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.

Monday, January 08, 2007

After the last entry, I got a real thrill when the genuine Allen and Endal posted a comment on this old blog! I know I've said it before but apparently not to everybody (sorry Norah!) but "Dogs with Jobs" was one of my favourite shows on tv and this episode my absolute favourite. I don't know if they are making any new episodes and the schedule moves around so much (like network tv) that I never know when anything is going to be on, but every time I see an episode, I stop to watch it. That is how I have seen the episode with Allen and Endal so many times.

After Allen posted a comment, I replied and then went to his link on Blogger and thus to Endal's own website. You have to go - there are so many wonderful photos and stories. Make sure you click on "Puppies in the house", as Allen's wife Sandra does puppywalking, the page called "Just for fun" for the fun photos, and "Out and about + traffic lights" and scroll down to the golfing shot at the bottom.

I realize now after looking through Endal's site that he is a real celebrity over in the U.K. but I also think of both Allen and Endal as celebrities, not just because they were on tv but because of their exemplary partnership and the way they have overcome huge obstacles with humour and grace.

Friday, January 05, 2007

January 5, 2007
with the big Kong
I got Rockwell's quarterly update today! Of course, after I read it I felt both proud and anxious. I am worried about his lack of confidence. I wonder if it came from being bounced around a little in his early days (he was eleven weeks when we got him). I worry that I gave him a complex. Sometimes. :) I feel like a parent, in other words. Here it is:

"Rockwell has recently had a change of handler and is being allowed time to adapt. He is fairly well settled in kennels, though at times can be boisterous and vocal in seeking attention. He is eating well and is in good condition.

Rockwell is always keen and eager for his training walks, and travels well in the training van. He is adapting to his new handler fairly quickly, though his leash behaviour can, at times, be quite erratic, mainly due to him being easily distracted, particularly with dogs and noises and also because of his level of anxiety and low confidence.

A calm, consistent approach is being adopted, and encouraging him to relax and listen to the handler. We are slowly seeing improvements in his overall behaviour, but much more is needed.

Rockwell has been introduced to wearing the harness and is learning some of the basics of Guide work such as stopping at all down kerbs and avoiding obstacles. He is also learning directional and control commands.

We look forward to continuing with Rockwell and we are hopeful of more improvements. Thank you for all your hard work with him during the Puppy Walking phase of his life."

Well, as I said - both proud and anxious at the same time. I hope they will give him all the time he needs. I know he is smart enough. Maybe like Endal on Dogs with Jobs he just needs to find the right master and his confidence will appear.