Hector teaching Hector the ropes for broadcasting!

If you have never been to the National Ploughing Championships like me, then you must make it your business to mark it into your diary and go next year.  It is for young and old alike.  The Dublin Horse show is the same but different.  The Dubs go the Horse Show for all the different horse class competitions, the retail stands and the social aspect of it.  The National Ploughing Championships the competitions are different, its ploughing with machinery and horses, retail stands selling combine harvesters and the like and clothes and many other wares and lots of socialising.

The place was buzzing with a really light and fun atmosphere, lovely contrast to all the doom and gloom of the recession that bombards our lives everyday on the news and in the papers!  Such a nice change! 

Anyway we did our live interview, if only hector could talk it would be so much easier, I'm not that good at it and am really nervous.  The 4 legged hector would be brilliant, if only he really could talk!!!!

Hector: You know what I think this broadcasting lark is just not for me, especially Hector's slot, I couldn't be getting up at that hour of the morning, as I have said many times before, I really do need my sleep and the idea of a six o'clock rise is just too much!  Thanks for showing me the ropes though Hector, I do appreciate it!! 
The 2 Hectors with the wonderful volunteers who manned the IGDB Stand at The National Ploughing Championships!

Hector was really impressed with our 4 legged Hector.  He couldn't believe how much 
he had grown and he felt he was calmer and more settled.
We introduced a Halti to Hector last month as he was pulling a little too much sometimes and as he is such a big and strong dog we want to know that if any one who is not strong is able to walk him without the fear of him pulling them and Hector bringing them for a walk instead of the other way round!

Hector took to the Halti easily enough and walks really well on it.  Hector O'hEochagain was easily able to manage the Halti.

Hector walked him around the grounds and called into the IGDB stand to say hello to all the volunteers.  They had been there since early morning and would not be leaving till late that evening.  They were doing this for the 3 days of the National Ploughing Championships.. Very committed volunteers.

We all went for a coffee after visiting the IGDB Stand and Hector under normal circumstances is really good at sitting quietly in a coffee shop or restaurant for a reasonable length of time.  This day though he was not so good because he wouldn't eat his breakfast when we arrived, so needles to say after a couple of hours he was really hungry and he spent most of the time trying to eat all the old discarded chips of the ground while I was trying to drink my coffee.

Hector: I was hungry, whats a dog gotta do to get some grub!!  I know, I know, I didn't eat my brekkie but I was just so excited with the whole journey and then all the new smells and people and those big big machines, I just couldn't eat then but the huger caught up on me, sorry Shell!

Hector walking Hector alongside Paddy Delany the Head of fundraising for the IGDB.

Just before we went on air Paul Howard, aka Ross o'Carroll Kelly was being interviewed about his new book.  He kindly stopped and allowed us to take a picture of him with Hector.

Hector: Yeah he gave Hector O'hEochagain his new book Mama Mia for keeps but he didn't give me one.  i know I can't read but a freebie is a freebie!!!  
Hector with Paul Howard, aka, Ross O'Carroll Kelly at The National Ploughing Championships.

Don't forget guys mark your calendar for next years National Ploughing Championships!  Talk soon...............
Hector enjoying the sunshine - making the most of the few sunny days we may have left before winter hits!
We have a bit of an exciting day tomorrow.  We are going to the Ploughing Championships in the morning.  We are meeting Hector O'hEochagain for a radio interview at 8.00am.  That means we will have to tuck up in bed early tonight.  A bit of beauty sleep will be required, as we will be on the road by 5.30 in the morning.  Now thats an early start!
Paddy Delany, Head of Fundraising for the Irish Guide Dogs is traveling down in the morning.  We will rendezvous at the Red Cow Inn and travel in one car.
I am really looking forward to the event.

Hector: Oh gosh, thats a bit early for me, I am going to have to snooze in the car, cos a dog like me needs his sleep.  They can't expect me to be on top of my game and looking good unless I have had at least 10 hours sleep.  If I get enough Zzzzzz's I reckon I will thoroughly enjoy the day.  I heard Michele talking about it, it sounds really exciting and I am going to meet my Godfather again, yippeee.
Its never too early to start catching those zzzzz's!
We will get as many photos as we can from the Ploughing Championships and put them up on the blog.
Well since we were last in touch we have attended a puppy picnic in Cathal Brugha Barracks, Hector went on a sleep-over for a long weekend and  generally having fun and growing up!!! We were also thrilled to have Ike our previous dog back with us for 5 days.  Ike is a working Guide-Dog and is partnered to Darragh who has fallen head over heels for him.  Hector was made up because he had someone to play with 24-hours a day.

We had a great afternoon at the puppy picnic as did the dogs.  There was a really good turn out, with tiny young pups to the more mature and bigger dogs.... like Hector!  i posted lots of photos from the afternoon onto the Irish Guide Dog's Facebook.

Jim in photo below along with another colleague organised this event on the grounds of Cathal Brugha Barracks.  Both Jim and his colleagues work in the Army.
A huge big thanks to both of them for organising such a great picnic, it was so much fun.  Thank you! 
Here is Jim with another puppy walker, Jim was the organiser of the Puppy-picnic !!
Picnic is in full swing and Ken is here chatting to puppy walkers and checking how all the pups are doing.
Oh Guys, I just know this is going to be soooo much fun!!
Play for the big boys, great fun.
There were older puppies and then there were the lovely fluffy cute tiny pups!
And then there was a really tiny pup who just couldn't stay awake for it all!!!
I felt very privileged to get the opportunity to meet Ike in June but then to actually have him come and stay for a few days was truly an added bonus.
Ike was one of those dogs that you would say has been here before!  Ike never was giddy and silly, he was always mature and sensible and rarely had to be instructed more than once, he was so obedient.  Ike was born with his graduation scroll in his paws!!!
Hector and Ike got on really well.  Ike was very patient with the high energy Hector.  He played loads with Hector but had quite a calming effect on Hector and when Ike felt play time was over he would let Hector know and they would both snuggle down for a snooze.
Darragh and Ike are a very well matched pair.  Darragh is very diligent and very caring towards Ike.  He is very focused and tuned into Ike, it is really wonderful to see someone work so hard and effortlessly to ensure they are the best team!!  Well done Darragh.  Darragh's partner Emma is also wonderful with Ike. They all make a really good team.
I think it would be safe to say that Ike and Hector got on well....photographic evidence is fairly sound!!
Ike and Hector up in the living room watching telly!
This weekend we had to go away and it wasn't really an appropriate place to bring Hector.  We were very lucky with the very generous family who live around the corner.  They took Hector to stay with them from Thursday to Monday evening.
They minded him so well and appeared to have had great fun with Hector.  Their son Ben really enjoyed having him to stay, his description of Hector was "Hector is a very tall, big dog who is a very sloppy drinker!!"
Thank you so much Caroline and Peter for minding Hector, he seemed to have really enjoyed his stay with you.
Till the next time.
We might be heading to the ploughing championships in Athy soon.  Watch this space!!

    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