Hey all you puppydogs and owners. It’s Ushi here. I managed to sneak onto the computer-hope mum doesn’t tell the other people. I thought i’d quickly introduce myself….
Well I was born on the 20th of February 2009. I spent the first 6 weeks with my mother, and then went to someone called a “puppy walker”. Whatever they are lol. This “puppy walker” taught me how to behave, and how to go to the toilet outside, and basically how to socialise with other puppies and doggies, and get me used to all new situations, like shops and stuff. Man that was fun.
When I was a year old though, I had to leave my family, and go off to train in guide doggy school over in Scotland. Some of the work was really hard here, but I knew I had to get used to it, if i was going to become a successful guide dog. I suppose you could say that it was my dream to become a guide dog! Anyway guide doggy school lasted for about 2 or 3 months, I think.
A woman then came over to Scotland to get me. I was going to a new place called “Northern ireland”. Intreagued, I asked some of my guide doggy friends, and they were going over too. I was really confused! We all liked it here, so why did we have to leave? On the boat over, we were all chatting, and one of my friends started joking that there were “little green men who had pots of gold at the end of rainbows” in this new place. Whatever all that means. I hope we don’t come across one of those men though!
We were each partnered to what we thought was our “new mums”! The woman who had me taught me and my friends lots more work, which lasted for about 10 weeks. This was to make sure we would deffinetly be good guide dogs. While we were doing this training, which is apparently called “advanced training”, I couldn’t help thinking “we are deffinetly going to be good guide dogs, so why do we have to do all this stuff.”. Then part of me thought “Are you my new mummy for good?”.
I first met my “new mummy” about half way through my “advanced training”. We had to travel down in the car to meet her. Another person traveled down with us, who was from the team that my current mummy worked with.
When we got there, my mum and the other woman got out, and left me in the back of the car. Was I not working today? Then I saw them taking a harness out of the back of the car, and getting someone to hold onto it. I thought “That’s my harness! You can’t hold onto it without me? You are not a guide dog!”. I had to keep quiet though, so I just lay down.
Eventually, they came and got me. Mum gave this new person my lead, and put my harness on. I had to walk nice and gently beside this new person, but my mum had a big lead attached, to make me feel a little more secure. The new person said she found the little lead attached to my collar rather awkward, so they took it. She had to keep pulling back on the harness! I thought “I haven’t done anything! Why are you correcting me?”, but I heard her say that she couldn’t feel me or something lol.
We eventually went into a coffee shop, where I had to lie down quietly. I was positioned beside this new person. Mum left me with her for a few minutes, but she told me to “stay” unfortunately, so I still had to lie there. We then did some more work when we came out, before getting back to the car.
I did enjoy the walk, but then again, I just love working.
We left shortly after that, but the new person had to get a picture of me. So I had to look pritty (which isn’t hard to do), and stand beside her.
Mum braught me back to my new person a couple of days later, but I had a different handle on. It seemed wider, and went on the side of my harness, rather than the top. Thank goodness. The new person seemed to like it too-she didn’t pull back on me so much! This new person seemed to be pritty smart. Mum didn’t have to tell her that much about how to walk with me, like how to hold the handle and stuff. She seemed to pick up quite a bit, and seemed to be paying a huge amount of attention, which was good.
A couple of days later, mum and one of the other dogs mums came down for a “matching visit”. Matching visit? What is that? I mean why am I being matched? What does that mean? It was with my new person again. They wanted to check my speed, and that she was able to control me, which unfortunately she did, so I couldn’t sniff some grass. Pooh. Why did she have to spoil things?
When we got back to mums car, the new person went to rub me under my chin (I love that), but she put her fingers in my mouth lol. I don’t think she can see. She then found my chin, and i just lapped it up. I heard mum and the other woman telling my person that she was going to go on “class”. Oooooooh can I come too?
I spent another two weeks with my mum, and then we went off to a hotel. We all stayed in mums room, for part of the first day. So me and my two other buddies had a good play and rump around. I don’t know where my new person was, and why we were here.
At some point on the first day, mum braught me into my new person’s room and left me there. Why? Where was she going? I started pacing around the room for a while, then lay down under the table. The person kept calling me, but I didn’t really want to know her. She eventually found me under the table, and started talking to me, and patting me. I just let her do it, as I knew she would eventually get bored. I soon heard mum coming back, so got up to greet her. The new person said bye to me, and then I went into mums room again.
The next day, mum braught me back into the new persons room. She braught in all my things, like my bed and all. Was I leaving my old mum? Nooooooooooo!! After mum left, I just stood in front of my new person for a while while she talked to me, and petted me.
She started to get me to sit at doors and all, but I already knew how to do that! I tried rushing through a couple of times, but she gave me a lead correction, and made me wait. She then started to feed me and all. I still didn’t know what was happening lol.
I was really evil though and didn’t spend for her, but I saw my old mum around the hotel, so would only go for her. I thought that if i put on a sad face that the new person would notice, but she didn’t notice at all. Damn. Eventually I did go though. Mum kept going on at me, and the new person kept doing it too.
When we started working together, my new person kept hanging back on me. I felt like saying “I can’t guide you if you’re way back there”, but mum did that for me. The new person kept saying that she thought I was going to push her off a kerb or something. Why would I do that? I wouldn’t be a good guide dog if I did that!
Over the next few days, mum started to step back, and let my new person take over. Man, but did she ask mum alot of questions! I think mum told her that everything would be taught though, so she wouldn’t ask so much.
There was one part where I saw a cat across the road, and didn’t listen to what my new mum said at all. She didn’t even notice! But then my old mum took me off the kerb, and gave me a massive massive correction with the lead. I didn’t like that at all. I had to be a good girl after that though. Especially as mum had to use a really really really cross voice!
When we first went for our first “free run”, it was really really exciting. I got really excited, and my new mum couldn’t control me. She had to keep stopping me, and then she had to make me sit loads. I was eventually allowed to play with my friends again!! Yay!!
Over the next few days, My new mum grew in confidence handling me. I couldn’t get away with as much though, which was bad. We went into busier places, and even at one point went into another coffee shop, so that mum could learn how to control me.
There was a point where we were doing a big complicated walk, before we went for another free run. It was our last day at the hotel before we went to mums home. There was a part where mum could “feel” an obsticle before she got to it. She hesitated for ages, and I tried to tell her that I would guide her around it. She eventually let me guide her, but she still seemed very nervous. When we got back to the car, she didn’t look too happy. She was in the car, and I heard her crying in the front seat. I was in the back of the car, so I couldn’t get to her. My old mum comforted her loads which was good. She seemed to be very upset about that obsticle, and because she hesitated at it. I was thinking as I heard her that it was okay for her to hesitate, especially when the obsticle was so big. I mean if i couldn’t see I would do that too. She seemed to cheer up after that which was good. I hate when people get upset!
To help mum manage my excitement levels when I got to the park for the free run, I had to wear a thing which I don’t really like called a “Halty”. It goes over my nose, and it means I can’t pull as much. I can’t help it when I get excited! But I suppose if it means that it helps mum, I don’t really mind that much. At least she took it off me when I was doing the run which was good. Plus it meant that mum seemed alot happier.
When we got home, I didn’t have to use that horrible pen to spend in. I had gr’r’r’r’r’r’r’r’rass!!! I got to have a good sniff about the house, and got to go spend in the grass, which I did no problem. Shortly afterwards, mums other pet dog was braught out on the lead. I thought “yay! another doggy!”. I was on the lead too, and my old mum was holding me. I tried to sniff this new doggy, but she did loads of growling towards me. I came up to mum, and really leaned into her. She said it was alright and all. My old mum suggested that maybe we would introduce us off lead, so that was cool. Well I just went to the bottom of the garden, and the other dog was really really in my face, and wouldn’t let me go. Luckily, mums dad came and got the other dog, but all I wanted to do was come back to mum! My old mum suggested that we were just kept apart, which was brilliant.
I was then taken upstairs to see my new bedroom, and where I would sleep. I liked it alot, as I had loads of water to drink, and mums sister was there, and it just seemed nice. I had a big long chill for ages, and mum didn’t leave me at all for the first couple of days, just to make sure I was settled. I didn’t complain at all about that.
When my old mum and the woman who was with us in the hotel came back, we went for a walk first of all, and then we went to a park with the other dog. They wanted to see if we could be introduced again. I didn’t like the sound of that at all. But we were going to a park!! Free run!! We were both on the lead again, and mum stayed with the other woman while I went with my old mum. The other dog was so so hyper, and they kept trying to get closer, but I said no, and wouldn’t go at all. I kept running to mum and hid behind her legs. We decided to go home after that, as it just wasn’t going to work. We were to be kept apart again, which was good. I really didn’t like this other dog. She really scared me! Why was she so hyper? She wasn’t like any other dogs I could play with.
About a day after that, mum was getting ready for the morning, and she was going to feed me. Mum’s mum came in, and we forgot that the other dog was still upstairs, as mums little brother liked having the other dog near him. Well before we could all know what had happened, the other dog rushed in, and started attacking me. Mums mum quickly got her out, and then mum came over, and she was shaking alot, and she felt me to make sure I was alright. I didn’t eat all of my food, because I was quite shocked at what had happened. The other dog had left a small puncture wound on my neck, but it was my old mum who spotted it. It wasn’t that bad, but it was painful! So we went off to the vets, just to make sure it wasn’t infected or anything. The vet just told mum to keep an eye on it, which was good. I still wanted to rush out of there though. But mum got me back though which was bad. I hate the vets. Well it’s not that I hate them, but I just don’t like getting my anal glands squeezed or anything.
Over the next couple of weeks, mum got more confident with me and her routes. There was one point where we were doing it with no help at all, but then I saw my old mum in her car, and wanted to go and say Hi. Mum didn’t let me though.
There were a couple of times too where mum was a silly billy and was in the road for too long! She wasn’t paying attention, I think. I straightened up at one point, but she kept pulling me to the right. I knew where we were going! Trust me, mum, I know we need to go a certain way to get to home!
A couple of days ago when we had finished one of our walks, my old mum told mum that she and I had qualified! Wow, what does that mean? I think it means mum keeps the harness!! Yay!!! You can work me now all on your own!! My old mum and the other woman told me that I must be good since I was now qualified. I wasn’t a puppy any more. At one point, mum and my old mum and the other woman were chatting loads, but I wasn’t getting attention! I put my paw up on mums knee, and she was like “get your paw down”, but I knew she couldn’t be mad with me, since all I wanted was some love! She gave me a big big pat, and it felt good. I said goodbye to my old mum, and then we went out on a walk on our own. It was just a small short route. We got to a particular point where there were a couple of small “Yappy” dogs, as mum called them. She turned round really really quickly and told me straight on. I couldn’t, because there was a bin, and I felt so rushed. She could hear the dogs coming and I think it panicked her a bit. She talked to a man who helped her, and she asked loads of times if the dogs were away. She worries too much! I knew they were away! Because she rushed then, I felt really rushed, and then I got distracted. She then had to correct me. It was kind of your fault for rushing!!
The rest of our walks went well, and mum didn’t walk out into the road again when she crossed which was good. She still gets nervous when doing the small route, and my old mum yesterday had to make her do it lol. I rushed a bit yesterday, but today, I didn’t rush, but she says that her heart is still racing though! I hope she gets used to it soon. Those dogs are so horrible, and I can understand where she is coming from. If you can’t see then it’s gonna be hard. She just needs to trust me a bit more I think.
I also got my teeth brushed, which is lovely!!!
The one thing I don’t like is that I used to be able to run about in the garden and do my business just nicely. I have started to dig though, and can’t resist running round the garden loads while mum is trying to get me. She has stuck me on the lead though, so I can’t do that. Pooh! She is going to tell my old mum on Monday when she comes out to see how we’re doing. I hope she doesn’t shout at me! I can’t help digging!! I am a dog!
Anyway….my paws are starting to ake. Plus I think mum wants on again. It was fun writing on here, and I know mum has probably wrote alot of this down, but I couldn’t wait to introduce myself! Take care, and hopefully I can come on here again soon. Oh before I go, there is this one thing that bugs me. Mums computer talks, but it doesn’t sound like a human talking. It is a man talking, but it sounds really weird. Why is that? Why does it talk? Is there someone sitting in the computer telling mum what she is typing? Cool! Can I meet him? Can any of you guys explain?
I can’t wait to hear what you guys are all like!!!
Waggy tails, lickies, and woofs,