Category Archives: GDApupLennox

Lennox is a black Labrador puppy, born at SA Guide-dogs for the blind on 9 April 2013.
We got to choose his name – his litter was allocated the letter “L” – and he has 7 siblings, 3 brothers and 4 sisters. His mommy’s name is Jelly and his daddy’s name is Manny.
He is now in training at GDA to be a Guide Dog.

Lennox Is Forty Six Weeks Old

Once again we didn’t get to the vet to weigh Lennox… Last night’s rain meant that all the traffic lights in our suburb were out and the traffic was insane!

Last week we had an obedience training session at SAGA for the morning and it went very well.
With 13 dogs in attendance, it was obvious that Lennox’s dog distraction is greatly improved. Lennox’s brother Lenny was there, and he’s quite a bit bigger than Lennox.
We practised lots of walking obedience in a group, which meant Lennox had dogs next to him as well as in front of and behind him, and he did great. And they worked on getting in and out of the trainer’s trucks – no problem there at all! He hopped in and out, and sat inside with the door closed without stressing at all.
We also practised recall across the training field. The puppies stay in a line on one side of the field, with their leashes lightly held by a trainer or a PDS, whilst their puppy walkers walk away from them, telling them to stay. At a previously specified distance you turn around and call your pup and they have to come to you, ignoring the other dogs and people. Lennox came running straight to me! I was so pleased!
And then Lennox spent some time in kennels with another dog while we puppy walkers went to have cookies and cooldrink, having to hang onto a puppy leash.
Lennox also got to meet some children who were visiting the training centre which was good for him.

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Lennox’s brother Lenny

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puppies-in-training of all ages, 13 dogs in attendance

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me and Lennox

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Lennox taking a turn in the guide dog trainers’ transport truck

Stay tuned for regular updates!

SAGApupDonate

You can find SA Guide-dogs for the Blind on Facebook and on Twitter.
Follow the #SAGApupLennox hashtag on Twitter or find the Raising Lennox page on Facebook.
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Lennox Is Forty Five Weeks Old

Wow… I can’t believe our Lennox is 10 months old already!

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Last Thursday our Puppy Development Supervisor came to do a walk around our neighbourhood with us again, to see how Lennox had progressed with his positive dog distraction issue.
There’s been a vast improvement, and our PDS is very happy with his progress. He’s still looking at other dogs, and occasionally he wants to do more than look but he responds very quickly to correction and he’s no longer yanking me all over the road.

Its been quite a busy time for Lennox… We didn’t get to the vet to do his weigh-in last week because the traffic lights and construction in that area have brought morning traffic almost to a standstill! I don’t like to subject him to the heat of sitting in the car if we don’t have to. And this week we didn’t get to the vet because I was without a car…
No worries – he’s the right shape and he’s sleek and shiny!

On Monday we did our normal shopping run – Pick n PayClicksKadiesMakro, and putting in fuel. Sadly we always get people screaming and jumping away from him, and security guards trying to turn us away. Some days its hard to stay patient, though Lennox doesn’t bat an eyelid – credit to him!

On Saturday we went to SAGA’s Gladys Evans Training Centre for a Puppy Walker Social. Its an opportunity for the puppy walkers to meet each other and talk about their experiences in an informal setting, as well as a chance to meet the volunteers who hold the breeding stock – so sometimes you get to see your puppy’s parents!
The Guide Dog Instructors also talk to the puppy walkers about why the correct training for the puppies is so very important. From distraction issues to overfeeding, there can be serious implications and delays in a dog’s further instruction if the trainers first have to correct a problem that started with the puppies early development.

We had an short obedience session with the dogs of all ages being walked in a circle and practising their sit-stay and down-stay, and then they selected a “best dressed” winner from the few puppies who were dressed in red for Valentines Day.

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Lennox in his Valentines Day bandanna

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walking in a circle at SAGA Puppy Walker Social

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Lennox and Quelita in the “best dressed puppy” contest

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Lennox sitting next to one of the old collection boxes

Stay tuned for regular updates!

SAGApupDonate

You can find SA Guide-dogs for the Blind on Facebook and on Twitter.
Follow the #SAGApupLennox hashtag on Twitter or find the Raising Lennox page on Facebook.

Lennox Is Forty Three Weeks Old

Lennox weighed 27,5kg on the vet’s office scale on Tuesday – a slight loss on last week but he’s consistently the same weight so I’m not worried.

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I can’t believe its only nine weeks until his first birthday… which means we only have a couple of months left of puppy raising Lennox before he starts his formal guide dog training. Time certainly flies!

Walking on lead is going better and better, but he still wants to go and investigate the dogs who really go crazy. We’ve been taking quieter routes so that he can learn exactly what I want him to do when we’re out walking and thats going well. We’ll move progressively into busier areas so that his dog distraction will subside.

He sits and waits for his food, he stays when told to, and he doesn’t go barrelling through a doorway unless I say he can.
He doesn’t bark unless he really gets a fright, and unless he’s spurred on by our naughty puppy Penny, he doesn’t dig either.
He still has a bit of a fascination for shoes, but its become more a case of his just loving to bring me things! Its very hard to be cross when his tail is wagging so hard his whole body is swaying!
He has no aggression when he’s eating or playing, and whilst he does love chewing on Riddick’s 4eva ball, he isn’t interested in chasing it when I throw it for the other dogs.

We are going to be doing some nursery school visits too because when he sees children he wants to run and play and he has to learn to ignore them!

Last week we went back to the doctor for my son who had hurt his shoulder. We had to wait for the appointment, sit quietly in the doctor’s office, wait for Xrays, and wait outside the doctor’s office again after the Xrays. There were lots of people in and out of the waiting room including children, and there were stairs to climb and a lift to ride in. Then we were off to the chemist to get the prescription filled and as it was quite hot we opted to hang around outside on the grass.

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~ people watching in the doctor’s office reception ~

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~ doing a “down stay” in the doctor’s office reception, and demonstrating why Labradors are the perfect size for working dogs ~

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~ lying with his head under my chair in the doctor’s office reception ~

Stay tuned for regular updates!

SAGApupDonate

You can find SA Guide-dogs for the Blind on Facebook and on Twitter.
Follow the #SAGApupLennox hashtag on Twitter or find the Raising Lennox page on Facebook.

Lennox Is Forty Two Weeks Old

Lennox weighed 27,75kg on the vet’s office scale on Tuesday.
He has matured so much in the last month. He’s suddenly not a bouncy puppy anymore, and people have even remarked on it.

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We have had a fairly quiet week, with the odd really busy day inbetween! On the one day I took Lennox along with me to have a prescription filled at the Clicks I frequent, we popped in at the Pick n Pay, we stocked up on baking supplies at Kadies, collected mail from the Postnet and I went to have blood drawn at the Health-worx! Thats a drive out to Fourways and back, and a good hour or so in the car, with drives between shopping centres and getting in and out of the car to go into the shops as well!

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lying at my feet in the Health-worx waiting room

Last Friday I had coffee and pastries with several other online community managers at the Southern Sun Hyde Park, and I could happily have stayed there all day – what a magnificent view! Lennox was as good as gold, staying asleep on the floor at my feet. We spent over an hour in the car that day too, and it was hot!

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chilling in the 8th floor bar while mommy drinks coffee

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He doesn’t look terribly interested in the incredible view from the Southern Sun Hyde Park pool deck, does he!? 😛

Our walks are going well. He still wants to go and say hello to the dogs that bark at him – and our neighbourhood is FULL of dogs – but he listens really quickly when I tell him “leave it” or “heel”. We have help from our SAGA Puppy Development Supervisors for dog distraction issues, which with Lennox is positive distraction – he wants to play, not fight.

There is some child “distraction” as well! If we’re in a mall or outwalking and a child walks towards us or past us his ears pop up and he gets this little trotting gait and he wants to run straight over! I’m planning on spending some time at a local nursery school to get him over this hurdle as well.

I had a giggle this week when Lennox – for the first time ever – thought one of their stainless steel food bowls would make a cool toy!

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And now here, for your enjoyment, are some more photos of our beautiful boy.

Stay tuned for regular updates!

SAGApupDonate

You can find SA Guide-dogs for the Blind on Facebook and on Twitter.
Follow the #SAGApupLennox hashtag on Twitter or find the Raising Lennox page on Facebook.

Lennox Is Forty One Weeks Old

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Lennox weighed 27,25kg on the vet’s scale on Tuesday morning and he’s 54cm tall.
He’s not the biggest Labrador Retriever ever, but as SAGA keeps reminding me – they need guide dogs of all sizes. And we think he’s the most beautiful black Lab puppy ever!

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Here’s proof that he’s the best looking black Lab puppy ever!

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Lennox Is Thirty Seven Weeks Old

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Lennox weighed 26,6kg on the vet’s scale, and then he had the best day ever!
We spent December 24th on my inlaw’s smallholding. Its bigger than the dog park we frequent and my father-in-law sells live chickens and ducks too, so there was a training opportunity for Lennox and Rhody – to ignore the chickens and ducks in the cages.
All three of the dogs ran and ran and played and ran and wore themselves out!
We threw their play rings and their ball, and they fished out huge hidden bones from the flower beds and they saw cows for the first time!
There are also a few small dams and if they had half a chance they were playing in one of the them!
Lennox stuck to the shallower edges of the deeper muddy pond, but LOVED the walled pond which had only a little water in the bottom, and Riddick and Rhody had fun chasing Lennox round and round the shallow edges of the bigger dam!

We’re doing work on Lennox’s dog distraction when we’re out walking.
There are a couple of houses we battle to get past more than others- with dogs who get really excited behind the gates- so what we’re going to do is avoid the houses that are really crazy and stick to quieter routes until he has his dog distraction completely mastered. Once he knows and is sure of what I want him to do, we’ll tackle the tougher walking routes.

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Lennox loves lying in the open doorway in our bedroom. Its cool and it lets him keep an eye on the inside and the outside so he doesn’t miss anything.

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Lennox and Rhody (SAGA Service Dog-in-training) are both very people-loving. They want to be with their human families. Here they are asleep on the floor next to and behind the chair I am sitting on while I work.

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Stay tuned for a weekly update!

SAGApupDonate

You can find SA Guide-dogs for the Blind on Facebook and on Twitter.
Follow the #SAGApupLennox hashtag on Twitter or find the Raising Lennox page on Facebook.

Lennox Is Thirty Six Weeks Old

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How handsome is our boy!? And he’s growing so fast! He’s just over 8 months old, and he weighed 25,85kg on the vet’s scale this week, and he’s getting 2 cups of Bob Martin puppy food for breakfast and 2 cups for lunch.

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Lennox’s car travel is fantastic! He’s really keen to get in the car and as soon as the car is moving he’s curled up on the back seat or in the front footwell, asleep. He’ll also sit in the front footwell and rest his head on the seat, especially if its very hot in the car.

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At the end of November we attended a training and obedience morning at SAGA, where they set up all kinds of strange and wonderful obstacles and objects to see how the puppies react to things they’ve never seen before, and to assist the puppy walkers with how to handle their puppy’s reactions.
These training days give SAGA a chance to watch the puppies of all ages and the puppy walkers interact with each other, to see how the puppies are progressing. They get to know the puppies’ personalities, walking speed, and any areas that may need focus.
All of this goes to matching the dog with the perfect partner once they are fully trained.

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Lennox doing a “SIT STAY” inside a kiddies play tent. Guide dogs don’t necessarily play in kiddies’ tents, but strange objects may spook a dog, so they’re taught from puppyhood to approach unfamiliar objects with confidence.
Here they are watching Abel mow the lawn – Guinness, Jana, Lennox and Nevis.

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This stick with empty tin cans attached to it makes a noise, and the pups are encouraged to approach it and even play with it a little. Thats Nevis and Lennox investigating it good and proper!

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Here’s Lennox waiting his turn during the recall exercise.  I had to stand at one end of a room and Lennox had to “SIT STAY” at the other end, then I had to call him to get him to come across the room, straight to me – this is the recall part. There’s a dog distraction training element too for the puppies waiting their turn – they must ignore each other, they must ignore the puppy running across the room, and the puppy walker calling out to their puppy!

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Our walks are going well, and his training is progressing well.
After a visit from our SAGA Puppy Development Supervisor this morning, we have a few tips and suggestions for his mild Positive Dog Distraction (which means he doesn’t ignore all dogs when we’re walking, he wants to greet and play with the dogs who bark at him while we’re out walking) we’ve changed the way we walk a little and she will come round again to see if he’s improved.
Overall, SAGA is very happy with Lennox’s progress so we are very chuffed.

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As always, Lennox goes with me wherever I go, as much as possible. Here he is in the waiting room at our local Health-Worx clinic, and of course – all the shopping malls are full of Christmas trees!

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And here, for your viewing pleasure, are some photos of our Lennox!

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waiting at the door to go outside with the squished plastic 2L bottle in his mouth (the broken pane behind him was bracked when he and Rhody were playing chase-me-catch-me one day)

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sitting under the decorated Christmas tree, which he paid absolutely no attention to!

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here we are visiting the Madiba memorial site in our neighbourhood

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playing with Riddick – he plays the man, not the ball!

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he’s finally bigger than his food bag!

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asleep under my feet while I work

Stay tuned for a weekly update!

SAGApupDonate

You can find SA Guide-dogs for the Blind on Facebook and on Twitter.
Follow the #SAGApupLennox hashtag on Twitter or find the Raising Lennox page on Facebook.

Lennox Is Thirty Four Weeks Old

Lennox weighed 24,7kg on the vet’s scale this morning, which is a 1,1kg gain on last week! YAY!

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Its been a quiet couple of weeks, my last few weeks of work are insanely busy so we haven’t even been able to walk every day!

Lennox has had a couple of new experiences though, we had the house’s electric fence repaired so Lennox got to see the workers carrying all kinds of things around the garden and using an angle grinder and testing the very loud alarm. He handles new things like that really well.

He has also discovered that as much as he has grown- he can still worm his way in under our bed! I was speechless!

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All our dogs love to lie in the passage where its cool, but Lennox loves to lie on the step while I cook as well.

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Here’s service-dog-in-training Rhody, Lennox, and “big brother” Riddick doing a SIT-STAY for a cookie!

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Stay tuned for a weekly update!

SAGApupDonate

You can find SA Guide-dogs for the Blind on Facebook and on Twitter.
Follow the #SAGApupLennox hashtag on Twitter or find the Raising Lennox page on Facebook.

Lennox Is Thirty Three Weeks Old

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On the vet’s scale this morning, Lennox weighed in at 23.6kg so he’s actually lost 400g since last week… I’ll be keeping an eye on him but I’m not concerned about his health. He looks terribly hang dog in some of the weigh-in pictures, but he really isn’t, LOL!

Isn’t he just beautiful!

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You’ll be glad to know that the scar on his ear is practically invisible! It has healed so beautifully – if you didn’t know it was there, you wouldn’t see it at all! I am so pleased!

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I have had a crazy busy few weeks with the end of my working year looming, so we haven’t been able to walk as often as we should.
We did go on a training walk at Lonehill Shopping Centre with two other puppies-in-training a couple of weeks ago, and he was so good! I was so proud of him! He did have a bit of a go at a Christmas tree in the mall, knocking off a bauble which he then tried to remove again as I was rehanging it – with his tail wagging furiously – which got several people laughing and taking pictures.

Apart from our usual trips to Pick n Pay and Makro, we visited my parents for lunch one Sunday and we had an outing to Steers for a cold drink after our training walk and he was so good!

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~under the table at Steers, in insane heat, good as gold~

My parent’s dog is a Fox Terrier cross, in case you were wondering about his size, and his favourite game is keep-away. Unfortunately for him, Lennox has proved to be far more nimble than Volt, Riddick or Kenzo ever were and he can’t outrun Lennox as easily as he did the others!

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Lennox and Riddick playing tug-o-war, with Toppi’s ball…

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which Toppi then wanted back so another tug-o-war game ensued…!

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Car travel is great! He’s very good in the car!

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~in the back of a Ford Kuga, asleep on the underside of a table I was transporting~

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~he’s comfy in any car~

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~trying to get comfy~

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~curled up on the back seat~

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~doing a “sit wait” in the car when we arrived at the vet – he may not just jump out when the door opens~

And here is some puppy cuteness for your enjoyment!

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~thats my parents’ dog Toppi on the couch, Riddick on the floor, and Lennox in the foreground~

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Unfortunately, I lost my fourth – and final – pair of Crocs to Lennox today… I lost two pairs of sandals to Volt, one pair of Mary Jane style shoes to Riddick, and now the last pair to Lennox.

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Stay tuned for a weekly update!

SAGApupDonate

You can find SA Guide-dogs for the Blind on Facebook and on Twitter.
Follow the #SAGApupLennox hashtag on Twitter or find the Raising Lennox page on Facebook.

Lennox is Thirty One Weeks Old

Look at our beautiful boy!

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He weighed 23,65kg on the vets’ scale this morning, which means he’s only gained 400g in the last two weeks, but he’s now 53,5cm tall so he’s grown almost 4cm taller in the last 6 weeks!

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I actually fetched Lennox from SAGA a couple of days early, when I was there to fetch our weekend visitor, service-dog-in-training Rhody. Our Puppy Development Supervisor had a look at his stitches and said he’d healed up nicely and if I wanted to take him he could come home a little early.
OF COURSE I wanted to take him!
😀

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~ look how beautifully the scar on his ear is healing ~

He was very happy to be home! He and Rhody and Riddick played themselves silly all weekend long!

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~ its nice and cool to sleep in the passage ~

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~he loves the toilet roll inner, but he doesn’t like to wait till the loo paper is finished~

Stay tuned for a weekly update!

SAGApupDonate

You can find SA Guide-dogs for the Blind on Facebook and on Twitter.
Follow the #SAGApupLennox hashtag on Twitter or find the Raising Lennox page on Facebook.