Our Time With Patrick Is Almost Up

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We got the dreaded email from SA Guide-dogs
Patrick goes back to GDA on Monday March 23rd to start his formal Guide Dog training, and we will have a meeting with two Guide Dog Mobility Instructors that morning – one of whom will become Patrick’s trainer.
His assessments so far have been going well, and we have a final training walk with our Puppy Development Supervisor at a mall on the 17th.
I admit I am a smidge concerned about his suspicion issues… I was pretty sure we’d sorted it out since there have been so few occurrences… but there are indicators that its still there. 😦

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Patrick, Riddick and Penny in the car with me, waiting for their daddy at the Gautrain station

He is a really lovable sweetheart, and still very much a puppy!
He loves to lie close to his mommy, sleeping right next to my bed most of the time.

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We had a fabulous outing to Sandton City yesterday morning!
I called the centre management the day before and then GDA sent them an email confirming that I am one of their puppy raisers and that Patrick is one of their puppies, and it made the visit such a pleasure. The security guards throughout the mall were obviously keeping an eye on us as we made our rounds but we weren’t stopped by anyone, anywhere!
He barked once at a man who suddenly appeared behind us in the CNA and started talking to us, and there was a moment in Edgars when an employee was standing behind a table full of down duvets that caught Patrick’s attention. He didn’t see the man at first but I managed to distract him when he did spot him ‘coz I could see he was about to bark.
When we arrived at Sandton City we had gone up in the lift from the parking lot, but there were other people in the lift so he couldn’t see out through the glass walls. When we left though, the lift was empty so we could see all around us, and the first time it went down a floor he was a little nervous – walking around me in a circle with his tail straight down. So we rode the lift up and down a few times with some high value biltong treats as encouragement for staying calm. He was much happier when we left but I think we must try and do glass lifts again soon.

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He spent the week before last in kennels, from the Monday morning – after a training exercise – to the Friday afternoon, with various kennel-mates (they don’t leave the youngsters alone in kennels unless they aren’t well or are recovering from surgery) and our PDS said he did fine.
It was really strange not having him at home though… Its always a little surprising at how big a hole our puppy’s absence creates in our lives.

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Over the weekend we spent a few hours at the Coca Cola Dome for the Hobby-X expo, helping sell raffle tickets at the GDA stall. Patrick was very well behaved and he got lots of attention and he slept all the way home!

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About Angel

We have 4 cats who live exclusively indoors, we have 4 dogs live mostly inside, and we are Guide Dog puppy raisers for SA Guide-Dogs!

Posted on March 11, 2015, in behavioural conditioning, GDApupPatrick, puppies, puppy raising, puppy walking, SA Guide-dogs, training. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Beautiful beautiful boy – reminds me so much of our Rufus who I am sure will be one of theose “puppies for life” dogs – the ones that just do not really grown up.

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