Daddy took forever! Mummy and I had set off for a rather lovely workies practice along the pawpath beside the long puddle. We reached destination, went a bit further, got back again, went another round-route and got back again again… still no Daddy on chuggyboathome! We just had a restful sit down. Well… Mum perched on a wall and I had a lie down – never being one to waste an opportunity to be horizontal! Eventually, Daddy came chugging along and stopped to pick us up. On the blunt-end-deck was a big pile of shredded stuff that was apparently his excuse for being so slow! He woofed something about having had to clear it all off the prop. It seems the prop is some twirly thing that makes chuggyboathome glide along in the slosh. This prop apparently doesn’t appreciate being dressed. Oh well… it was a very pleasant workies and I enjoyed lying there watching the quackers and honkers, and Mummy enjoyed listening to all the chirpers and cheepers. I even got a fuss from some passing hoomanpuppies. They did ask Mummy’s permission first though.
We’ve had visitors this week. Several of them. A shehooman called Cynthia came for hooman-noshies, then Pastor Helen and her he-mate Mark came for slurpees. That was all on one day. The next day a whole family came; Clinton and Joanne, plus their growed-up hoomanpuppies Josh and Emma. It seems they are friends of Mummy’s and Daddy’s from their past life. We all went out together to a hooman noshery and then to a park for a freerun, followed by a workies back along the pawpath.As we were walking underneath the huge vroomerway, (we could hear the vroomers grumbling above us), a big white dodgy-dog came growling and snarling and barking at me. I didn’t like him. His neck-fur was all sticky-uppy and he was really rather frightening. Mummy saved me though; she woofed loud at him and he ran away. He came back for another go though after we had gone up and over a bridge. It seems he wanted to make sure we were going off his territory. Mummy growled at him again and he, thankfully, ran back again to the other side of the bridge. Phew! We got away and continued on our nice walk!
Every visitor gets a waggy greeting from me, accompanied by the presentation of a selection of my squidgy toys. Sometimes they appreciate my offerings but many of them seem to be unimpressed with the sogginess. So ungrateful! I like to share – both my toys and my mouthjuice!
We’ve got in quite a lot of working practice this week. I’m getting to know some of the routes around the places we’ve been. Mummy says they are called Oldbury, Tipton, Dudley and Tividale. I most definitely know where to find Costa, Pets at Home and Sainsbrees, plus Aldi too. Some of the routes are quite straightforward and I can take Mummy without Daddy’s satnav help, but the Aldi one is still a bit too long and complicated but we are learning!
I think my favourite of these places is Tividale. We moored there in a big open area of splosh with hooman kennels all around it. There were some really nice hoomans around there that we meeted and greeted. Some of them were with pooches too, so they were extra good to greet! Mummy won’t let me go greet on my own though; I have to ‘Stay on the boat’ until I have Mummy or occasionally Daddy on the daft end of my lead, then I can be sociable. I am a good boy – I do stay on the boat and then I get lots of ‘Good boy to stay’ fusses and loves! I think it is worth being good!
Another reason I like Tividale is because it has a hugenormous fantabulous park just a few minutes workies away from chuggyboathome. That was a wonderful freerun place! Of course, I had to work to get there – and do the usual ‘Sit. Down. Upsit’ routine, plus plenty of recall practice as we wandered around all the greenfloorfur areas. It was worth it though! Sooooo much space for zoomies and sniffies and rollies. There was a really steep slope in the middle and I was at the top of it when I heard my toot-toot-toot summons for a munchie. I came racing down the slope but couldn’t stop. Daddy’s backlegs saved me when I crashed into them though! Thanks Dad!
On one of our workieses, I had to take special care with Mummy because the pawment wasn’t wide enough for both of us. Mummy had no choice except to walk on the two yellow stripes on the vroomerway. Thankfully, it was only for a short distance but I was watching carefully. Daddy says he is going to send a weemail message with this photo, to the local clown sellers or something to show them that it might be a good idea to trim the spiky bushes back as they are covering more than half of the pawment and making it unsafe for its pawpose.
We’ve been on a workies on a new route in Tividale; I liked that route; it involved lots and lots of ‘Find the box’ bleepy crossings! It was yummy work! Every one of those boxes got me a munchie! Twelve of them in total – 6 on the way there and 6 on the way back! Yum Yum! It was a big beastie of a vroomerway crossways to get to a gigantical Tesco’s. Inside there, I had to do lots of ‘Steady… left’ and ‘Steady… right’ and ‘Wait’ etc while Mummy and Daddy searched though lots of hanging-up hooman backleg covers. At one of the ‘Wait’ places, my bum rather sprang itself up again – there was a little black star scurrying across the floor! I needed to investigate him! Daddy told me that spiders are not for Teddies and Mummy asked me again to ‘Sit. Wait’ I did sit again, but I kept very intent vigil on where that star had scurried off to. I never did get to find him again to say hello! Humph!
Once all that strange behaviour seemed to finish, I guided Mummy into a sort of cupboard and she shut the door. It was most odd; she took off her back leg covers and then put on some different ones, then put the old ones back on again! Hoomans are so peculiar! Me? I just took the opportunity to lie down and admire the handsome dude I spotted through the window who looked identical to me and mimicked my every twitch!
We have done some of that cruising stuff this week too. I do like doing that! It means that I can watch the world glide by but stay lying down! What’s not to like about that? We’ve seen and heard lots of feathery things as we’ve chugged on by. There was a little black one with a very sharp white nose who got up off a pile of sticks. Four little fluffpuffs followed! They were making some funny little squeaky noises that made my head go all tilty! We’ve also seen a big tall grey thing on long stick-legs. That one was standing on the pawpath and it had a REALLY nasty looking nose! I wasn’t too sure about that one! There have also been lots and lots of quackers and honkers about – all along the sploshways – both on pawpaths and sitting on the splosh.
This morning, Mummy gave me a super pampering session. Ooooh! it was lovely! She used her pawsticks to massage me allllll over, then used a set of things to titivate my golden fur. When she had finished, I was all fluffy and there was a big pile of my fur on the floor. Mummy then gathered up all that pile of fur and, when we went outside, she put it all up in a tree! She says that the birdies will like it for their nests. Well, I am happy to donate my golden fibres of love!
Now for this week’s Infloblog:
Thankfully, the dog that came all nasty at me this week was shooed away by Mummy, so no harm was done. However, many of my colleagues have been really seriously hurt by pet dogs who don’t seem to like us for some reason. When this happens, it is not only super frightening and distressing for both dog and hooman, but it also often means that the Guide Dog never works again, either because of injuries, or because they are too traumatised and frightened. This is horrible for the dog, and also really lifechanging for the hooman. For some reason that we placid, gentle (we have to be to do our job) Guide Dogs never understand, some pet dogs seem to think we are good targets and, even if they are otherwise friendly, they seem to want to attack us when we are working.
So, it is really really really important that we spread the message about hoomans doing the right thing; that is to ‘Take the lead’ – attach the lead to the dog and keep a firm hold of the daft end of it please – just while we guide our hooman charge past.
Here is what Guide Dogs UK have to say about it – this is taken from www.guidedogs.org.uk and is a super important message to pass on to everyone – PLEASE!
National charity Guide Dogs is calling for urgent support from dog owners, as latest data reveals an alarming 12 guide dogs are attacked every month on average. In nearly 60% of these attacks the aggressor dog was off the lead.
In addition to the emotional and physical trauma of an attack, for the dog and owner, this serious issue has cost the charity over £1.3million since 2010 – the equivalent of 90,000 guide dog leads.
Today, the charity is launching their Take the Lead campaign, calling for the public to put their dog on a lead when they see a guide dog working. Canine researchers from the charity say this simple action could be the key to preventing future attacks.
Guide Dogs has campaigned on the issue of dog attacks in the past and back in 2014 tougher laws were introduced meaning if your dog attacked an assistance dog you could face up to a three-year jail sentence. However, the charity feels more needs to be done to prevent attacks and is now looking to the nation’s dog owners for support.
Guide Dogs Researcher, Rachel Moxon, says: “Guide dogs are life-changing for those living with sight loss, helping their owners live life to the full. Attacks on our dogs destroy confidence and can mean a guide dog owner once again loses their freedom and independence. Putting your dog on a lead when you see a guide dog working, allows you to have more control over the situation. Even if you know your dog is well-behaved, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.”
Attacks on guide dogs can have long-lasting affects for both the dog and owner.
Mike Brace’s guide dog, Izzy was attacked in London back in June 2016 and the pair are still dealing with the emotional scars from that day, he comments: “Izzy was badly hurt by a dog that sunk its teeth into her back – whilst the physical scars have healed she’s lost a part of herself, showing signs of anxiety, which breaks my heart. Each day a bit more of her sparkle returns but it all could have been avoided if the owner had put their dog on a lead that day.”