Guide Dog Pup, Gemma
Guide Dog pup Gemma arrived in Tasmania in June 2018, along with her brother Tyson. Gemma’s journey for the next two years has been fully funded by a wonderful, long-term supporter of Guide Dogs Tasmania, Mrs Bridget Stott. Mrs Stott had the opportunity to meet Gemma within weeks of her arrival, and can’t wait to follow the little pup’s journey. What a wonderful gift to give to someone!
Time flies when you’re having fun! I am now 7 months old and every day I continue to learn new skills.
Since my first blog I joined the Tasmanian Fire Service and ABC Hobart, along with my fellow Guide Dog pups, to help launch Bushfire Awareness month. We got to meet fireman in uniforms and have lots of pats. And boy, were there lots of people queuing up to have a pat! But for me, the best part was the smell of the egg and bacon rolls that were being cooked (don’t worry, as tempting as they were I didn’t eat them).
It’s now summer time, which means nothing new apart from more sunshine and new smells from the garden and native animals that have been on the Rivulet track overnight.
Walking is a huge part of my life. My weekdays start early, leaving home before 7am. While the birds are singing I am walking into town with my Puppy Raiser, and when we reach her workplace I rest under her desk.
I have been introduced to a walking harness. It’s purple and black and I love it! This helps give my Puppy Raisers a helping hand in case I decide to go in a direction that we are not headed for.
I am still enjoying taking my older two legged brother to school. It is great to lie down in the class room and watch the boys come in all excited for the day ahead. I am still attending kindy gym classes with my sister, and while she is running around jumping and climbing.
I have also done my first boarding. WOW! It was exciting to go and stay with a new family and experience a different lifestyle. But it was great to get home and see my Puppy Raisers again, especially my siblings.
At the end of a long busy day I love my bed!
I am Gemma, and along with my brother Tyson, made the trip south from Adelaide a few months back. We are both about to embark on a new life, which I’m sure will bring some challenging yet rewarding times for both us and our Puppy Raisers!
Tyson and I got to hang out at the Guide Dogs Tas office in the play room. There were so many things for us to explore, including tunnels, toy bones, balls and other toys. The play room was fantastic! It was pretty early in the morning so there were lots of people walking to work past the office. We were starting to attract a crowd! I got so excited at the people standing on the outside that I went and face planted on the window. Oops, it’s glass! I will soon realise that glass is everywhere and I will have to work out if it’s glass or not. Never mind, there were people standing there watching us with happy faces. What a way to start a Friday morning!
After our meet and greet we were off to start the next journey to becoming a Guide Dog. I have been placed with Puppy Raisers who have a very busy life; they have little people – a five and two year old. It’s nice having little people around.
From the moment we got into the car I realised that the car was going to become my second home, taking me to lots of exciting places. I thought that I better get comfy and buckle in for the journey ahead.
Having children in the home means that my life is never going to be quiet. We do the school drop off and pick up and boy do I love going to school! The children at school do not come near me but sure do know that I am around. I am also lucky enough to go to kindy gym. Wow! There is music, balls and lots of little people, but don’t worry, I have learnt very quickly that I am to lie at the back of the room out of the way. I have children running past me, balls passing my nose, but I do not move.
Every Saturday morning we are up early to be at the swimming pool by 8am and I have two hours sitting by the pool. I did not notice the water in the pool on my first visit, but the second week was a different story, and I thought the water looked very inviting! I now just walk in and take my place on the pool deck; I know I am not allowed in the water to play in the big pool.
After being with my Puppy Raisers for a week, we were off to the shopping centre to learn how to get on escalators and travellators. That was exciting! I was a professional, and I had people looking at me saying how cute I looked.
I have had a ride on something called a bus; basically a loud vehicle. The car is a lot quieter… I enjoy going to the supermarkets, shops and food courts, and love being surrounded by people and experiencing the things that my Puppy Raisers do on a daily basis. I have been fortunate enough to meet other Guide Dogs in training on my outings, and this is something that inspires my Puppy Raisers and me. One day, I too will be big and will walk around with the confidence that the older pups have.