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.

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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.

 

Bunny Albert’s birthday bash

Woof and waggy tail from me guide dog Fletcher!

I know. I’m late with this blog post. I’ve been running out of puff recently and haven’t been feeling great. The vet reckons I have allergies and I’m on anti-histamines. The medication makes me feel wooftastic. We’re working out the right dosage and frequency for me at the moment and then I’ll be even more waggy tail.

Anyway when I talk about being late, my human – the pawsome Fiona – mutters something about the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. That brings me to this tale about my friend bun Albert and his pawtastic birthday bash.

This is Albert. He’s woofderful.

My friend bunny Albert. His fur is mostly brown and heis ears are darker, almost black with lighter patches. His face is in the center with his droopy ears. Behind him is a dark green circular opening to a bunny run. There's a bit of red strawberry on the grey carpet. @pawsatthekerb

Now what do you get a bunny for his birthday? Well, thanks to my friends at the Bunnington Post and other four paws on Twitter (yep I tweet, no scratch that, I bark on Twitter), I knew what to get. Something to knock over. Something to chew on. Here I am with stacking cups and willow ball presents.

Me guide dog Fletcher. Well my head and gront paws in my golden fur. I'm lying down staring down at a white box with a pic of green, blue, red and yellow stacking cups. To your right is a brown woven basket containing a big willow ball. Brown ball made from twigs as far as I can tell. Rabbit stuff. @pawsatthekerb

Albert kept me waiting. And waiting. He wouldn’t come near me or my humans. Look. He’s on one side of the room near his bunny tunnel and I’m at the other.

Me guide dog Fletcher with my head just visible at the bottom of the photo. At the top of the photo is bunny Albert. He's at one end of the room and I'm at the other. You can just about see us. There are some helpful arrows pointing to each of us. Other objects in the room is a light brown wooden coffee table and legs of humans. @pawsatthekerb

I was on my best behaviour and was very calm. Albert is very little and, even though we’ve met before, I didn’t want to scare him. When he came close, half a dog’s length close, I did not move. I did not eat my treats. Let me say that again. I did not eat my treats. Food is very impawtant to me. Oh the sacrifice. The green Kong toy has untouched food in it!

Me guide dog Fletcher lying down with my head up. I'm staring to the left at bunny Albert. In between my golden paws is a green Kong Y-shaped toy with untouched food in it. Bunny Albert is on the left of the pic sitting on a bed of hay in a red shallow plastic box. In between us is a huge gap. About 50cm in human speak. And a wooden coffee table. @pawsatthekerb

And still Albert kept his distance.

Then all the humans, and there were a lot of humans, made funny screeching noises. I’ve been told it was singing. And Albert’s cake arrived. Here it is. Albert got some of the strawberries (I was not allowed any but got fusses from lots of humans).

Yummy cake which I didn't get any of. on the top are strawberries dipped in chocolate with their stems on. Diamond thins of milk chocolate. They are in between the strawberries. The cake is circular with a white buttercream coating. Not sure what it's resting on. @pawsatthekerb

After the humans had finished eating and most of them had left, Albert decided to say hello. I tried to #bemorebun but no nose bumps for me this time. Albert checked out one of my paws.

Me guide dog Fletcher with my friend bun Albert. We're facing each other side on. Albert is sniffing out my right paw. I'm trying to be as still as possible. @pawsatthekerb

Then he checked out my other paw.

Me guide dog Fletcher lying down very still with my golden head alert and upright. My friend bunny Albert is checking out my left paw. I've golden fur. Albert's fur is patchy dark brown. @pawsatthekerb

Afterwards, we chatted a little before going home. It was a pawsome birthday bash. Though at the end, I was starving…

Woof and paw, guide dog Fletcher.

P.S. Sending Haas, one of the Bunnington Post, get well wishes! He’s just returned home after staying overnight at the vets for not properly processing his food.
P.P.S. Thank you all for reading and following my blog posts. I’ve been with my humans, Fiona and Andy, for two years now. Happy anniversary to us. Now where’s my anniversary cake…?

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(c) pawsatthekerb™, August 2017.