My name is Sarah and I am sixteen years old. I'm the reason we got involved with the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind and now have Hector. Hector is our 4th Guide Dog puppy. I had always wanted a dog, however my parent couldn't commit to getting a dog for life, by having a Guide Dog puppy it means that you can have a dog for a year and then take a break or if that's too long you can help look after other people's Guide Dog puppies while they are away or if they need a break for personal reasons.
I thoroughly enjoy having the guide dog puppies, they are great company and funny at certain moments. Hector also protects me, for example, if someone he doesn't know or someone he gets a bad vibe off tries to come near me he will stand beside me and put his heckles up (hairs on the back of his neck.)
In my opinion, the most interesting thing about the Guide Dog puppy has to be the individual personalities that they have. They all have different personality traits, for example, Neff was friendly and calm, Gill was easily excited and liked to take food from the kitchen counter when nobody was looking, Ike was the perfect one and Hector, well Hector is Hector... we haven't been able to put our finger on his personality trait as of yet.
It all sounds like fun and laughs, but in the end you do have to give him back. Every time I meet someone when we are on a walk with Hector the same question is always asked "How do you give them back?" The fact is that from the beginning you are told and every time the question is asked you are reminded of the fateful day. Although you are prepared and know it is coming, when the day comes it's heartbreaking. You have had the puppy since it was approximately 8weeks old and have watched him/her grow day by day, you could say it's similar to when a mother's child moves away from home and yes I have had a cry when they leave. With our last dog Ike, we were told that he would be going to Cork when Alice got back from the Gaeltacht, however unfortunately he had to leave while Alice was still away so she never got to say goodbye. Yet, she knew that Ike was going on to help somebody and was not dead or ill and that he would be happy in his new home and have a loving and caring owner.
I hope by writing this weeks blog, I have given you a perspective of what living with Hector and other Guide Dog puppies is like for a teenager and that you will want to get involved too , even if the end is difficult, it's worth a few tears!