A Guide Dog Puppy’s First Year: update

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It’s been a while since this site has had any updates, but I thought I should let you lovely followers know that this site will be closing temporarily because I’m hoping to publish all the blogs in a book! I’ll be keeping everyone informed about this on my author website jmerrillforrest.com

For publishing purposes I have to change the dog’s name to ensure privacy for his Owner, so I’ve deleted the blogs and changed his name in the ‘The Full Diary’ and ‘The Full Diary with photo descriptions for VIPs’ pages and he is henceforth known as ‘Buddy’. This name has been chosen by his Owner and I think it’s just perfect as it’s representative of all service dogs.

In closing I’d just like to share an amazing story with you about awesome ‘Buddy’ from his proud Owner, when she set out a couple of days ago to learn the route to her son’s new school:

“Guide Dog Buddy did me proud today. He normally sees obstacles from quite far away and makes a decision on how he will navigate it before we get there. I just go with his judgment mostly because he’s usually right. Today though, he went to go around what I assumed was a car on the pavement. He swerved onto the grass verge which is preferable to going onto the road. Just as I had stepped onto the grass, Buddy suddenly stopped. He then did something he has never done before. He literally walked backwards! He didn’t turn, just reversed. He then decided that the road way round the car was the best way to go. To me, the grass looked plenty wide enough for us both and I didn’t get a feeling of a fence nearby.
I just went with him on the way there because I wanted to fix the route in my head, but I decided to check it out on the way back.
We found the school ( I had been there on Monday with Buddy by car) and Buddy strolled up to the building and touched the door with his nose. GOOD BOY!
On the way back, we found the car again and Buddy didn’t even try the grass this time. I dropped the harness handle and got my cane out of my bag. I felt my way with the cane onto the edge of the grass and Buddy deliberately got in front of me. He was trying to block me moving forward. The grass and weeds were quite overgrown so I stayed behind him but pushed out my cane on the ground. Guess what I found! I found one of those big concrete drain covers about the size of a bath. Next to it was the drain, completely open and uncovered! If I had been walking just with my cane, I may have missed the drain cover and gone straight down the hole.
I used the maps app on my phone to tell me exactly where I was and then phoned up Highways to report it. There are several schools in the area and I had visions of a little kid falling in the hole. I explained to highways that my guide dog had found the hole.
I was nearly back to town and a van with orange lights stopped by me. The man put his head out of the window to let me know that they had just put the cover on and he thanked me for letting them know.
Today was a good day for Buddy. He got a pigs ear when we got home.😍

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