Guide Dog Pup, Harvey
Guide Dog Pup Harvey is a golden Labrador. He lives in Launceston with his volunteer Puppy Raisers, and is experiencing many different environments and activities so he becomes a well-adjusted and happy pup no matter where he goes. It’s pretty important for a working Guide Dog to remain calm and composed when guiding!
Part of Harvey’s socialisation involves catching up with lots of other dogs. Other Guide Dog pups in the program are his favourite things!
A ‘pup’date for you all: I’m progressing well in my training, although I do like to stop and smell the roses (AND other good scents) on my training walks. We’re working hard on decreasing this so I have better concentration. After all, I am learning to be a Guide Dog for a Tasmanian who is blind or vision impaired. My job, when in harness, will be to keep them safe by looking out for any obstacles in their path. If I stop and sniff EVERY interesting scent, it could be very dangerous (not to mention annoying) for my handler. Here’s hoping my nose learns to behave itself!
Hi there! I’ve been in formal training for a few months now and really enjoying it! I feel confident in my Guide Dog harness and am progressing more each day.
I do have to admit though, my one downfall is all the tempting food you humans leave around. My Instructor is trying to teach me to ignore food at the moment, and enjoy the meal I get at the end of the day, which is actually meant for me! It’s hard, but I will do my best, because I do really want to become a Guide Dog!
Until next time, Harvey.
I am pleased to tell you that I have started my formal training in Hobart. It’s great coming into the Hobart office everyday and seeing Murphy, Archie and sometimes even Dexter!
I have settled in well and I’m enjoying visiting lots of new places as part of my assessment. I have a huge box full of toys to play with during my down time, as my Puppy Raisers sent in as many noisy toys as possible with me to my Trainer’s home.
Life is going along well, and I hope to continue to make progress and impress everyone around me!
I am coming towards the end of my time with my Puppy Raisers, but it is still important that I concentrate on learning things that will help me to become a good Guide Dog.
In October I was asked to be part of the first ever “Test Drive a Guide Dog Day” at the Tail Race Centre in Launceston. I was picked up in the morning and spent the day with other Guide Dog pups and Guide Dogs in training, showing young vision impaired people what a Guide Dog can offer them, and some of the responsibilities involved in having a Guide Dog – I really did like being groomed!
I felt a little bit important when I had a person to guide. I tried to be really good for my young “client” and make sure she had a wonderful time and positive experience.
This month has been a busy one for me. My Puppy Raisers took me to the Launceston Show so I could experience the hustle and bustle of the crowds, the loud noises and the small animals in the petting zoo. There were some strange dogs in the petting zoo; my Puppy Raisers said they were rabbit-dogs, lamb-dogs, goat-dogs and bull-dogs (the type with big horns, not the ones with the short legs and squashed faces). I would have liked to have played with them but I was working – I am sure they would have been up for a bit of play. I was good and didn’t pick up any of the food that had been dropped in side-show alley.
I also went boarding for a week. I swapped Puppy Raisers with Kobie the Guide Dog pup to get us both used to being around different people and situations. Kobie is so lucky, he has a big paddock to run around. I had such a great time with the kids and their activities. I came back home all tired out but very happy.
After experiencing “Test Drive a Guide Dog Day” I am looking forward to going into full-time training. Wish me luck!
My favourite thing is to sleep under my blanket. Although it is fun to run around the backyard in the cold weather, it is even more fun to come back inside and spend some quality time with my blanket, shark and teddy.
I was lucky enough to have Guide Dog in Training, Jacob, come and stay with us for a few nights while he was settling in to his training regime in Launceston. Jacob would come home each night after his training and we would play in the backyard while waiting for our tea. Frankie J ate first as he was the oldest, and then Jacob and I.
Although I will soon be starting my training, I still have to concentrate and practice all of the things I have learnt so far. I enjoy my walks through town, my visits to the swimming pool (though I would love to jump in and have a swim) and spending time at both of my Puppy Raisers’ work places. I like to go up and down the escalators and even the new travelators! I am always careful to make sure I don’t get my paws caught when I get off.
I am so tall now I can see what is on the kitchen table. I know that I am not allowed to take things off the table though, no matter how interesting they seem to me.
My Puppy Raisers and I enjoy going to the Puppy Raiser Mentor group meetings. They get to sit down with a coffee and talk with the others, and I get to sit with the other Guide Dog Pups and soak up what sunshine there is. At various times I have met Kobie, Kirsty, Jerry and Major at the group meetings. We all look forward to more pups up here in the North!
Hello out there!
When the weather turned cold, my Puppy Raisers tucked a blanket around me to see what I would do. Shark and I had the best nap ever; I think this blanky will quickly become my favourite thing.
Recently, I went boarding for a week to Kirsty’s home while she stayed at mine. I had a fantastic time with her Puppy Raisers – they had family visiting and I got to play with twins! At five years of age, they are much older than me but still so much fun. I remembered to be respectful and gentle with them just like I had been taught.
I’ve been to so many places since I last wrote. I’ve grooved to tunes at the Casino, went out to dinner with my family, been on long walks and met the other Guide Dog puppies and our fur friends at the free run parks. I don’t touch the plums on the ground, even though I would love to eat them.
My Puppy Raisers are preparing the outside weatherboards on our house and they tell me they will get painted when the weather improves. They are so slow, I must supervise them constantly to ensure they stay on track and don’t miss any areas. So far, they are doing a pretty good job, although after sanding all day they do look funny.
My Puppy Raisers say I am a well-rounded, good puppy that only needs maintenance. I’m not sure what that means, but I do misbehave occasionally so they don’t become complacent and rest on their laurels. I love being a Guide Dog Pup, it really is the coolest job.
Hi everyone! This is me: Happy Harvey
My favourite thing is the beach. I spent five wonderful days at 90 Mile Beach in Victoria over Christmas. What fun I had with the waves, sand and seaweed. During the day I swum and played with my two Labrador friends (Tilly brown and Tubby gold) then spent the night sleeping and recharging for the next day.
My Puppy Raiser and I went to Melbourne on a plane, then a train (just like a car but much bigger) to the beach – I took the plane, airport bus and train in my stride without a second thought. My Puppy Raiser was so proud of me and gave me lots of praise and cuddles. This is good training for a growing Guide Dog puppy.
Not long after I came back home it was my birthday. I am now one-year-old and have been with my Puppy Raisers for 10 months. My how time as flown. I can remember being so small and wondering how I was going to get up and down the back stairs to go to the toilet (small puppies need to go to the toilet a lot) but there were my Puppy Raisers to give me a hand – even in the middle of the night. We have been through an exciting journey to get to this stage where I am well behaved, walk well in coat and mostly mind my manners. I still like to run around the backyard but don’t seem to be able to fit in the small spaces I used to.
Frankie J (Golden Retriever) and I are early risers – it is my job to make sure that my Puppy Raisers get up in time to walk Frankie J before they go to work. They are not so appreciative when we try and get them up too early on weekends.
My social calendar is full as we are going to some concerts in the next month or two and I might even come down to Hobart to visit the other pups for International Guide Dog Day – if you see me, you will recognise me by my beautiful golden fur, my blue coat, my sparkling brown eyes and my cheeky grin.
Even though I have come a long way in my training, there is still so much to learn. It is a journey I am enjoying.
I was pretty lucky to visit the Garden of Memories today! I felt quite moved by what was there, and why it was there. Those lovely tags of passed Guide Dog were glistening in the water from the feature and I had a lovely fresh drink from the bowl at the bottom. My favourite part of the Garden is the sign that represents the journey a Guide Dog and handler take together. In dots, like Braille, but not raised, the words ‘six legs, one journey’ are made and at night those dots light up. It is just like something out of MONA!