera appears, there’s this look he gets on his face, and he’s all ‘Oh no. Here she goes again with that THING’.  But Harry is a bright boy, and knows that there’s usually a reward.

Sometimes though, Harry is almost too clever and when the camera appears, he will actually anticipate the behaviour required, like a true professional. Ever the optimist, he’s always hopeful that he will be rewarded with a food related treat. This photo is a classic case. Harry’s thought process obviously went along these lines –  ‘Hmmm. This is a scenic spot. If I sit here and pose then maybe there’ll be a treat. A big treat. Maybe even a biscuit. A whole biscuit. Just for me’!

Harry the Poser

September 10, 2008

Weekly update – 34 weeks

Harry’s had a great week this week, as well as all his usual trips out he’s been on a free run with his little pal Grover (who just about managed to keep up with Harry’s long legs) and he’s been back to the big city again.

Reclining by the window

Harry was very calm and focused while we were in Leeds, he didn’t get too distracted by all the loud noises and heavy traffic, so we stayed longer than last time. He did get a bit of a fright though – we stopped and asked him to relieve himself at the side of the road, then just as he started, an ambulance went past and turned on it’s flashing lights and siren. Poor Harry completely forgot what he was supposed to be doing and looked around, aghast at the strange and very loud noise. Needless to say, we had to stop for toilet duty again about 10 minutes later, once Harry had recovered his composure.

Apart from that one little incident, Harry had a great time in the city. He loved the fact that it was busy and walked around wagging his tail and showing off, so that people would admire him!

Harry’s been to the vet again today, this time for a rash on his neck. It’s been there a while and at first we though it had been caused by his collar rubbing when it got wet, but it hasn’t got any better. Harry started to scratch it yesterday so we thought it best to let the vet have a look.  He gave him an injection of an anti-inflammatory to take away Harry’s urge to scratch, and he has tablets to take for the next 10 days.

Harry’s Supervisor has also given us a different collar for him to try and help stop any rubbing. It’s a very posh leather one, instead of the fabric snap-lock one that most Guide Dog puppies have.  Although it fits him like a glove, when we compared it to his first baby collar, which was also leather, we got quite a shock.

Big Collar, Little Collar

It’s hard to believe Harry’s neck was ever that small, so while we were at the vet’s today we weighed him. He’s now 33.7 kg – is there no end to his growth and weight gain?

September 9, 2008


Harry has always been fascinated obsessed by stones, it was the first of his unique personality traits that he developed.

Harry and his pebbles - aged 3 months

On any given evening we’ll find a minimum of three stones deposited on the rug in the front room. We have no idea where he gets them from, or how he gets them in there without us noticing. Harry has become very wily when it comes to his stones – he’s learnt how to carry them in his mouth with his jaws clamped shut, occasionally there’ll be a giveaway lump sticking out the side of his mouth, but most of the time he gets them past us.

Another one of Harry’s personality traits is stubbornness. He just doesn’t know when to give up, and he was certainly not going to give up with this stone. He wanted it and he wanted it really badly. His dogged determination was astonishing, he tried every which way to pick it up but it was just too big, even for him.

Trying to get the huge stone

September 8, 2008

The One With No Name

Out of all of Harry’s new toys we have struggled to give this one a name.

Harry and his new toy

Most of his toys have names, this is not because we’re crazy (although that’s debatable) but because it just makes our lives simpler. We always try to rotate Harry’s toys so that he doesn’t get bored with them, so a typical conversation here at Number 58 will go along the lines of ‘Which toy did Harry have yesterday?’ and the answer to that question could be Spike, Ducky, Sammy or Nelly etc. If they didn’t have names then the answer would probably go ‘Oh, you know. The round one, the thing with the different coloured furry spikes on it.’ Answering ‘Spike’ is just so much easier.

The other reason for all the toys to have names is that we often play hide and seek with them. If Harry is looking particularly bored or wants to play at an inappropriate time, we’ll ask him to ‘Find Sammy’ or ‘Find Nelly’‘. This is a very useful game and can mean the difference between catching the end of a TV programme or not. Harry has brilliant timing and usually gets bored when there’s only 5 minutes or so left of the film we’ve been watching for the last 2 hours.

But this particular new addition has us totally dumbfounded. At first glance it looks like three runner beans just waiting to be picked,

The One With No Name

then again, it could be almost half an octopus, and after a while it starts to look like a trio of Little Green Men from planet Mars. Has anyone got any ideas for a name for this thing?

September 5, 2008


Over the last day or two a lot of people have told us that Harry seems to have grown just in the last week. While it’s difficult for us to comment as we’re with him every day, it does seem as if he’s all legs at the moment, sometimes even he doesn’t seem to know where they are and he ends up like Bambi, with all four of them going in different directions at the same time.

This prompted us to look back at some of the earlier photos of Harry, to see if he’d been through a ‘leggy’ stage before, or whether things had always grown in proportion (with the exception of his ears, of course, as they’ve always been huge), and we came across this one taken way back on 30 April.

Looking out the window on tiptoe

Harry has always been the most inquisitive of pups and loves to see what’s going on, he always watches whatever it is we’re doing, even if it’s something as mundane as peeling potatoes.  When there’s nothing happening inside the house he will turn his attention to the world outside and just watch. He’s always on the look out for something, anything that might be interesting, it could be a car, a pedestrian or even a bird, it doesn’t really matter to Harry, he just likes to watch.

Now though, Harry finds it a whole lot easier to look out of the window, no longer does he need to balance his front paws on the window sill. In fact, after he’s been there a while he’s even been known to rest his chin on it.

Looking out the window

September 4, 2008

Nelly the Elephant

Another one of Harry’s new toys is an elephant designed especially for dogs. This toy has all of Harry’s favourite ingredients – it’s furry, has a piece of rope attached, it makes a noise (thankfully not a squeak, more of a rattle) and best of all, it has a tail. We’re convinced Harry actually thinks it has two tails, as he’s never met anything with a trunk before.

Harry does like to customise his toys wherever possible and Nelly has been no exception. The first thing to go were the two pieces of black felt representing the eyes, next up was the fur on the top of her head – it was long and floppy on Saturday, but has since been trimmed and now resembles more of a crew cut. It doesn’t bother Harry though – he loves her just the same.

Harry and a customised Nelly

September 3, 2008

Weekly update – 33 weeks

Harry has had a relatively routine week this week, it has mostly been been his regular trips out and a few free runs, although he did have a visit from his Supervisor on Monday and Puppy Class on Tuesday.

Harry investigating the camera

Puppy Class is a time of both great excitement and frustration for Harry, he loves to go and see all his pals but he gets really frustrated that he’s not allowed to play with them. It takes a while for him to realise that he’s there to work not play. Harry has now moved up to the ‘Big Pups Class’ where a lot more is expected of the pups, so it took all of his concentration to stay focused and do as he was asked. The class this week included lots of obedience work off the lead, but Harry was a star and handled himself very well indeed, completing all the exercises without any fuss.

Now that Harry’s growth rate has slowed he seems to sleep much less through the day and so it takes much more to keep him occupied. Quite often Harry is happy to amuse himself provided he has toys to play with so we had an outing to the pet shop at the weekend to stock up with some new toys. Harry loves these trips to the pet shop as there are always some new and interesting tasty treats at the check out, which he always gets to sample. Then, when we get home there is always something exciting that appears out of the bag, although on this trip Harry couldn’t wait and tried to empty the contents of the bag while we were still in the car park. Patience is not one of his strong points.

Harry investigating the camera

Although Harry loved the new toys he got this week, they were all over shadowed by the bone he was given. No doubt, come December, he’ll be writing to the man in the red suit to ask for another.

September 2, 2008

Sammy Snake

Over the weekend we took Harry on a bit of a shopping spree, to his favourite place – the pet shop.

Apart from one or two of his existing toys he has outgrown them all. They’re either too small from him to play with, so he gets bored and frustrated, or they’re made from soft rubber which he could probably destroy in under 6 seconds. The ones designed especially for dogs to chew on have never really interested Harry, he’d much rather have his favourite bone.

First up we introduced Harry to Sammy Snake. This was Harry’s choice in the pet shop, the one he sniffed at while it was still on the shelf and the one he tried to get out of the bag as we walked across the car park. Sammy has proved to be a big hit, when we got home Harry carried him round the house for hours, not letting him out of his sight, not even for a moment.

Despite the fact that we gave it a good examination before we bought it, we still didn’t spot the one thing that Harry found as soon as he started to play.  It has a squeaker in it.  A very loud squeaker.  And Harry, of course, just loves the noise it makes.

Harry and Sammy Snake