Hi everyone we are on holidays this week so we are downing all tools and having time out.  Thats humans and dogs alike.  
Next week we will have photos and an up-date on how we got on after we meet up with Roy Keane at the Irish Guide Dog "Shades" promotion.  
Also we will have news on Hectors Godfather Hector O'hEochagain when we meet him at the RTE studios on Friday morning in Donnybrook.  I am sure Hector is going to be really surprised at how big Hector has grown.   The last time we met at the studios, Hector was 8 weeks old and we had him up on the desk when he was interviewing us.  I don't think Hector would be allowed on the desk this time!!!
This was Hector and Hector in December!!!
Do you think he could sit up on the studio desk now? Not a chance!
The week of rest for Hector was going on nice walks, a run on the beach and a really nice day on Tuesday last with Carolyn and her son Eoin.  
They went on the train out to Bray, walked along the promenade and had their lunch and an ice-cream I am sure.  Eoin broke his arm a couple of weeks ago and had to have surgery so I think this was his treat and lucky Hector got to join in.
Carolyn said he was really well behaved on the train and in Bray but was a little to eager going down the stairs at Clontarf Dart station.  We are going to have to do a bit of work on this!
Hector:  I just knew we were near home and I was really excited knowing that I would be getting to see the girls in a little while!!! (do you think Michele will buy that excuse?)
Last night we went out to a local restaurant and Hector came with us,  Naturally he had his dinner before we left because it would not be fair to expect him to sit quietly under the table if he was hungry and he had done his business as well, within 15 minutes after having had a little sniff about under the table he lay down and fell asleep, what a good dog!
We arrived at 7.15 and left at 9.30 and there was not a peep out of him.  
Hector:  If you had asked me to join you at the table I would not have said no but that offer never came so there really was no choice but to lie down and have a snooze!

Well ciao till next week...Hector and Michele
This week is short and sweet as we needed to reserve Hectors energy for up-coming events and recover from the previous week. I know we are not meeting Roy Keane for another 10 days but last week was exceptionally busy.  Hector was neutered on Wednesday, then we met up with Sonia O'Sullivan on Friday and finally we went to the Girls Brigade display on Friday evening where he met loads of people and the lovely Joanna Sargent.  This was a lot  for any young dog to do especially having being neutered so it was definitely a week for chilling this week.  Hector most certainly agreed with this and got loads of rest.
Hector:  I know it was a really busy week and that surgery did hurt a little but I was not that tired, why do mummies always think we are tired!!!  They are always telling us to go to bed and get some rest, I just wanted to play with my friend Nikita and Michele would not let me because she was afraid I would burst my stitches or get too tired, ahh mothers!!!!
Joanna and Hector 'Best Friends Forever.'
Well, here is the lovely Joanna Sargent that we met at the end of year Girls Brigade Display last week.  Her mum got in touch with me last week and  gave her permission to allow me put Joannas photo up here on the blog.  Thank you so much. 
It was lovely to meet someone that was so enthusiastic about dogs.  I am not sure which of the 2 felt  more privileged to be in the others company but Hector definitely felt like he had died and gone to heaven because Joanna was so adorably loving to him!!!
Hector:  Yeah man she is so cool!!!

This is the pond that Hector decided to try and become more familiar with!!!
Well, the only mad thing that happened this week was on Saturday, I thought I would bring Hector for a nice free run in St Annes Park, just to have some fun and burn off a bit of energy in a nice way.  Anyway, just as we were heading back towards the car to go home we met up with a lovely springer spaniel called "Molly".  She was great fun to run and play with.  That is until we came through the trees and arrived at the pond.  Hector and Molly were running at full speed and Molly, who is obviously a bit older and a bit more clued in, stopped dead right at the edge of the pond but our muppet, Hector, just kept going and with a big splash, ended up in the pond.  Boy did he get a fright.  He swiftly turned around and swam back to the edge but on his first attempt to get out he fell back in.  I was sure for a moment that I was going to have to climb in and hoosh him out myself. Fortunately, he has a better spring in him than I thought and with one final effort he leapt out with a little help from me on the side.  As you can imagine he was fairly filthy so it was straight home for a wash.  I think he has learnt a lesson, well, I hope he has.
Hector: It was a bit of a shock falling into that water but it was a bigger shock when I got home and Michele proceeded to splash and wash me with buckets of water!!

Check in next week for more adventures of Hector........ ciao
Hector: 'Not so sure I want to go in here but it looks like there ain't no way of turning back now.'
Hi everyone, well you will all be glad to know that Hector got over his surgery without a hitch!!  Yes he was a bit sleepy and sore the first night but today is Day 5 post-op and he is like he was the day before he went in to have the operation- plenty of energy and bounce.  It was really hard to keep him quiet after 2 days.  He did have a little bruising but nothing to bad.  His stitches are dissolvable which is wonderful.  He was put on antibiotics and pain killers for 3 days which seemed to do the trick.  They also discovered that he had a urinary tract infection so he got a different set of antibiotics for that which he will be finished tonight.

Hector:  It was a little sorer than I thought it was going to be but I managed to put on a brave face, even though I was a bit dopey when I got home.  Wow, did I get lots of TLC afterwards as well, not that I would go back in a hurry but everyone was really good to me.  They didn't even put on that silly lampshade thing for my head because I promised I wouldn't lick my wound.  Now who is a good boy then!
Here is Hector being minded by the very nice and friendly Sarah Doyle from Dogs Trust Ireland.
Dogs Trust is an international dog charity which started in the UK in 1891. They currently have 17 rehoming centres around the UK and run international welfare programmes in Malta and Romania. They are delighted to be open for rehoming in Dublin, building on the education, microchipping and neutering campaigns they’ve offered in Ireland since 2005.
To date, they have spent over 5m neutering dogs in Ireland and their education team has delivered classroom talks to thousands of school children about responsible dog ownership.
Over 6,500 stray and abandoned dogs were destroyed in Ireland in 2009. That’s over 17 dogs per day. There are already rescue charities doing a great job but there simply isn’t enough room for so many dogs needing help, which is why they opened Dogs Trust Dublin.
Their mission in Ireland is to bring an end to the destruction of stray and abandoned dogs. They aim to achieve their goal in a number of ways:
 A national neutering campaign offering low cost neutering for dogs whose owners are on state benefit. To date, they have neutered over 50,000 dogs through this initiative.
 An education programme offering free curriculum linked resources to teachers in Ireland.  Through classroom workshops, children learn about the importance of responsible dog ownership and meet their resident education team dogs, Molly and Siabh!
 Their brand new rehoming centre, Dogs Trust Dublin, is now open and will aim to rescue, care for and rehome 1,000 dogs in the first year.
Sonia, Sarah, Suzie and Stephen at the Irishtown Stadium running track. (Thats alot of S names!!!- not planned)
Next on our agenda this week was meeting up with Sonia O'Sullivan on friday afternoon.  Sonia was so nice to us all.  It was a such a pleasure to meet her. My big confession is that I brought my camera with me, took loads of pictures for the blog but for some reason I cannot get access to the photos after putting them onto my computer.  I only have a few but they definitely are not the best of them.  I also promised Sonia that I would send the photos onto her for her children but now I can't.  Please accept my apologies, Sonia, IGDB and to all the readers of the blog.
We met up with her at the Irishtown Stadium in Irishtown, Dublin. This is a fabulous facility for the local community, with flood-lit running tracks, 6 astro-practice-pitches and 2 full size astro-pitches and large club house with many more facilities I am sure (We just went to the running-track).
Sonia is a great supporter of the Irish Guide Dogs, she calls in often to Headquarters when she is Cork her native county.  
Sonia gave us lots of her time when we got there and told us all about her work/training and her family back home in Australia. She also has a dog back home,Snowie-a border-collie, which her children adore, so she was very comfortable with Hector.  She got down on the ground and chatted and played with Hector or maybe it was more like Hector played with Sonia, he was so excited when he met her.

Hector:  I know I am only a four-legged dog but it was really nice to meet Sonia, such a nice human being.  Sonia might not realise it but I think I could be of great assistance to her in training program as I just love running.  I would also be great company for her when she is training and brilliant motivation as she would want to keep up with me because I am such a cool dog.  Just give me the nod Sonia and I will be your new mentor!!!!
Hector: I am honored to meet you Sonia!
After this great afternoon we went that evening to an end of year Girls Brigade display which was held in St Fintans School Hall where there were about 300 people.  This was a big experience for him.  There was lots of music, singing, dancing and children doing little plays.  He sat for about 2 1/2 hours very quietly watching the whole thing.  He never barked or made any noise, just lay down patiently and watched.  I was so proud of him, if not a little guilty because it was so long.  He slept like a baby that night!

Hector:  Well, it was a really good display but I was glad to get home, it had been a long day.  I also really enjoyrd meeting that lovely girl Miss J Seargent who was so nice and friendly to me, I would have gone home with her, I think she would spoil me rotten!!!!
Also my apologies to the lovely girl whom I met at the display on Friday night a Miss J Seargent.  I am trying to find out your mums phone number so I can ask her personally about putting the photograph of you and Hector together at the end of the display.  Maybe you can get someone to phone Jackie the Capt. of the 5th Company to pass on your number as I need your mums permission to put the picture on the blog.
Hey 2-legged Hector we met a really good friend of yours, Barbara from Horse Racing Ireland at our Local farmers Market in the Red Stables Yard in Saint Anne's Park on Saturday morning.  She said to say Hi to you!!!
Barbara is obviously a bit of a keep fit enthusiast as she had just completed an 8K run in St Anne's.  When she saw Hector she asked me was he "Hector's Hector" and of course I said yes, so then it was time for another photo opportunity.  

Till next week..............Ciao!!

Photo taken yesterday of Hector in the garden.
He is currently 23 weeks old and weighs 22.95 kgs.
He loves time outside in the garden playing with his toys, chasing leaves and generally just chilling in the fresh air.

Wow, here we are into our 4th month with Hector and fortunately heading into brighter evenings and hopefully some nice weather.  Its been a busy time with lots happening i.e. lots to learn, places to go and people to meet!!!  
To refresh ourselves on hectors progress, he has met
  • Hector O hEochagan in Galway (as in picture on head of page)
  • Lord Mayor of Dublin at the Mansion House
  • Head of Labour Eamon Gilmore at Paddy Powers Bookies on Baggott Street
Hector snoozing with Ellie his elephant cuddly toy and a frond from a palm tree. he loves chewing and chasing these.
He has been to/on
  • RTE radio in Galway's RTE studios
  • Paddy Powers Bookies in Baggott Street
  • Department Stores like Brown Thomas and Arnotts
  • Supermarkets
  • Shopping Malls
  • Resaturants such as Gotham, Casa Pasta, Moloughney's
  • Pharmacy's
  • The GP's when I had an appointment
  • Town
  • Coffee Shops lcally like Tillys or in town like Avoca
  • Buses
  • Darts
  • The Luas
  • The vets Denis Shannon's
  • Numerous Puppy Classes
Hector looking all grown up.
He has had

  • a microchip put in
  • all three vaccines, IGDB vaccinate their pups three times to ensure they are 100% ok
  • Kennel cough vaccine
  • Wormed every three months and Flea treatment given every month
  • and has had a number of washes as seen in picture below where Lucy and Sarah are drying him after a big wash!!!
Lucy (left) is helping Sarah (right) to dry Hector (under the towels) after a nice big wash!!!
And  in the next month he is about to
  • be neutered
  • meet Sonia O'Sullivan and 
  • Roy Keane
  • do another radio interview with Hector O hEochagain and 
  • maybe meet up again with Hector at the end of April in Cork

Now thats what I call a busy pup and I suppose a busy Puppy Walker.

As I have said the next month is going to be busy for Hector, starting with this Wednesday he is going to Dog Trust Ireland to be neutered, along with Nikita and Izzie.  
All guide dog pups are neutered around this age unless they have been ear-marked for breeding stock, i.e. to be used as a brood bitch or a stud dog.  Most of the guide dog pups are bred from the Guide Dogs own dogs which they have nurtured  and brought along to achieve a  very high standard.  Occasionally Irish Guide Dogs exchange dogs with other Guide Dog Organisation's world-wide so as to introduce fresh blood into their breeding stock line.

Hector:  I know the guys in Dog Trust Ireland will be looking after me really well but I am a bit nervous all the same.  Don't forget guys plenty of pain killers please, not too fond of suffering too much!!!
Then on Friday morning we are hoping to meet Sonia O'Sullivan who is a wonderful supporter of the Irish Guide Dogs.  maybe hailing from Cork she has an extra special interest in a locally based national charity.  Hector (4-legged) is going to have photos taken with Sonia.  Is he the lucky boy getting to meet our very own international athletic hero!!!
All going well we also hope to get to talk to Hector on the airwaves that morning.

Hector:  I hope Sonia doesn't want to go for a run, I'm really not that fit and I will be looking for lots of TLC seeing as I will just be over my surgery.
Roy Keane with Neff in March 2006
Then on the 28th of April we are going to get a chance to meet with Roy Keane who is another Cork hero and the patron for the Guide Dogs.  This is Roy about 5 years ago meeting up with Neff our first pup that we walked and his sister Niesha.
Hopefully after that it we maybe heading to Cork to meet our 2-legged Hector, "the Godfather" at guide Dod Headquarters.
I am really looking forward to seeing the new headquarters in Cork, I believe it is state of the art and out of this world.

Hector:  Now that you have mentioned "state if the art facilities" I might try and head down early, sounds very posh and cool in Cork!!!

I will let you all know how Hector gets on with his surgery next Tuesday.

    About this Blog

    Welcome to Puppy Hector's Blog:
    Follow RTE 2fm's "Breakfast with Hector" adopted pup's progress as he trains to become a guide dog for a person living with sight loss or an assistance dog for families of children with autism.

    RTE 2fm & Hector Ó hEochagáin:
      RTE 2fm's Breakfast Show Crew and host Hector ÓhEochagáin have been supporting pup Hector since adopting him at 8 weeks of age. During the last year, they have been helping us create awareness about our work and just what goes into into training a guide dog. Their support has been invaluable and has helped to raise much needed funds towards Hector's training. 

    About the Blog Authors, Susan Turtle and Michele Munnelly:
    Susan Turtle has been with Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind as a trainer for over
    13 years. Puppy Hector joined her in January this year to commence Early
    Training. She'll be keeping you posted on his progress over the next few months. Prior to January, Hector was with Volunteer Puppy Walker, Michele Munnelly who helped him get started
    on his journey to becoming a guide or assistance dog.  

    About Puppy Hector:
    Hector was born on 17 October 2010 and is German Shepherd x Golden Retriever. He is an intelligent, lively dog destined to become a life changing partner to a person living with sight loss or a family of a child with autism.   

    The role of a Puppy Walker:
    A Volunteer PW fosters a pup
    from 8 weeks of age to 12 months. During this time, the
    pup becomes part of their lives
    at home. A PW cares for and trains the pup to become a well rounded, confident, calm, willing, mannerly and socially acceptable dog.  The main focus
    is on obedience and socialisation, ensuring the pup is comfortable in many different environments like shops, restaurants, buses, trains, busy streets and malls etc.  Also the dog must get on with and not be distracted by people and other animals.  All of this provides the pup with a solid foundation for their future training and role as a guide or assistance dog. All training is done through positive reinforcement, learning should
    be fun, "a happy pup is a willing pup".

    Supported by PW Supervisors:
    Volunteer PWs are supported by our PW Supervisors who provide training and ongoing guidance. This is done through practical Puppy Training Classes, home visits and one‐on‐one training in supermarkets, shops, train
    stations etc.  The PW Supervisors provide valuable guidance and support to help equip our Volunteers for the task at hand and to monitor each pup's progress. All veterinary fees and feeding costs are covered by The Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind along with placing pups in homes when Volunteer PW's go on holidays.

    Come on and become a Puppy Walker for Irish Guide Dogs!
    It is a commitment but one that is rewarding and great fun!
    Go to www.guidedogs.ie to apply!


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guidehector@gmail.com www.puppyhector.weebly.com Hector having a snooze in his cozy dog crate after our walk and bus ride this morning