Celebrating! I’ve been a guide dog for a year

Woof and waggy tail, guide dog Fletcher here! I did it. I’ve been a guide dog for a year. It’s been pawsome and I love being a life-changer. I’ve even got a bandana with “life-changer” on it.

Me guide dog Fletcher head turned to camera wearing blue Guide Dogs life-changerbandana

It’s all been happening this week. My other news is that my human found out who boarded me when I was doing my final training at Guide Dogs. And they’ve made contact. Waggy tail.

In case you were wondering, my human was only given details of my puppy walker. My human had to sniff out the names and contact details of all the other volunteers, and dogs, who have helped me be the guide dog I am today. Sadly, my tracking skills were not up to the job.

Me guide dog Fletcher in my guide dog harness sitting with body to the left and face to camera
Photo credit: Guide Dogs charity

Now I’m really honoured to be a guide dog. Above is the official Guide Dogs photo that was sent to my puppy walker and other volunteers to say thank you and to let them know I qualified. I don’t think it shows me at my best. What do you think?

The last 12 months have flown by.

I’ve been guiding my human – the pawsome Fiona – all over the place. I had just qualified when we went on holiday, with Andy (my master of fusses), to North Yorkshire. I got to travel on a steam train. And laze in the sunshine.

Me guide dog Fletcher lying down in my harness enjoying the golden Yorkshire sun

I’ve campaigned with Guide Dogs in London for #accessallareas and ended up on TV. Plus I’ve guided my human round a tiny part of London’s museums – like in the photo below – with our friend, Ness; (not sure about all this cultural stuff, guiding round statues of naked folk wasn’t in the training manual). Visiting London is exciting. So much going on.

Me guide dog Fletcher lying down on the mosaic floor of a London museum in front of the feet of a statue on a pedestal

And I’ve had many more guiding adventures. Just check out my list of blog posts.

It’s also the simple things. Just this morning, I spotted a big smelly obstacle blocking the pavement and decided to guide my human to the kerb. Neatly lined up my paws at the kerb I might add. This manoeuvre told my human that we needed to cross the road to get past the obstacle. Rather we didn’t have to keep crossing back and forth avoiding obstacles. The joys of street clutter.

I get lots of time off. Well, time off is what the humans call it. Work and play are all fun to me. Talking of play. I got to play tug with a very special dog. See the photo below. As to who that dog is – well, all will be revealed in a future blog post.

Me guide dog Fletcher playing tug with a duck toy with a smaller black Labrador on the lawn near a boarder of multi-coloured plants. The name of the dog will be revealed in the next blog post.

Happy #FletcherFriday! Time for some anniversary celebrations. I think some treats are in order. Well, I do so like my food…

Woof and paw! Guide dog Fletcher.

P.S. Special woof to my new followers. If you don’t follow my blog, do join them. As always, feel free to leave me a pawsome comment…

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(c) pawsatthekerb™, August 2016. Updated December 2017.

Visited my guide dog puppy walker

Woof! Guide dog Fletcher here. Time flies and I celebrated an impawtant anniversary this week. One year ago, I moved in with my humans – the fabulous Fiona and belly-rub expert Andy – and started the last leg of my Guide Dogs’ training. Here in the photo, I am celebrating with a red Kong toy which was stuffed with tasty treats and frozen. Delicious at any time but even more so in the hot weather.Me guide dog Fletcher lying down with my face to the side intent on getting food out of a frozen red Kong toy

Now, none of this would have been possible without my volunteer guide dog puppy walker, Di, who gave me such a great start in life. Essentially, she brought me up with support from Guide Dogs’ staff.

Puppy walkers do such a pawsome job. Without them, there would be no life changers like me. So a BIG THANK YOU to all guide dog puppy walkers!

I last saw my puppy walker in January 2015. So imagine my surprise when I got to visit my puppy walker again. She was worried that I wouldn’t remember her. But I couldn’t stop wagging my tail when I arrived. Actually, I was so excited that my whole body went wag wag. I got to see my doggie auntie, Kerry, too. Here we all are in the photo – I’m getting treats.

Me guide dog Fletcher sitting down getting a treat from my puppy walker Di and with my doggy auntie Kerry to the side of me

We went for a run in the park on the edge of the local golf course. Well, I did lots of running. The humans walked and talked. I sniffed the grass a lot and it was as good as I remember. All this excitement was tiring and my doggie aunt, Kerry, and I needed a well-earned rest. We slept with paws touching whilst the humans talked some more. Here’s the photo.

Me guide dog Fletcher lying down at the top of the photo with my paw touching the paw of my doggie auntie Kerry. We're both sleeping on the carpet

My puppy walker is so proud that I qualified as a guide dog. I lived with her for just over a year before going off to Guide Dogs’ big school for training. When I returned, I was all grown-up and wearing my Guide Dogs’ harness. Thought you might like to see how much I’ve changed. Here are three photos in one showing me growing up and grown-up in the same doorway; my doggie auntie Kerry is in the background of the last photo.

3 photos of me guide dog Fletcher in one. All in the same doorway. As a puppy when I arrived at my puppy walkers in December 2013. As a teenager in January 2015 when I left for big school. In June 2016 as a qualified guide dog with my doggie aunty Kerry in the background

I’m so glad my human, Fiona, keeps in touch with my puppy walker. Not all guide dog owners do. My return visit was amazing. I wonder what other surprise visits are in store…

Woof and paw! Guide dog Fletcher.

P.S. Hope you’re all enjoying the July weather wherever you are in the world. In the UK, the summer has finally arrived. Thanks to all of you following my blog. If you don’t follow my blog, do join them. As always, feel free to leave me a pawsome comment…

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(c) pawsatthekerb™, July 2016.