Me guide dog Fletcher on my matching visit

Happy New Year 2016

Woof, guide dog Fletcher here welcoming you to my first blog post of 2016! Happy New Year.

How was your Christmas break? I hope it was a good one. Mine was extra special. It was my first Christmas as a fully-qualified guide dog. I spent most of the holidays at home and was in Cumbria for Christmas Eve/Day. Cumbria was very wet and thankfully where I stayed wasn’t flooded. Here in the photo, it’s Christmas Eve and I’m waiting for Santa Paws to bring me some more presents (yes, I believe in Santa Paws, don’t you?!).

Me guide dog Fletcher on Christmas Eve in front of presents

I was spoilt at Christmas. I got two new cuddly toys: ‘Fergus the frog’ and ‘Christmas pud’. Now I do like my cuddly toys. And, much of Christmas Day was spent deciding which cuddly toy to lick from my growing toy collection. In the photo and in descending size order, I’ve got ‘Elephanta’, ‘Fergus’, ‘Mr. Fox’ and ‘Christmas pud’.

Me guide dog Fletcher snuggled up against my cuddly toys

Additionally, I got something new to eat. Not sure what it was. I spent a few minutes licking it before realising I could eat it all. Then it vanished (hmmm, I wonder when I’ll get another one). Guess it made up for having to wear human no.1’s Christmas hat. I was not amused as the photo shows.

Me guide dog Fletcher wearing a Christmas cracker hat

I had a quiet start to the New Year. I reckon that I had worn out human no. 1. Well, at least I avoided the fireworks. I so didn’t like November’s frightful fireworks.

You see, I haven’t been a guide dog for long. Indeed, some six months ago, I met my humans for the first time. On 26 June 2015, I had my matching visit. It was to determine if human no. 1 and I were right for each other. I didn’t stay long. Just long enough to know the chemistry was right between us. Here’s a photo from that day. Gosh, I was a young dog in training back then.

Me guide dog Fletcher on my matching visit

It’s been such a journey. Now when I’m asked: “Who am I?“, I can reply with pride that I’m a qualified guide dog. Thank you to everyone who’s helped me – from my fab puppy walker, Di, and those who sponsored me as a puppy, to everyone at Guide Dogs. I made the grade. A double woof to that!

Me guide dog Fletcher in my guide dog harness

That said, I’m not usually asked “Who am I?”. Often, and I mean at least once a week, people will approach my human and ask “Is that a blind dog?” and/or “Are you training him?”. I know that these people are well meaning but can’t they tell from my excellent guiding that I’ve got great eyesight and I’m a professional. In case you were wondering, my human is the one who’s registered blind.

Anyway in 2015, as an assistance dog, I was having fun with planes, trains, automobiles and the odd coach.

Me guide dog Fletcher with my human in front of a Yorkshire steam train

Not to forget I was doing my bit for interspecies relations – meeting a bunny rabbit and sheep. I’ve since met cats and cows.

Me guide dog Fletcher visiting bunny Bouffe

Oh and I celebrated my birthday – I’m now two years old.

And in between, I fitted in some grooming, grooming, grooming. I like to make sure I look my best when I’m out and about accessing all areas. Naturally there’s always time for food, glorious food.

I wonder what’s in store for me this year. Maybe another wet and wonderful week or two. All I know is that I want to continue to keep my human safe with paws at the kerb™ and to make it to one year as a qualified guide dog. That’s my New Year’s Resolution. Wish me luck…

Woof and paw, Fletcher.

Thanks to all my 2015 followers. Be great if you followed this blog too. Also happy to receive pawsome comments.

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(c) pawsatthekerb™, January 2016.


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Guide dog (Retired) Fletcher here, sniffing out the best news from the streets and grass in the UK and beyond. Keeping my human, Fiona, safe with paws at the kerb. Qualified with #GuideDogs in August 2015. Retired 2021. Can be found at the kerb or snoozing...

One thought on “Happy New Year 2016”

  1. Hey Fletch, great result getting two cuddly toys for Christmas! I see your training your humans is really starting to pay off. I do love grooming my toy turkey too so I am mightily pleased to see you are well provided for in the toys-for-licking department.

    Anyway, off to nudge some ankles for some more carrot treats. Nosebumps!


    Liked by 1 person

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