My Guide Dog and Me

This series started on ITV last week.

The first episode followed the lives of some lovely guide dogs. I cried most of the way through the programme: guide dogs leaving their first families, the attachment between guide dogs and their families, a guide dog being put to sleep following a short battle with cancer, a guide dog retiring… There is no doubt, these guide dogs were loved from the minute they were born right to the end of their lives but it was still emotional to watch.

The second episode was more positive but no less emotional. This time I cried to see the guide dogs being matched with their owners. They were shown at work, helping and changing the lives of those around them.

What I am taking away from My Guide Dog and Me is that it is no mean feat being a Puppy Walker. It looks like you get to look after a cute and furry little bundle for 14 months. Well, yes you do. But it is so much more than that. A Puppy Walker’s role is to prepare the dog to be ready for Guide Dog training and life beyond. We are going to have to understand what is expected of us, and follow that consistently.

So today I am going to my first Puppy Walker obedience class. I’d say it is training for both the dog and the puppy walker! I am hoping to chat to some local puppy walkers and get a feel for those expectations.