Guide Dog Pup, Murphy
Guide Dog Pup Murphy is a very handsome golden Labrador who arrived in Hobart in December 2016, a week before Christmas. Thanks Santa!
He arrived with his sister, Morgan. He lives with his Puppy Raisers in Hobart and together they are exploring lots of different experiences so he can get used to as many different sights, sounds and environments as possible before he enters formal training . This is to ensure he is a well-adjusted, well-behaved dog with good health and a good temperament.
Murphy and Morgan were purchased and brought to Tasmania through a generous donation from the Commercial Travelers’ Association of Tasmania Inc. We say a great big pawsome thank you!
Did we mention he was handsome?
Since my last doggy-bloggy entry, I have left my Puppy Raising family and have joined the training group of dogs. I’m currently undertaking my initial Guide Dog assessment to see how suitable I will be to continue training. Keep your fingers, toes and paws crossed for me!
Over the last three months I have had lots of new adventures, including going boarding twice with really great Puppy Boarders. The first time I went for a week and it was really good because they had a shack. I didn’t really know what a shack was but I hopped in the car and we drove for a while – I know this because I had a big sleep, and when I woke up we were at the shack.
The shack is just another house really; the exciting part for me is that it is across the road from a great beach. There is a lot of nice fresh sea air at the shack and my Puppy Boarders took me to the beach. I love the beach! I can jump the waves and run in and out of the water and do doggie skids in the sand it is so much fun. I would have liked to stay longer with the Puppy Boarder, as it was such fun. But alas, I had to return to my Puppy Raiser and a bit more normal routine.
Because I seemed a bit bored when I came home, I started to learn this new trick with my Puppy Raiser. When I get to a step I now have to stop at the first one if the steps are going down, and I do not go down until my Puppy Raiser tells me to go forward. I also have to stop at the bottom step if the steps are going up. At the bottom step I can put my front paws on the first step, then I stop still just like a statue until my Puppy Raiser tells me to go forward. When I get this right and do it without my Puppy Raiser telling me, I get the biggest pats and cuddles, so I really enjoy doing this. However, we seem to be finding lots of stairs to go up and down now and sometimes I don’t know if my Puppy Raisers has just gotten lost! My Puppy Raiser tells me that all Guide Dogs stop at the steps and they do what I am learning as it is really necessary to keep their clients safe.
I had to go back to a Puppy Boarder and was really excited, thinking I was going to the beach. But this time I went to a different Boarder and I was a bit disappointed at first. But instead, I went to lots of other really exciting places; I even got to go to yoga. I often do yoga when I am asked to “sit” and sometimes I do downward dog, where my front paws go down while my back legs are still up in the air and I have a really good stretch. The new Puppy Boarders also took me to the dog park and that was really fun! I was a little naughty though, because sometimes I would be lazy and not walk for them, and then when we got to the dog park I pulled really hard towards another dog before I had my lead off. I know I should not do this, I just get so puppy excited. My Puppy Raiser said that I am growing up and need to be better behaved if I want to be a Guide Dog.
Hello! Wow, isn’t time going so fast?
I love the office and now I have a fabulous new friend in the office, his name is Harvey and he is my new best buddy. Harvey is a training dog. One day I will be in training like Harvey so I have been getting a few tips off him on what to do when I start training. The first thing that Harvey has taught me is that he likes to sleep on my bed with me. I don’t mind, it is much easier to get training tips from Harvey when we cuddle together like mates. My Puppy Raiser said that I should go for a walk with Harvey and learn to walk like he does. Sometimes I don’t like to walk… My Puppy Raiser said that I can be very lazy, and I need to be a good walker to become a Guide Dog. Hopefully I will become more energetic and enjoy walking more before I go into training. I loved summer! I went to the beach more often and that is one place that I can suddenly find lots of energy! I love to swim, jump the waves when the water is rough, and run along the beach. It is my favourite place.
I have been to the vet because I had to have my vaccination. I saw a lovely new vet and she was very shocked at how long my legs and body are. She also noticed that my lower jaw is not quite as long as my upper jaw, this is why I have little jaw jowls, but none of this is a problem and I still received my liver treat. I think liver treats are really the only good reason to visit the vet. My Puppy Raiser dad said the other week when we passed a Great Dane on our Salamanca monthly walk, “Say hello to daddy”. I don’t know why he thinks my dad is a Great Dane. I am just a Labrador with really long legs and body. I got to model the new Guide Dog in training orange coat that has recently been launched. I guess with my long legs the photographer thinks I make a great model!
Christmas was fun this year; I got some really interesting new toys. I now have a moustache and a long tongue toy. They are balls with a moustache and tongue attached and everyone laughs when I pick them up as I either have a moustache or really long tongue. I am just happy that I give so many smiles to everyone. I hope you can see the picture of me with my long tongue and you also smile.
Keep smiling ’til next time, Murphy.
I am just over 12 months of age and going through my “teenage years” at the moment, that’s what my Puppy Raiser is calling it anyway. Apparently it happens to all pups on the Guide Dog program and it happens when we are around 12 month of puppy age! I feel 17 and ready to get out and party! I do not feel like doing Guide Dog puppy training at times… I would rather go out and jump on a skateboard and go to the skate park.
I have been a very well behaved and calm puppy though. When I go through teenage years I try to make my Puppy Raiser let me do what I want. She usually does not give into my wayward attitude, and sometimes when I am naughty she will take me home and not take me out in public.
The other day I went for a walk around the foreshore at Montrose Bay and I jumped and barked and behaved quite silly for no reason. There was no one around, but it seemed like fun even though I know I should not behave this way in my coat. I will go against her when she asks me to sit or drop and just pretend that I have not heard, like teenagers who have their headphones in. I am not really that bad, but when going through teenage year’s Guide Dog puppies suddenly go “NO! I don’t think I will do that.”
We do grow out of it and it does not take very long, it is just that stage where I am not a little pup anymore, but I am also not an older pup about to go into training. I sort of feel that I am not sure what I want to do with my life, just like a teenager, and I challenge my Puppy Raisers just to get a reaction. That is why, when I am really naughty, my Puppy Raiser will probably take me home.
I do still love to sleep, but what teenager doesn’t? And I must admit there is nothing better at the end of the day than to sit down and gnaw on my Nyla bone.
I am confident that when I write my next doggy-bloggy I will be all different and looking forward to my next stage. I will be starting to work hard so that when I go to the Guide Dog trainers for assessment, I will pass my assessment and be able to go onto formal training.
But that’s a few months and a couple of doggy-bloggies away yet, so I will catch up again soon!
I would like to tell you about something really exciting…It’s how I already seem to make people very happy! My Puppy Raiser has started working two days a week; we still get up quite early in the morning, but now we go out much earlier. It is quite an adventure!
Once in the car, we drive about 15 minutes. I love going in the car! I sit in the front left floor space and because I am so big, I can change the car gear leaver from automatic to manual, change the radio station and turn the air conditioning on to max. This usually gets quite a reaction from my Puppy Raiser! I do not mean to do this but the car has a touch screen and I only have to bump up against it or the buttons and away they go. When the car stops we go to the bus stop – this is where I start making people happy. When other people waiting for the bus see me, they start whispering. They don’t realise that whilst my Puppy Raiser cannot hear them, I can, because I am much better at hearing than humans. Even though I may not understand their language, I can tell by the smiles on their faces and the look in their eyes that they are talking about me. This is another interesting thing that Morgan, my sister, and I have in common. We like to look up, so we see the faces of the people around us and we like watching birds and anything in the sky above us.
When the bus arrives, the driver smiles at us and as we make our way to a seat, I can again hear and see the smiles of the people on the bus. They often talk to my Puppy Raiser about me; they ask questions like how old am I, and they all comment on how big I am when my Puppy Raiser tells them my age. I also have a way of making other passengers laugh! I roll over onto my back with my legs in the air; this always gets the bus passengers pointing, talking and laughing about me. I think my Puppy Raiser is not happy when I do this… She makes me sit up and be good. I do have a bit of a cheeky side!
When we get off the bus we are in the city, and we walk across the road to the Mall. It has been cold and dull lately, but again as I walk through people who are just walking past change their facial expressions and smile when they see me. My Puppy Raiser has tried to count how many people turn their heads and smile, but she always loses count as there are so many! I have been trying to catch the pigeons that walk in front of me in the Mall and my Puppy Raiser puts on her grumpy “leave it” voice, but the other people walking through the Mall often smile and laugh at my antics. I am starting to leave the pigeons alone, but it is very hard because most mornings they deliberately come across in front of me and try to get me in trouble! One morning I had a little bladder accident in the Mall… this is most unusual for me, and my Puppy Raiser was a bit worried about cleaning it up. The very nice lady who is always setting up her flower stand let my Puppy Raiser borrow a bucket of her water to fix my little accident. She was also smiling at me and was talking about me.
When we get to the traffic lights and have to wait for the green man to walk, people always talk and ask lots of questions about me. When we start walking again, the people walking towards me change their facial expressions they start to smile. This happens all the way up the street, and by the time we go for our walk around the city and get into the nice warm office with lovely dog beds and fabulous dog toys, my Puppy Raiser always tells me, “Do you know how many people you have made smile this morning?” I am not sure about this, but the office is warm and the bed is very comfy, so I lie down and have a nice long sleep.
I would also like to tell you about my trip home from my Puppy Raiser’s work place! People take the time to smile and enjoy my company. The other night a young lady said, “How sad, that poor puppy being made to work”. I am very glad that my Puppy Raiser explained to her that I am not made to work; I really enjoy getting out and looking at different things. When my Puppy Raiser is ready to go in the morning, she will always find me waiting near my lead and coat. When I get to work, I take my learner coat off and I am off duty and a normal puppy. I like to have a sleep, then I have lots of chew bones and toys to play with during the day. We go out to the toilet and some days we go for a walk. I put my learner coat back on to go home, which takes about 35 minutes, then my coat comes off! When my coat is off, I am just a normal puppy and I can play with Quinton, the other dog that lives at my house. He has been alone and asleep all day, so we have plenty of fun when I get home. I do not do the same thing every day and I love going to new and different places. Sometimes it’s a free run park, sometimes nice walks, sometimes shopping and sometimes work. If the young lady that made the comment had taken notice of my tail, she would have noticed that it was swaying very happily!
Wow, hasn’t the time gone so fast, it seems like not long ago I had only just arrived and was settling into my new home! I feel like I have lived there forever now. I have had so many adventures and learnt so much in the past three months, it is hard to know where to begin.
I need to tell you something I am very proud of; my Puppy Raisers think that I am an extremely well behaved puppy. I am very good in the house and have not destroyed anything. I am quiet and am just happy to lie on my bed sleeping (which they say I do all the time) or lie down with a toy and observe everything that goes on around me. Because I am so well behaved, we have had a few trips away. I have been to Greens Beach and Launceston and stayed in motels, and I have been to the shack at Port Arthur too. These trips away from home are really great, as I get to lie about and watch my Puppy Raisers packing countless bags of gear into the car, then we get into the car, I sit in the front left floor well, we drive a long way, then they unload all the stuff, including my bed, the most important item! I usually lie around watching as this happens, then we go for a nice long walk in new places like the Narawntapu National Park, near Greens Beach. My Puppy Raiser was going to let me have a free run on the beach, but when we arrived we realised this is not a dog beach due to the sensitive nature of the birdlife and little penguin colonies in the area. Luckily, because I have Guide Dog access, I walked on lead and in coat in the National Park instead. I was looking for kangaroos and other wildlife that we heard at night when I went out to the toilet, but I never met them close up. Down at the shack was much better, because Quinton and I got to run, swim and play on the beach. We had so much fun, and I was so tired at the end of the day, I think I could have slept anywhere!
I have also been learning lots of Guide Dog skills like walking well on the lead, and every day I get a little better at walking without being distracted by everything around me. I have been on lots of escalators and travelators again too. My Puppy Raiser does not like them and we think sometimes she is putting me off walking on them! So I have been out with my sister Morgan because she is a really good walker and she does not mind travelators. Sometimes her Puppy Raiser walks me on and I am much more confident with her! I must work on training my Puppy Raiser to relax and have faith in my ability.
I must tell you in case you see me out in my “Guide Dog Learner” coat, I have grown quite a bit since I arrived and I don’t look much like a puppy anymore, even though I am still only very young. When walking with Morgan the other day, my Puppy Raiser was asked how old I was and she replied “six months”, and then the person asked how old was the “little one”, meaning Morgan. My Puppy Raiser said we are the same age as we are brother and sister. Well, the member of the public assured my Puppy Raiser that I had a “boof head and was huge”. I don’t think my Puppy Raiser really appreciated that comment, and she assured me that I am very lovely and not to worry about what people say. Funny, I never worry about what people say; that’s one of the good things about being a dog! I am happy if I am fed, go on outings, can play with my doggie friends, am clean, and have a nice warm bed with a few toys. And I do have all of that, and more!
My name is Murphy. My Puppy Raiser tells anyone who asks that I’m like Robert Murphy, the AFL Bulldogs captain. She tells them she hopes I turn out to be just as wonderful as he is. I don’t know what she’s talking about really, but she seems pretty enthusiastic about it.
I arrived with my very beautiful sister, Morgan, from South Australia on Friday 16th December 2016. We had two flights to get to Hobart and it was a very long day. We arrived in the afternoon and after a quick stop at Guide Dogs Tasmania’s Hobart office for cuddles, we were off to our new homes with Puppy Raisers. I was a little sad on the drive to my new home; I missed my brothers and sisters. I barked most of the way to my new home at Austin’s Ferry. At one stage my Puppy Raiser was saying things like “taking me back to Guide Dogs”. I don’t know why she was like this; just because I have a very loud voice.
When I arrived at my new house I felt a bit better there was another dog there that looked a lot like my mother only his name was Quinton and he was not very motherly, he did not seem to care much for me. He is very aloof and does not like to play. He only seemed to be very good at sleeping! You will be very glad to know that most evenings now we have a little play time and he plays with me and my toys. I’m pretty sure he loves some of my new toys as much as I do. I have one very special toy, it is a little brown and white dog, my sister Morgan has one the same and it is her favourite toy also.
I have been very busy since I arrived, on the Saturday night I had to go to a Christmas Dinner. My Puppy Raisers had to dress up; dad had a suit and mum was going to wear a dress that had lots of lace on it, only my little toe nails kept pulling on the lace so mum quickly changed. She said it didn’t matter because no one at the dinner was looking at her anyway; everyone was saying what a darling puppy I was. I was very well behaved and slept during the dinner. The next day my Puppy Raiser had to go to work and as I had been so good the night before she decided that I could go to work with her. Dad was on standby in case I cried or played up, but I slept the whole 5 hours!
The next week seemed to go so fast, we were out for lunches and dinners and I had a photo shoot with my sister. Seeing her made me VERY happy and energetic. I settled down and after a little time I was sleeping peacefully, sleeping is something my Puppy Raisers say that I am very good at. When we go out, if I get tired I just flop down and will happily snooze wherever we are. My Puppy Raiser doesn’t enjoy this so much when it is in the middle of the aisle at the supermarket, but she is happy for me to sleep in restaurants.
Then it was Christmas Day and my Puppy Raisers did not mind me waking early… something about getting the turkey in the oven? There was lots of food cooked and people came for lunch, and they had things called Christmas Crackers that made noises. I didn’t mind though; I slept through it all!
After Christmas I had to go to the vets for vaccinations. They have things called liver treats that are very yummy and all the staff said I was so cute and they gave me lots of pats.
I don’t think you will believe all the places I have been since I arrived! So many shops and different shopping centres, I went to the doctor and hairdresser with my Puppy Raiser and I got some of her hair on me but I didn’t mind, she said something to the hairdresser about that being a change; normally she has dog hair on her!
I have had play dates with my sister in the play room at Guide Dogs and at the dog park at Dru Point when Billie and Benji joined us. The big Guide Dog puppies were also there, they went the other way and we joined up with them a bit later. The best fun of all was at the dog beach at Sandy Bay; Morgan and I played on the sand and in the water. Morgan is much better swimmer than me but I still had a wonderful time.
I think you will agree by all the adventures and fun that I have had so far, I have settled in very well. I am also learning commands like ‘sit’ and ‘down’ and I am walking a little better on the lead every day. I’m also learning the lovely skill of sleeping from Quinton!
I know I have lots more new places to go and fun to have in the future, so I will keep you informed.