The weekend just gone I spent with 2 wonderful Puppy Walkers who I’m very proud to call my friends and it has prompted me to write a blog post about the work and effort they put in to a puppy for up to 16 months! After this post will lead me on to Brood bitch and stud dog holders before going onto boarders, volunteer fundraisers and guide dog staff.
I know many Puppy Walkers and I’m always in awe of the amazing work they do. Their lives revolve around the pup and those I know put their heart and soul into it to make sure the pup has the foundations which are so very important to becoming calm, confident guide dogs.
Puppy Walkers have to go out in the rain, hail, snow and sun so the pup is used to all weathers which they are likely to encounter when they begin guiding.
The pups go everywhere to get them used to the smells, sights and sounds of different environments and the distractions that come from entering these environments.
Just a few months ago I spent some time with one of these PWs and her pup and he was a sensitive boy with some things scaring him and the reassurance he got and the watching of my Peter working meant now going back to the same place he was more confident.
On the weekend both pups were absolutely incredible dealing with crowds, settling in cafes/restaurants and church not batting an eyelid even during worship, it was emotional to watch and both pups are a credit to Maria and Karen and their families.
They are volunteers giving up their time year after year to nurture a pup until it’s ready to further it’s career as a guide dog and they say a heartfelt goodbye and start again why people ask and I’ve been told because seeing a GDO with their GD out and about far outweighs the painful goodbye and no one can put a price on a person’s independence. I know myself how much my 3 dogs have done for me and I thank all 3 of them for the upbringing my boys had and the friends I’ve made through guide dogs I now know the full picture from tiny 2 week old pups to retirement and beyond and I can’t thank those of you PWs enough for letting me be a part of you and your pups journeys to becoming life changing guide dogs. I am glad to be part of the guide dog family 🙂