paws in the snow

Woof, I’m back! This side a lot is happening. But first, let me wish my human friend, Ness, a pawsome birthday. Apparently it’s an impawtant one. And it’s today. I like Ness. She gives good fusses. This was us on Sunday.

Me guide dog Fletcher. Well it's not necessarily my best angle. I'm lying down on a tiled floor out of harness. My head is being cradled between the knees of my human friend Ness. It looks like I have double chins. Ness has brown hair in a bun and is wearing jeans and a grey jumper. @pawsatthekerb

Now, let’s woof about snow. I know I’m “paws at the kerb”. But how’s a guide dog like me meant to find the kerb when it’s covered in all that white stuff you call snow?! Can you see the kerb in the photo? I can’t. All I can see are my paws in the snow. And this wasn’t even the deep stuff.

Me guide dog Fletcher. You can't see much of me. Just my front legs and tops of my paws. My paws are in deep snow. The photo has a blue tinge to it. It was cold outside. @pawsatthekerb

In case you’re wondering, I only went out when absolutely necessary. It’s difficult to guide my human, the pawtastic Fiona, in the snow because everything looks the same. And I had to protect her from the “Beast from the East” and the “Mini beast from the East” (they didn’t say anything about beasts in my training manual. Oh, and for my friends who don’t live in the UK, these “beasts” are names for our recent snowy weather). Here I am on snow patrol. It was very cold.

Me guide dog Fletcher from above. I'm in my guide dog harness and have a red lead. All around me is snow. You can just make out some paw prints of mine. @pawsatthekerb

I reckon snow makes for good paw prints.

Paw prints from me guide dog Fletcher in the snow. You've got my human's paw prints too. @pawsatthekerb

Woofing paw prints, I got very creative in the park. I set about creating circles of paw prints in the snow. I’m quite the artist.

Me guide dog Fletcher having some down time in the park. All around me is snow. You're looking at me side on. My tail is up and I'm making a circle of paw prints in the snow. My golden fur contrasts well against the snow. @pawsatthekerb

I was quite proud of myself when I finished.

Me guide dog Fletcher sat down out of harness in the park. I'm sitting on snow and it's all around me. In the background is a circle of paw prints by me. I'm looking very pleased with myself. @pawsatthekerb

Sitting in snow gave me a cold bottom though. Eating the snow was fun. So was running about in it. Yes, I do like snow.

Me guide dog Fletcher smiling directly at you. You're zoomed in on my head and there's snow in the background. My pink nose matches my pink tongue. @pawsatthekerb

By the way, I don’t like ice. Nasty stuff. All slippery. So I was very glad when all that disappeared. Back to regular guiding. Well I woof that, but nothing about guiding Fiona is predictable. I mean I took her round this shopping centre which we’ve never been in before. I was superb (even if I woof so). But look what I had to guide her round. It’s a “Gromit” (as in “Wallace and Gromit”).

Me guide dog Fletcher in harness sat in a shopping centre. Behind me is Gromit from Wallace and Gromit. He's three times taller than me. He looks weird and is in yellow. I've got golden fur. @pawsatthekerb

I’ve not come across a dog like Gromit before. Gromit was dressed in a weird looking yellow outfit. This is “Gromit Unleashed” apparently. What do you think? Reckon I do yellow better than Gromit.

Wishing all my readers a very Happy Easter!

Woof and paws, Guide dog Fletcher.

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(c) pawsatthekerb™, March 2018.

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I’m 4! Happy birthday to me

Woof woof woof woof! I’m 4 years old. Happy birthday to me, guide dog Fletcher.

My celebrations started early. Just before 4am.

My humans were silly. They decided to put a new cover on my bed the night before. But it was too stiff and I couldn’t get to sleep properly. I woke up early needing to do a wee wee mail and let Fiona, my fabulous human, know that I needed to go out. Fiona thought it was 6.53am and not 3.53am which was the actual time. So I ended up getting an early breakfast as well. Pawtastic!

Fast-forward a few hours (after my humans went back to bed briefly) and my birthday celebrations started in earnest.

Woof, what’s in this box? It smells pawsome.

Me guide dog Fletcher, well my golden head and paw, investigating a stripy box with a red ribbon. You can just see part of the box in the bottom right corner of the photo. I'm lying on a patchwork blanket of many colours. @pawsatthekerb

Turns out it was cake for my humans to celebrate me turning four. Did I get any? No. Apparently I wouldn’t like it. I want to know who barked that nonsense.

Well, at least, I had Barney bear to play with. He’s my favourite toy. You can just make him out in the photo below.

Me guide dog Fletcher looking at you from the corner of my brown eyes. You can see my golden head and front paw in the sunlight. I'm lying down on a blanket with my cuddly brown toy next to me. @pawsatthekerb

I like to nuzzle Barney (I’m very gentle with my toys and still have a few from when I was a puppy).

Me guide dog Fletcher back again with my brown cuddly toy. It's a bear but you can't tell. I'm nuzzling it in my jaws and have my two front paws around it. The sun is highlightling my golden fur and I'm indoors. @pawsatthekerb

Time for a second breakfast. I got some yummy food in this extra large red Kong toy. It didn’t last long. Here’s a little video of me wolfing down my food. It starts in normal speed then goes into slow mo mode. You have to Go to my Twitter account to see my video of me with my Kong (you don’t need to be on Twitter to see the video).

Then I got a new toy. Fezzy the pheasant. Wooftastic.

Me guide dog Fletcher standing indoors over my new cuddly toy. It's a pheasant with brown wings and white spots, green, red and brown head. I've my mouth on the top of the head. You're zoomed in. So you get a bit of my face and front paws plus the toy. @pawsatthekerb

Now the next bit was rather confusing. My human friend Ness wished me happy birthday over the phone. She told me she had a present for me and I heard something squeaking away. But where was it?

Me guide dog Fletcher with my pink nose looking very yellow in the sunshine indoors. I'm looking up at you with a confused look. My face muscles are showing and my eyebrows are raised. @pawsatthekerb

Then I went for a walk in the Autumn leaves. All those amazing smells and impawtant messages to catch up on. Could this birthday get any better?! Oh yes. Time for a snooze…

Me guide dog Fletcher indoors disappearing amongst the blankets. My nose is buried underneath a pale brown blanket and I'm lying on a patchwork blanket of many colours. I'm snoozing. If only you could hear my snoring. @pawsatthekerb

Woof and paw, guide dog Fletcher. 

P.S. Some of you will remember that last year I spent my birthday in the charity Guide Dogs’ hospital block recovering from my back surgery. So this year’s birthday was extra special as it was at home with my humans.

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(c) pawsatthekerb™, October 2017.

I passed my MOT

Woof and waggy tail from me, guide dog Fletcher! I’ve some pawsome news to share. I passed my MOT (also known as aftercare). I had my annual test for safe guiding, kerbworthiness and satisfactory emissions and I was pawtastic.

As a guide dog, I’m responsible for keeping my human safe when we’re out and about. This is easier said than done. So the charity Guide Dogs want to make sure I’m good enough and put me to the test. They do this annually with most guide dogs.

First up, obeying commands. Fiona, my wooftastic human, told me to go forward. But where exactly did she mean for me to go?

170921 pawsatthekerb parked car chain

The pavement had split into two levels. The raised pavement to the left of me went nowhere. If I went straight on, there wasn’t much room. There was a car parked in the way and I didn’t want Fiona to hit her hand on it. I could veer in between the poles (you’d say the poles were red and white, but I’m colour blind and can’t make out the colour red). Yep, that’s the best route. Oh but wait, there’s a metal chain connecting the poles. I can go under but Fiona can’t. She’s bigger than me.

Time to go slow. 

Me guide dog Fletcher in harness at the bottom of the screen. Back of head and shoulders showing. Next to me on my right is a large grey car on the pavement. Above my head and just noticeable is a metal chain connecting red and white poles. The gap to go through is narrow. @pawsathekerb

Phew, we made it. I judged the gap pawfectly.

If the gap was too narrow, I’d have to take Fiona onto the road and round the outside right of the parked car. Dangerous, I know. That’s why the charity Guide Dogs is campaigning against pavement parking.

Next up, road crossings. Yep, here I am. Paws at the kerb.

Me guide dog Fletcher paws at the kerb. Yes. My paws are at the kerb even though you can't see them. My golden furred head is in the way. You can seen the back of my shoulders too. I'm standing in front of the road which has

I’m good at finding the button for pedestrian crossings too.

Me guide dog Fletcher. Well just my top half just beneath the pedestrian crossing button. In the background is an empty road, some pedestrians and a glass fronted office block. @pawsatthekereb

That’s the easy bit. We have to weave in and out all the other humans crossing the road.

Me guide dog Fletcher crossing a side road. I'm about a third of the way across and in front of me are a few humans. One with a wheelie suitcase. Another with a mobile phone. @pawsatthekerb

Time to turn right. Oh no, bin in the way and more humans in our path.

170921 pawsatthekerb bin humans

Hang on, Fiona, I’ll get you to where you want to go.

And so we continue.

At last, we’re on the final straight. I recognise where we are. Now gently does it, there are two children ahead playing on the pavement.

Me guide dog Fletcher guiding along a narrow pavement on a side road. There's a white parked car on the road. In front of me are two small childen, one is about the same height as the car. The other one is 30cm shorter. I've blanked out their faces. @pawsatthekerb

Finally, we make it back to the Guide Dogs offices and here’s the door, Fiona. Reckon I deserve a treat. Lots of treats.

Me guide dog Fletcher in my white Guide Dogs' harness with yellow handle. I'm standing in front of a grey office door showing my human where it is. @pawsatthekerb

Of course, it’s not all work and no play. Here am I playing with fellow guide dog Bertie, a Labradoodle, in a country park with cows and a river. Bit different to the city streets…

Me guide dog Fletcher a labrador golden retriever cross, with golden fur, having fun in a country park with fellow guide dog Bertie a golden labradoodle. We're similar sizes and ages. We're running on the lush green grass. In the background is a bench and three cows. @pawsatthekerb

Woof and paw, guide dog Fletcher.

P.S. For those of you who’ve been following this blog, my health is much better. Allergies under control. I get to see a consultant next month to make sure that niggle in my back isn’t anything serious. Paws crossed. And because of all my earlier stopping, I’ll have another MOT at the end of the year. 
P.P.S. As always, grateful for all your pawsome comments. Drop me a line…

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(c) pawsatthekerb™, September 2017.