Puppy walking

An adventure in looking after a puppy until it is old enough to be properly trained as a guide dog for the blind.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

We had a busy day on Friday. It started on Thursday when Guide Dogs called and asked if they could have Rockwell for a few hours because they wanted to take some photos of the puppies out in their garden. I said of course, after all, it’s your dog! But I didn’t have a car so someone would have to come and get him. They indicated someone would be by around 1pm on Friday. In the meantime, I was having an old friend over for dinner on Friday so I knew I had to get things done in preparation for that visit.

On Friday morning, I took Rocky for a walk and then put him in his crate and went to get groceries. When I got home, I remembered that I had wanted to pick up something at our local drug store (a three minute walk away). Since I didn’t want to put Rocky back in the crate, I made a command decision to take him with me. I have seen the occasional service dog in that pharmacy so I knew they should be okay with it. I put him on the leash and took his jacket with me. When we got over to the store but before we went in, I put his little jacket on and asked him to please be good. In we went and with lots of encouragement from me (and a firm grip on his collar) he was very good. I went up to the counter and made him sit and put him between my knees and held him securely. I paid for my purchase and talked to the staff about Rocky being a guide dog puppy and was very pleased with the visit. When we left, I walked him back toward the pedestrian crossing and that’s when he decided he had had enough of the jacket. I took it off and thanked him for being good and we went home.

Once home again, I made dessert for dinner and cleaned up the house while Rocky watched and followed me around. The fellow from Guide Dogs showed up at about 1:30 and Rocky went with him like a good boy. I watched them pull out of the driveway, with Rocky sitting up on the front passenger seat just like a little man. So cute. Since he was out, I took the opportunity to vacuum unmolested. I never did find the earthworm. He was returned in good spirits at about 3pm and they told me he had been a very good dog.

When Linda showed up at 6, he greeted her with only a little jumping up and settled down right away to be a model puppy. At dinner, he went around the table checking things out and then laid down under it and fell asleep. Lots of new things for a young pup and a successful handling of it all.


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