Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Tuesday 26th June

Today we were invited to Guide Dogs at Shrewsbury to see our last Guide Dog Pup, Carly, working in harness in the final stages of her basic training.
The weather forecast had been for a return of summer for Monday and Tuesday so we were looking forward to a nice day out but as usual they got it wrong.

We arrived at the office on the Shrewsbury Business Park and were met by Claire, Carly’s trainer . She introduced us to the other members of staff and Crumble and Bracken who she is also training. They all have their beds in the office and relax in there with the staff when they are not being trained.
Phoenix soon sorted them out and Bracken lost his bed and his bone to her but did not seem to mind too much.

* Phoenix and Bracken

Carly had been put in the training van so that she would not see us until she had finished her training walk otherwise she would have been too distracted to concentrate. Claire got her out of the van and put her in harness and started the walk around the housing estate next to the offices. We walked carefully at a discreet distance behind making sure that she could not see or smell us as she crossed roads and went down narrow paths feeling like spies tracking a person.

When we reached the park Claire took her out of the harness and called us over to greet her. She looked at us as if to say who is this and then suddenly realised who we were and made a dash for us jumping up and going wild. We played with her in the park and then walked back to the office.

Watching Carly working makes you realise how difficult it must be for a visually impaired person to put their faith in a dog to keep them safe and what a great bond they must develop with one another for the partnership to work.

* Carly on her training walk in lovely Rain

Once we had said our good byes to Carly and Claire we made our way home but decided to take a detour via Fradley Junction where the Richardsons were moored in Autumn Years. We arrived just in time for tea and home made cake. Phoenix was on her best behaviour and slept most of the time. She made up for it however when she got home and was a little devil until bedtime.

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