Late last year, The Hospital Saturday Fund provided a grant of €13,000 to Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. After a €3 million reduction in the charity’s community funding in 2020, this necessary amount went towards purchasing a range of vital equipment used for supporting brood volunteers and puppies. Later on, we were given the honour of naming a puppy from one of the new litters, who is now known as “Uhtred”. Today, in his own words, Uhtred the puppy has given us an adorable “pupdate” on how he is settling in at home with his new Puppy Raisers (PRs).
Like every superstar (and apparently, I’ve had some performances of late), I need to initially pay tribute to my sponsors, The Hospital Saturday fund who had the generosity of spirit and funding to sponsor my folks’ date night and produce the wonder that is me.
I’d like to also give a special nod to the same charity who named me. While initially I was unsure what was going to be suggested as my name, needing to start with the letter “U” (because I was born in the U litter), my given name Uhtred is a total match for me. The term references proud, bold and noble historical figures.
For the first 6 weeks, I spent time with my mum and siblings, then lodged in a real world family home before heading to the big smoke at 8 weeks old. From here, the lovely Frances from Guide Dogs drove me to meet my new Puppy Raisers (PRs), Paul Mc and Hil. Although it was a scary time for me, the PR’s had provided a nice little bed, toy and blanket to keep me snug all the way to my new home.
I’m 15 weeks old now and over the past 7 weeks, my PRs and I have been busy getting to know each other. I was apparently given the red card last week, as Hil had a freak out over some misunderstanding to do with spring bulbs and me taking them out of pots. Thank God Paul weighed in and brought some calmness.
There is an ongoing battle with what I can and can’t eat. I’m of the opinion that everything is mine until persuaded otherwise. The real food that I am allowed to eat is weighed out, so it’s no wonder I end up enjoying the odd slipper, sock, leg of a chair etc.
My guide dog training is coming along and we have “classes” every day with Paul. I basically stay on my “working mat” and try gauge what I am supposed to do. Sounds horrendous but at least I get treats as we are going along.
I can only work and use my brain for little periods, so need to relax after the sessions. Today we listened to the audio of Black Beauty and I had a little doze off.
After I got my 12-week vaccination, Frances from the Guide Dogs come out to sort us out with walking on a lead. We are still struggling here, trying to get it all to come together…it’s not as easy as it looks folks. If the PRs would just let me do my own thing, like dart into the middle of the road, dive on kids, eat everything from the pavement, then everything would be all good. However, no, they have to poke their beaks in with rules of strength and length of lead, and doing their best to bring pocketfuls of treats in an attempt to get us all to work together.
I’m a social dude and should be out there strutting my stuff, but because of Covid-19, it’s a little restricting. I have been visiting the older folk in the bubbles that the PRs look after, and was watched like a hawk to ensure I did not trip them up. These oldies had their first vaccine jab recently, resulting in their first visit to see me in action in my own place last week.
Overall, it has been very exciting for me so far.