Guide Dog Pup, Billie
Guide Dog Pup Billie is a beautiful black Labrador who arrived in Hobart all the way from Queensland, in early December 2016.
She arrived with her brother, Benji. Billie lives with her Puppy Raisers in Hobart and with them, she is getting used to many different environments and circumstances. This is to ensure she is a well-adjusted, well-behaved dog with good health and a good temperament.
She’s very cute!
I am now halfway through my formal Guide Dog training, and really enjoying the variety and challenges that come with it. I recently got to accompany my Trainer to a group Guide Dog information session and was told that I behaved very well!
Hopefully I can keep up this good work. I’ll be sure to keep you ‘pup’dated!
Hi everyone! Remember in my last doggy-bloggy I had a bit of a scare when I woke up one morning and was lame? Well you’ll be pleased to know I am all better now.
In fact, I have now started my formal Guide Dog training in Launceston, which is very exciting! Of course, it was a bit sad leaving my Puppy Raisers in Hobart, but I know they were very keen to see me start this next chapter of my Guide Dog journey, and I hope to do them proud.
At the moment I am just settling in to this new routine where I come to the Guide Dogs office everyone, and will soon begin my assessment period. Wish me luck!
Hello, Billie here!
It’s been sort of busy for me over the last few months. The first new thing I did with my Puppy Raisers was to go on a trip to Devonport in the car. That was a long way to travel, but we stopped often for me to stretch my legs. We stayed overnight in a motel and I was so well behaved you might have thought I’d done this before.
I did hospital visits when one of my Puppy Raisers was not well and he said I helped him feel better. The nurses loved talking to me and gave me cuddles when I had my coat off. One of the doctors really liked me too and said he felt less stressed after seeing me!
Then came Christmas with lots happening in the house and plenty of visitors to keep me amused. We also went to visit other people a lot and went to all sorts of events and places. New Year’s Eve fireworks didn’t worry me one bit. And there was a big thunderstorm over our house and I didn’t get concerned by the thunder and lightning. That’s a big tick for me!
Unfortunately in the New Year I woke up one morning and couldn’t walk. I was taken straight to the vet and luckily it wasn’t anything too serious but I was very lame. After medication I’m a lot better now, but I did have to rest a lot. My family took me shoppingy (yawn) and we sat and watched the goings on in the shopping centre. They had coffee or lunch and I just had to relax! It’s a tough life for a dog sometimes! I heard that we are going to all continue to monitor my lameness in the future. Fingers crossed.
We visited friends at Southport for a few days and that was really good. I wanted to run on the beach but the best I could do was walk on my lead and paddle a bit. Now Mae, the Vet, has said I’m ok to do light exercise and I have to do other exercises to strengthen my leg muscles again.
Today I met the other Guide Dog pups, including my brother Benji, for a walk around the docks and coffee. I was a bit excited as we had missed the last month. Next week I’m going to stay with a Boarder while my Puppy Raisers have a break away.
I’m sure I’ll be back to normal soon and I’ll report next time. Bye for now!
Hello again, Billie here!
Since I wrote my last doggy-bloggy, lots of things have happened in my happy and carefree life.
I had my first birthday and celebrated with a big bone, which was a present from my Puppy Raisers. Yummy! And I had a party hat and my family took silly photos of me! Not dignified at all.
I’m a YouTube film star too. My family and I had a session at home to talk about me and their experiences raising a Guide Dog pup. I was very well behaved – as I usually am – and a really good video was made. You can watch it by searching for ‘Guide Dogs Tasmania’ in YouTube, or by clicking here.
Hopefully it has raised quite a lot of awareness about Guide Dogs Tasmania and the important work being done.
I’ve had many outings and have learned lots at group training sessions with other pups, which are all my friends! I enjoy play sessions with my brother Benji. One day Benji’s family and mine went to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hobart. We had lots of photos taken by Benji’s Puppy Raiser which are a lot better than the usual pictures taken by my Puppy Raiser!
I’m also very good at staying at home on my own sometimes – just for a short time.
In other news, I had a great ten days with a boarding family recently, and I saw a snake! I was a good girl and stayed away.
And I still think that the beach is the best place ever! I swim and roll in the sand a lot! It’s quite a big job to get all the sand off my coat, but my Puppy Raisers don’t mind because I’m such a good, beautiful girl.
See you next time!
It’s been a busy few months for us all. I’ve grown quite a lot without getting heavier, which is a good thing! And I’m now having one meal a day which is ok, until it’s about an hour away from my meal time, then I get HUNGRY. I’ve been learning new things too, like getting on and off a bus, and I went for a special walk with my Puppy Raising supervisor to make sure I’m walking in the correct spot, which is a little bit in front.
I went to the races one day and lots of people were pleased to meet me and learn what a good thing it is to be associated with Guide Dogs Tasmania. My Puppy Raiser’s say I’m a cafe dog because of the lunches, dinners and coffees I go to! Last week it was a total of five times!
But my favourite place is still the beach. I met my brother, Benji, this morning and we were soooo pleased to see each other. And sometimes I meet Kirsty at the beach or the dog park. I’m very good at coming back when I’m called, except if I’m very, very busy.
And I had a great time boarding with another family recently too. It was like a holiday because I went to new places and to work where I was very popular!
I’m also learning what some human words mean. I get very happy to hear “car”, “beach”, “walk”, “tea”, “park”, and “cuddle”. These are all very good words to me!
Well that’s all for now. I’ll catch up next time!
Hi again, Billie reporting!
I’ve had a busy few months since I checked in last and I’m nearly eight months old and growing fast.
My Puppy Raisers and I have been training and playing together a lot and my very favourite place is still the beach. I’ve discovered that rolling in the sand when I’m very wet is really cool! But I don’t think I’m very popular when I do that because of the sand that ends up in the car!
We went to Bruny Island one hot day (hard to imagine now!) and when we got to the ferry I was allowed out of the car and watched the water going by. When we got to Bruny we stopped at lots of places and I had three swims – yes, I can now swim properly – and then we stopped at the hotel for lunch. I sat quietly but a lady who was visiting saw me and had a chat with my Puppy Raisers. She is from Queensland and is very involved with Guide Dogs Queensland and has donated enough money to train two Guide Dogs! She was very interested to hear that I was born there.
One day I went to Bunnings at Mornington for a fundraising sausage sizzle to talk to people who were interested in me and Guide Dogs Tasmania. I had my coat off so people could pat me. It was heaps of fun!
My Puppy Raiser and I also completed the B&E Run the Bridge event. We only did the kids race of 1km as I was a bit too young to complete 5km, but we saw Guide Dog Yoda there with his handler, Phil, who are doing a wonderful job this year of raising awareness and funds for Guide Dogs Tasmania by competing in a number of events! I got a medal for competing and people gave me a cheer.
On April 2nd I was at the Fred Binns Walk the Bay for Parkinson’s and I walked 3km with three of my Puppy Raiser’s grandchildren. A lot of people spoke to me and when I had my coat off they could give me cuddles.
I sometimes go to work with my Puppy Raiser at the Menzies Institute and we usually travel by bus. I’m not too sure about buses but I’m getting better. And when we get to work I sit quietly or walk around the building on my lead, and I’m getting used to the doors which do all sorts of different things. I’ve even been through a revolving door!
I think that’s all for now, see you next time!
I’ve been rather busy since the last Puppy Love edition.
I’m now 5 months old and my Puppy Raisers often tell me how big I am and how much I’ve grown. I have really settled into my home now and I know how much everyone loves me!
I got the toilet training idea nailed just before Christmas, which was a good thing because all the carpets had been freshly cleaned! We had quite a few visitors staying with us and lots of people called in to see us. We went out on New Year’s Eve and I was such a good dog and didn’t get worried by the fireworks!
My very favourite thing to do – apart from sleeping- is to run on the beach. I can run free in selected areas and my recall is very good, unless I’m very involved with something else! I especially like it when we meet another Guide Dog, Jacob, and his Puppy Raiser or if I get to run on the beach with my brother Benji. Playing in a dog park is good fun, too, with lots of people and dogs to meet. And another thing that makes me happy is to pick strawberries from behind the netting in the garden and also to help by picking things out of the vegetable beds. I can’t understand why my family aren’t pleased with me as I’m only trying to help!
I do have to go to work sometimes which is when I go to the supermarket or check out the shopping centres or go into the city. I’m rather good on escalators and moving walkways now – after a reluctant start. I’m polite, too, when we visit other people’s houses or cafes. My Puppy Raiser says she’ll take me to her work soon for a visit and we’ll go on the bus.
That’s all for now. Catch you next time.
Well, we made it to Tassie just in time for Christmas. We had our first photo shoot (with a real photographer) at the Botanical Gardens. Apparently the Guide Dogs Tas staff have had a complete re-think about how to do future photo shoots after that morning with us. Apparently we were very hard to work with and the phrase ‘never work with animals’ was used a lot! Not sure what the fuss is about, I thought our photos were lovely, just like us!