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.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A few observations.
Rockwell and I were on our extra-long walk this morning (it’s about 45 minutes) and I was thinking, what brief advice might I give someone who was going to raise a puppy as I am? As I was trying to haul him away from some bit of interesting garbage, I couldn’t think of any one piece of advice that would work with all puppies - such as “haul this way” or “haul that way”. I think you have to observe each dog for the individual it is and work with his personality. And some days he is better than other days. Just like people.

I was also thinking about how I have explained to people that Rockwell is going to live a restricted life so they should not feel sorry for him that he cannot chase tennis balls or get table scraps or go swimming. He has to get used to his future restrictions. That’s when it hit me - he will have far more liberties than pet dogs! He already gets to go places no pet dogs get to go. And he will be given more and better attention than most pet dogs. We passed some pet dogs who were out in their fenced yards without human company and I thought, Rockwell will always have human company. Whether he likes it or not. :)

Thirdly, I have been wondering why this pulled muscle (or whatever it is) on my left deltoid still hurts after a year and (I can be slow at times) it occurred to me that I have a dog pulling on my left side every single day! Maybe next year it will heal.
the eye


At 12:52 p.m., March 21, 2006, Blogger IndyPindy said...

What a lovely photo of Rockwell's eye!

At 1:08 p.m., March 21, 2006, Blogger 8675309 said...

GREAT pic! And you know what? That's also a terrific response, the part about his liberties. We often get the PoutySadFace from people who are simply convinced that Lomax "doesn't get to be a dog" (which is B.S. anyway...they should see his royal dogness at home without his jacket on). I'll have to remember that!

At 1:16 p.m., March 21, 2006, Anonymous Muffy said...

Those are interesting thoughts, Julia. They go with the peaceful intensity of Rockwell's eye photo. I love the details of individual hairs on the right. Have you and Peter thought of how you will cope when Rockwell moves on to a new trainer? Perhaps you'll share some of these reflections and strategies with us?

At 7:00 p.m., March 21, 2006, Blogger Katherine said...

Oh wow, that picture just melted my heart. It's gotta be hard to refuse those big brown eyes anything - like the chance to sniff garbage, lol! Labs just love people and love to please people. He's not even going to know about his restrictions and I'm sure he'll receive a lot of love. Will it be sad for you to let him go or will you be happy to have completed your mission?

At 12:21 p.m., March 22, 2006, Blogger JuliaR said...

Thanks all, about the photo. He was lying on the stairs and I put the camera in macro mode and experimented.

Jenny, I haven't used my brilliant rejoinder yet but when I get the chance to, I will blog about the effects! You do too, please!

Muffy, we coped with taking Uma back to Guide Dogs when she was a puppy (before she flunked and became our pet and Buddha). Everybody cried but we knew (we thought) she was going on to greater glory. I will initially cope when Rockwell leaves by cleaning the house from top to bottom! It will certainly be blogged about when it happens, you bet.

Katherine, we will be both sad and happy - I don't think either can be avoided!


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