This week Hector is 16 weeks old and almost 20kgs in weight. He just went down from 4 feeds a day to 3 feeds a day. As he is getting older, he is getting longer walks which he is happy to go on, he actually enjoys the walks now! He is teething at the moment, you can see the new teeth coming through. This is causing him to chew a lot, so we give him plenty of things to chew on like hard chew toys and chew sticks. If we didn't he would eat the furniture and shoes etc. All in all he is making good progress.
Classes are normally divided into 2 sessions. The first group is for pups up to 5 months. The second is a group for pups between 5 and 12 months. There is an overlap to allow the younger dogs to greet, meet and play with the older dogs.
At our Puppy Class, we had 5 pups - Hector, Nikita, Hector's sister and two more Golden Retriever‐German Shepherd cross pups that were 9 weeks old; who are adorable, big balls of black fur.
In the Class, we worked on getting the pups to sit and wait while we walked away and then back to them. We always reward their patience when done. The next thing we worked on was recall. Suzie, our Irish Guide Dogs Puppy Walking Supervisor, held a pup at one end of the room while the owner walked to the other end. Then our pups had to follow us and ignore all the other dogs who were gathered together.
Hector: Well, I hope you are all suitably impressed. See I am not even looking at all the other pups. I will do anything for a treat!
See how she is sitting and waiting and how impatient I am, because I just wanted to go and play.
Denis said he looked like he had gorged on something, what? I don’t know. He advised me to observe him closely, give him small amounts to eat and to call anytime if he became distressed. What a great vet!
Fortunately for us after 24 hours, he was ok but I had plenty of 'you know what' to pick up in the garden the next day. The joys of Puppy Walking!!!
Hector: Oh my goodness, I really and truly felt awful. I won't tell you what I ate , but I certainly will never do that again. It was definitely not worth it.
Today I brought Hector into town. We went and visited the restaurant staff upstairs in Avoca on Suffolk Street. The staff in Avoca have always had time for my Guide Dog pups, they are really nice and very welcoming. He sat under the table and sniffed at all the crumbs for the first few minutes and then he just settled down and slept, while I had a quick cup of tea.
We walked up and down all the stairs in Avoca. Hector took some of the stairs a bit cautiously, but didn't try to go too quickly. He was also very well behaved in the restaurant. These are all big achievements for a young pup like Hector.
I then walked up Grafton Street and went in to the bank to do a lodgment. There were a couple of Managers, who were so nice and really curious about Hector and his training. After the bank, we headed back to the car park and used the elevator, which was another new experience for him. He sat calmly in the lift and did not get distressed when the doors closed or the lift moved. This was a successful day out!
Hector: For such a young guy I found this all a little difficult, but nothing to be too scared about. It is tiring, so as soon as we got home and after my lunch I caught up on some beauty sleep.
Well goodbye till next week. I plan to get some photos at Molly Malone statue at the bottom of Grafton Street and The Spire on O'Connell Street to send to Hector's 'Godfather' Hector Ó hEochagáin in Galway.
I keep forgetting to bring my camera with me. I will remedy this as soon as possible.
Take care, Michele