Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Puppy Walkers

Puppy walkers are an essential part of a Guide Dog’s life. They do all of the hard early work for the first year, training them to spend on command, sitting, coming back on a whistle, not eating food before given permission and all the other things you need to train a regular dog to do. They do it voluntarily and most likely don’t get the credit they deserve.

I wrote a letter to Calvin’s puppy walkers shortly after we qualified, but didn’t get around to sending the letter and some photos until a few weeks ago. When I received an email in my inbox earlier with the subject of Calvin, I assumed it was from Guide Dogs bugging me about not sending any work reports for him still! However, I was pleasantly surprised to see it was from his puppy walkers who live down in Devon.

Here’s what they wrote:
Hi Selina,

How lovely to hear from you, and to tell us about Calvin. Sorry we haven't replied sooner, but we have been on holiday and have been very busy at work and with our son's wedding preparations.We have another Guide Dog puppy, too, called Amos.

Calvin was very special to us, so we are glad you love him too! We thought he would be a tough act to follow, but Amos is also a great dog! We are so glad Calvin is in a good home.

This is just a brief reply, so we will write properly soon, and sort out some photos for you and your family & friends.
Do you have special software for reading emails, or are you helped by others? Even Calvin can’t read or use the computer yet, can he?!

It's so nice to hear from you - we have had only one letter from a new owner before, and we heard nothing else after our reply, and, as you know, it is entirely up to you, the owners, to decide if you want to stay in touch with the Puppy Walkers. We have had 5 dogs for the long term -all lovely dogs -and we have had many, many more for short stays in between We are very busy with a big family and a Learning Disability Care Home to run, but the dogs do nearly everything with us.We'll tell you more ASAP.

So,we will write again, or call you, soon.

Kind regards,
Sue and Dai

So it sounds like Calvin was brought up in a busy environment. Explains his over friendliness to anyone who catches his eye! It will be interesting to learn what he got up to, as a pup and I bet he looked soooooo cute as an ickle baby!


Jen said...

Aw! Nice email. I just assumed contacting a puppy walker was an obvious thing to do, I mean if I had a dog for a year I'd want to know how it was getting on. Its amazing how many people don't do it though. At least you've given the option to hear how the dog is getting on if they want.
I'll never forget when OJ met his puppy walkers. Very interesting experience!
Jen x

Terri said...

awww thats so nice, My puppy walker has had 4 dogs, one didnt make it as it didnt like wearing its harness, so she got to keep her. i am the only person to really keep in touch and have my puppy walker on facebook as well.

My puppy walker is very quiet, hasnt really told me much about Uma, and doesnt seem too bothered if i keep in touch with her or not, she says its up to me! but i do try to keep her updated anyways.