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!!!