I would like you to meet Darragh and Ike. Ike was our last dog that we puppy walked and here he is now as a working guide dog! A very rewarding moment for all.
I had a really exciting day a couple of weeks ago when I met our last dog Ike who qualified as a guide dog and is now currently working with Darragh.  Darragh and Ike live in Drogheda and travel daily to Dublin for work.  It was such a brilliant moment when I spotted the 2 of them walking into the coffee shop, I was so close to crying!  
After we had a cup of coffee we walked up to Stephens Green and I got to have a little moment playing with Ike.  
Ike is a very loyal and responsible dog.  This has come about from good training at the Guide Dogs Training Centre in Cork but also from an amazing amount of diligent and consistent work that Darragh has put into Ike in their first 6 months together.  The biggest surprise for me was to see Ike and Darragh negotiating the lunch time crowds in town and at an incredible speed.  What struck me the most was that even though I was wearing heels, which I don't normally wear but that I was fully sighted, Darragh and Ike were walking so fast, at some points they were way ahead of me,  that they eventually had to slow down so I could keep up.  This was just so incredible.  Darragh had done so much homework around all his different routes he would use in town, like all the different obstacles they might come across, way before Ike arrived.  This was so apparent when you walked with them because they seemed to know every lamp post, post box or even bumps in the paths.  I was left speechless... and thats not easy for me!!!
Continued good luck and success to Darragh and Ike, a formidable team.
Hector and myself have been up to a lot even though I was sick.  There is no stopping Hector!!
Just chilling!!! Hector is just over 8 months old now.
The Belvedere Boys collecting for their Block-pull in Dublin city centre with Nikita, Hector and a very handsome Labradoodle!
Every year we celebrate June 16th –Bloomsday – the odyssey of Joyce’s Leopold Bloom through the streets of Dublin in 1904.   This year Bloomsday celebrated the eve of the  25th odyssey of the students of Belvedere College from Dublin to Galway.   Each year a group of upwards of 50 students from Belvedere College walk from Dublin to Galway to raise funds for Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind and Temple St. Children’s Hospital .   This year they have added a further charity - the Hospice Foundation - to their charities   This charity walk was started by Gerry Haugh, a teacher at Belvedere College in Dublin who sadly passed away prematurely this year.   Over his lifetime Gerry walked each year with his students as they pulled a decorated wooden block from Dublin to Galway, and over those years they have raised in excess of 1 million euro.   New teachers Tom Doyle and Phillip Hogan have taken over Gerry’s mantle these past few years but Gerry would be delighted to still see the boys  tirelessly collect for their appointed charities once again this year.   Today as they collected in Dublin City the rain came tumbling down, but this did not dampen the spirits of the boys as they shook their buckets and cried out.   Hector joined them in their endeavours this morning, and whilst he didn’t shake a bucket or cry out, he also worked hard to help   He was warm and friendly to young and old alike and despite being a little tired at the end of his stint on the streets he still had a very warm welcome for his good friend Nikita when he saw her coming along to help as well.   By lunchtime his gig was over and he returned home to catch forty winks before Dominique’s new guide dog Opal came over to stay.   What a life  - its just all go go go for Hector the Brave!!   The Belvedere Blockpull will be arriving in Galway next Sunday 26th June.   If you see them anywhere along their journey give them a beep or a few bob – they’ll surely appreciate it in the coming few days!
This section was very kindly organised and written by Marguerite O'Brien a very dedicated puppy walker and supporter of the Irish Guide Dogs!!!
Just chilling!!!
Hello Guys, I am really sorry for not being on time with blog this week but Hector went on a holiday to a really nice guy in Clonsilla and I have been in my sick bed.  I will not be back with you for another week or so.  Please accept my apologies, talk soon, Michele and Hector.
This is Adah playing with some of the many pups that came to our coffee morning. She said it was the best part of her trip to her Auty Rena's in Clontarf!
For those of you who didn't get to the coffee morning check out the photos from the day by clicking on the photo gallery tab above.

    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