Mad Dogs and Englishwomen!

IMG_0932Nicola here. If mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun, according to Noel Coward, then it’s surely a mad Englishwoman who thinks she can take on the training of a guide dog puppy and write books at the same time! At the start of this year we welcomed Rochester the guide dog puppy into our family for the first year of his training. Today he is 10 weeks old and this blog is about our first month with Rochester and what it is like to train a guide dog puppy whilst planning and starting a new series of books. First a bit of background…

History and the domestic dog

Man and dog have a long history. Elegant greyhounds are present in the hunting scenes in medievalMedieval tapestry tapestries and illuminated manuscripts. By the 18th century portraits abounded of aristocrats out hunting with their dogs and their horses. Dogs were also often characterised in portraits as the most loyal and faithful companions of man (or woman). From the 16th century there are records of them as pets as well as working dogs. Payments for BoyeHenry VIII’s spaniel Cutte are recorded in the royal accounts. Mary Queen of Scots and her granddaughter Elizabeth of Bohemia were both well known for their fondness for dogs and of course Elizabeth’s son, Prince Rupert, famously had a pet standard poodle called Boye.

Another famous dog of the era was Bungey, who belonged to Sir John Harington and was prodigiously clever, carrying letters from Bath to Greenwich on more than one occasion, transporting two flagons of sherry across country, hiding one when it became too heavy and returning to retrieve it later, and finding Sir John’s purse when he lost it. Now that is a clever dog.

The choice of a pet dog was limited up until the 19th century by the fact that there were only sixteen breeds of dog recorded in England. These had originally been bred for different aspects of working and included spaniels, mastiffs, beagles, wolfhounds and deer hounds as well as greyhounds. Often the more exotic dogs owned by the nobility were imported with small French dogs being particularly popular!

The Labrador and the Golden Retriever

Rochester is a cross between a Labrador and a Golden Retriever, bred specially by Guide Dogs toSt_Johns_dog combine the best qualities of both breeds. The Labrador originated from Canada, bred from the St John’s Water Dog. This picture is of Nell, a 12 year old St John’s Water Dog photographed in 1867. She looks recognisably like a Labrador.

There are records of Labradors in the UK from the early 19th century – the first written record of the breed is in the 1814 book by Colonel Peter Hawker “Advice to young sportsmen” and a Labrador features in a painting by Edwin Landseer in 1823 as “Cora a Labrador bitch.” In contrast the Golden Retriever breed originated in 18th century Scotland. Both dogs were working dogs, as Rochester will be but in a different way.

Monty swimmingHaving had a Labrador gundog as a pet we have been intrigued by the differences between the guide dog breed and the gundog breed. Monty, our pet Labrador, lived to plunge into water and fetch things. None of the guide dogs puppies we have trained have been particularly interested in water and all looked puzzled when they saw Monty swimming. This is excellent because a dive into the river whilst out with their owners is clearly something to be discouraged in a guide dog. Similarly Monty was a master of retrieving whereas the guide dog puppies are not but when it comes to learning obedience and walking on the lead they are superb from an early age. Rochester already trots along very neatly at only 10 weeks.

A Working Day

And so to living with Rochester. (Couldn't resist the photo of Michael Fassbender as Mr RochesterMichael Fassbender there!) When Rochester is four months and older he will start to do lots of exciting and complicated things such as mastering stairs and elevators, visiting airports and travelling on the train. At the moment he is learning his basic commands such as “sit” – he’s got that one already – and “stay” and is starting to visit shops and other interesting places. An average day for Rochester and for me (and the cat) looks something like this:

Rochester: Wake up, play, sleep again, practise obedience for 5 minutes, eat breakfast, be very lively, try to eat furniture, sleep, go out for a trip in the car or walk for 10 minutes, sleep, wake up, eat, play, try to steal washing, go mad as puppies do… All repeated throughout the day.

Bob the cat: Sleep, eat, discourage puppy from chasing cats by slapping his face with paw.

117_1745Nicola: variations of: Feed Rochester, train Rochester, play with Rochester, prevent Rochester from chewing the furniture and grab 45 minutes writing during the times he is asleep! Writing in chunks like this is not the way I usually work but I have managed to get a surprising amount done. I admit to feeling exhausted. It won’t always be as full on as this but I hope it will always be as rewarding because Rochester is a super little dog who will one day, we hope, become a fully qualified guide dog. If you would like to follow Rochester’s progress, he has his own blog “Puppy with a Purpose.” The guide dog sites are here for the UK and here for the US.

Are you a dog person? Or perhaps a cat person?  Have you had experience of assistance dogs and the work they do?

170 thoughts on “Mad Dogs and Englishwomen!”

  1. Wonderful that he’s so good on the lead already. My 13 month old black lab is good in every way now except over-enthusiasm with other dogs and pulling on the lead – not v. helpful if he were a guide dog:)
    Interesting, too, that Guide Dogs choose a cross breed.

    Reply
  2. Wonderful that he’s so good on the lead already. My 13 month old black lab is good in every way now except over-enthusiasm with other dogs and pulling on the lead – not v. helpful if he were a guide dog:)
    Interesting, too, that Guide Dogs choose a cross breed.

    Reply
  3. Wonderful that he’s so good on the lead already. My 13 month old black lab is good in every way now except over-enthusiasm with other dogs and pulling on the lead – not v. helpful if he were a guide dog:)
    Interesting, too, that Guide Dogs choose a cross breed.

    Reply
  4. Wonderful that he’s so good on the lead already. My 13 month old black lab is good in every way now except over-enthusiasm with other dogs and pulling on the lead – not v. helpful if he were a guide dog:)
    Interesting, too, that Guide Dogs choose a cross breed.

    Reply
  5. Wonderful that he’s so good on the lead already. My 13 month old black lab is good in every way now except over-enthusiasm with other dogs and pulling on the lead – not v. helpful if he were a guide dog:)
    Interesting, too, that Guide Dogs choose a cross breed.

    Reply
  6. Hi Susie! Your Lab sounds lovely! They are such good dogs in so many ways. Guide dogs tend to prefer the Lab/Golden Retriever cross because it gives them the best qualities for training. German Shepherds, Poodles and Labradoodles are also being bred for guide dogs though I haven’t seen any of them working. Our pet dog, Monty, was very undisciplined on the lead. We trained him well in everything else but if he got a sniff of a hare or pheasant he was off!

    Reply
  7. Hi Susie! Your Lab sounds lovely! They are such good dogs in so many ways. Guide dogs tend to prefer the Lab/Golden Retriever cross because it gives them the best qualities for training. German Shepherds, Poodles and Labradoodles are also being bred for guide dogs though I haven’t seen any of them working. Our pet dog, Monty, was very undisciplined on the lead. We trained him well in everything else but if he got a sniff of a hare or pheasant he was off!

    Reply
  8. Hi Susie! Your Lab sounds lovely! They are such good dogs in so many ways. Guide dogs tend to prefer the Lab/Golden Retriever cross because it gives them the best qualities for training. German Shepherds, Poodles and Labradoodles are also being bred for guide dogs though I haven’t seen any of them working. Our pet dog, Monty, was very undisciplined on the lead. We trained him well in everything else but if he got a sniff of a hare or pheasant he was off!

    Reply
  9. Hi Susie! Your Lab sounds lovely! They are such good dogs in so many ways. Guide dogs tend to prefer the Lab/Golden Retriever cross because it gives them the best qualities for training. German Shepherds, Poodles and Labradoodles are also being bred for guide dogs though I haven’t seen any of them working. Our pet dog, Monty, was very undisciplined on the lead. We trained him well in everything else but if he got a sniff of a hare or pheasant he was off!

    Reply
  10. Hi Susie! Your Lab sounds lovely! They are such good dogs in so many ways. Guide dogs tend to prefer the Lab/Golden Retriever cross because it gives them the best qualities for training. German Shepherds, Poodles and Labradoodles are also being bred for guide dogs though I haven’t seen any of them working. Our pet dog, Monty, was very undisciplined on the lead. We trained him well in everything else but if he got a sniff of a hare or pheasant he was off!

    Reply
  11. Thanks for dropping in at the blog, Rachel! I think all puppies must be hard work, which can be such a shock to the system if people aren’t prepared. Worth the effort though as you’ve found with your lovely dog. I love that Labs are such sweet-natured and playful dogs.

    Reply
  12. Thanks for dropping in at the blog, Rachel! I think all puppies must be hard work, which can be such a shock to the system if people aren’t prepared. Worth the effort though as you’ve found with your lovely dog. I love that Labs are such sweet-natured and playful dogs.

    Reply
  13. Thanks for dropping in at the blog, Rachel! I think all puppies must be hard work, which can be such a shock to the system if people aren’t prepared. Worth the effort though as you’ve found with your lovely dog. I love that Labs are such sweet-natured and playful dogs.

    Reply
  14. Thanks for dropping in at the blog, Rachel! I think all puppies must be hard work, which can be such a shock to the system if people aren’t prepared. Worth the effort though as you’ve found with your lovely dog. I love that Labs are such sweet-natured and playful dogs.

    Reply
  15. Thanks for dropping in at the blog, Rachel! I think all puppies must be hard work, which can be such a shock to the system if people aren’t prepared. Worth the effort though as you’ve found with your lovely dog. I love that Labs are such sweet-natured and playful dogs.

    Reply
  16. Thanks so much for sharing, Nicola. As a visually impaired person myself, this is a subject close to my heart! It’s such a generous thing you’re doing, helping to train a future guide dog. I just wonder how you bear the fact that one day you’re going to have to let Rotchester go.

    Reply
  17. Thanks so much for sharing, Nicola. As a visually impaired person myself, this is a subject close to my heart! It’s such a generous thing you’re doing, helping to train a future guide dog. I just wonder how you bear the fact that one day you’re going to have to let Rotchester go.

    Reply
  18. Thanks so much for sharing, Nicola. As a visually impaired person myself, this is a subject close to my heart! It’s such a generous thing you’re doing, helping to train a future guide dog. I just wonder how you bear the fact that one day you’re going to have to let Rotchester go.

    Reply
  19. Thanks so much for sharing, Nicola. As a visually impaired person myself, this is a subject close to my heart! It’s such a generous thing you’re doing, helping to train a future guide dog. I just wonder how you bear the fact that one day you’re going to have to let Rotchester go.

    Reply
  20. Thanks so much for sharing, Nicola. As a visually impaired person myself, this is a subject close to my heart! It’s such a generous thing you’re doing, helping to train a future guide dog. I just wonder how you bear the fact that one day you’re going to have to let Rotchester go.

    Reply
  21. Thanks, Jessica! It feels a great privilege as well as a responsibility to help train Rochester. I’m so impressed by the work that assistance dogs do. It is hard to let them go at the end of the year but it helps to know they are going on to do such a great job. When our first puppy, Ufton, graduated as a fully qualified guide dog I felt so proud of him!!

    Reply
  22. Thanks, Jessica! It feels a great privilege as well as a responsibility to help train Rochester. I’m so impressed by the work that assistance dogs do. It is hard to let them go at the end of the year but it helps to know they are going on to do such a great job. When our first puppy, Ufton, graduated as a fully qualified guide dog I felt so proud of him!!

    Reply
  23. Thanks, Jessica! It feels a great privilege as well as a responsibility to help train Rochester. I’m so impressed by the work that assistance dogs do. It is hard to let them go at the end of the year but it helps to know they are going on to do such a great job. When our first puppy, Ufton, graduated as a fully qualified guide dog I felt so proud of him!!

    Reply
  24. Thanks, Jessica! It feels a great privilege as well as a responsibility to help train Rochester. I’m so impressed by the work that assistance dogs do. It is hard to let them go at the end of the year but it helps to know they are going on to do such a great job. When our first puppy, Ufton, graduated as a fully qualified guide dog I felt so proud of him!!

    Reply
  25. Thanks, Jessica! It feels a great privilege as well as a responsibility to help train Rochester. I’m so impressed by the work that assistance dogs do. It is hard to let them go at the end of the year but it helps to know they are going on to do such a great job. When our first puppy, Ufton, graduated as a fully qualified guide dog I felt so proud of him!!

    Reply
  26. A truly wonderful blog, Nicola—and a truly wonderful job both you and Rochester are doing! I am in awe that you can handle this AND writing—You have as much focus and discipline as a top-of-the=trees guide dog. LOL!
    Will be following Rochester;s progress, and look forward to joining you in raising a cheer (and perhaps a tear) when he graduates.

    Reply
  27. A truly wonderful blog, Nicola—and a truly wonderful job both you and Rochester are doing! I am in awe that you can handle this AND writing—You have as much focus and discipline as a top-of-the=trees guide dog. LOL!
    Will be following Rochester;s progress, and look forward to joining you in raising a cheer (and perhaps a tear) when he graduates.

    Reply
  28. A truly wonderful blog, Nicola—and a truly wonderful job both you and Rochester are doing! I am in awe that you can handle this AND writing—You have as much focus and discipline as a top-of-the=trees guide dog. LOL!
    Will be following Rochester;s progress, and look forward to joining you in raising a cheer (and perhaps a tear) when he graduates.

    Reply
  29. A truly wonderful blog, Nicola—and a truly wonderful job both you and Rochester are doing! I am in awe that you can handle this AND writing—You have as much focus and discipline as a top-of-the=trees guide dog. LOL!
    Will be following Rochester;s progress, and look forward to joining you in raising a cheer (and perhaps a tear) when he graduates.

    Reply
  30. A truly wonderful blog, Nicola—and a truly wonderful job both you and Rochester are doing! I am in awe that you can handle this AND writing—You have as much focus and discipline as a top-of-the=trees guide dog. LOL!
    Will be following Rochester;s progress, and look forward to joining you in raising a cheer (and perhaps a tear) when he graduates.

    Reply
  31. Aw, how lovely – I had already heard about Rochester…
    Keep thinking we should get another mutt(to keep me fit and then to sit on my feet while I am writing!). Let me know if you have one that isn’t trainable enough for a guide dog…….

    Reply
  32. Aw, how lovely – I had already heard about Rochester…
    Keep thinking we should get another mutt(to keep me fit and then to sit on my feet while I am writing!). Let me know if you have one that isn’t trainable enough for a guide dog…….

    Reply
  33. Aw, how lovely – I had already heard about Rochester…
    Keep thinking we should get another mutt(to keep me fit and then to sit on my feet while I am writing!). Let me know if you have one that isn’t trainable enough for a guide dog…….

    Reply
  34. Aw, how lovely – I had already heard about Rochester…
    Keep thinking we should get another mutt(to keep me fit and then to sit on my feet while I am writing!). Let me know if you have one that isn’t trainable enough for a guide dog…….

    Reply
  35. Aw, how lovely – I had already heard about Rochester…
    Keep thinking we should get another mutt(to keep me fit and then to sit on my feet while I am writing!). Let me know if you have one that isn’t trainable enough for a guide dog…….

    Reply
  36. Oh, Nicola, he’s adorable! And obviously very clever if he’s learning so quickly. I know it’s exhausting in the beginning, but so rewarding. Thanks for a great post, really enjoyed reading about dogs through the ages too. Will keep checking Rochester’s blog 🙂

    Reply
  37. Oh, Nicola, he’s adorable! And obviously very clever if he’s learning so quickly. I know it’s exhausting in the beginning, but so rewarding. Thanks for a great post, really enjoyed reading about dogs through the ages too. Will keep checking Rochester’s blog 🙂

    Reply
  38. Oh, Nicola, he’s adorable! And obviously very clever if he’s learning so quickly. I know it’s exhausting in the beginning, but so rewarding. Thanks for a great post, really enjoyed reading about dogs through the ages too. Will keep checking Rochester’s blog 🙂

    Reply
  39. Oh, Nicola, he’s adorable! And obviously very clever if he’s learning so quickly. I know it’s exhausting in the beginning, but so rewarding. Thanks for a great post, really enjoyed reading about dogs through the ages too. Will keep checking Rochester’s blog 🙂

    Reply
  40. Oh, Nicola, he’s adorable! And obviously very clever if he’s learning so quickly. I know it’s exhausting in the beginning, but so rewarding. Thanks for a great post, really enjoyed reading about dogs through the ages too. Will keep checking Rochester’s blog 🙂

    Reply
  41. I adore dogs (I currently play valet to a Mastiff). Here in San Francisco/Bay Area we have a major guide dog training center, so you see them EVERYWHERE, as all stages of their training (and they’re one of the orgs I donate to monthly). There was a group of six juveniles being introduced to public transportation on the train just last night.
    I have a copy of an amazing little magazine from 1820 that is all about dogs: “The Complete Dog Fancier’s Companion; describing the Nature, Habits, Properties &c. of Sporting, Fancy, and other Dogs”. It talks about 18 breed/types (most are grouped merely by type). My favorite part of it is the no-bones about it stance against blood sports (it calls the man who sets his dog on bulls the greater brute of the two while marinating the nobility of the bull dog who is thus abused).

    Reply
  42. I adore dogs (I currently play valet to a Mastiff). Here in San Francisco/Bay Area we have a major guide dog training center, so you see them EVERYWHERE, as all stages of their training (and they’re one of the orgs I donate to monthly). There was a group of six juveniles being introduced to public transportation on the train just last night.
    I have a copy of an amazing little magazine from 1820 that is all about dogs: “The Complete Dog Fancier’s Companion; describing the Nature, Habits, Properties &c. of Sporting, Fancy, and other Dogs”. It talks about 18 breed/types (most are grouped merely by type). My favorite part of it is the no-bones about it stance against blood sports (it calls the man who sets his dog on bulls the greater brute of the two while marinating the nobility of the bull dog who is thus abused).

    Reply
  43. I adore dogs (I currently play valet to a Mastiff). Here in San Francisco/Bay Area we have a major guide dog training center, so you see them EVERYWHERE, as all stages of their training (and they’re one of the orgs I donate to monthly). There was a group of six juveniles being introduced to public transportation on the train just last night.
    I have a copy of an amazing little magazine from 1820 that is all about dogs: “The Complete Dog Fancier’s Companion; describing the Nature, Habits, Properties &c. of Sporting, Fancy, and other Dogs”. It talks about 18 breed/types (most are grouped merely by type). My favorite part of it is the no-bones about it stance against blood sports (it calls the man who sets his dog on bulls the greater brute of the two while marinating the nobility of the bull dog who is thus abused).

    Reply
  44. I adore dogs (I currently play valet to a Mastiff). Here in San Francisco/Bay Area we have a major guide dog training center, so you see them EVERYWHERE, as all stages of their training (and they’re one of the orgs I donate to monthly). There was a group of six juveniles being introduced to public transportation on the train just last night.
    I have a copy of an amazing little magazine from 1820 that is all about dogs: “The Complete Dog Fancier’s Companion; describing the Nature, Habits, Properties &c. of Sporting, Fancy, and other Dogs”. It talks about 18 breed/types (most are grouped merely by type). My favorite part of it is the no-bones about it stance against blood sports (it calls the man who sets his dog on bulls the greater brute of the two while marinating the nobility of the bull dog who is thus abused).

    Reply
  45. I adore dogs (I currently play valet to a Mastiff). Here in San Francisco/Bay Area we have a major guide dog training center, so you see them EVERYWHERE, as all stages of their training (and they’re one of the orgs I donate to monthly). There was a group of six juveniles being introduced to public transportation on the train just last night.
    I have a copy of an amazing little magazine from 1820 that is all about dogs: “The Complete Dog Fancier’s Companion; describing the Nature, Habits, Properties &c. of Sporting, Fancy, and other Dogs”. It talks about 18 breed/types (most are grouped merely by type). My favorite part of it is the no-bones about it stance against blood sports (it calls the man who sets his dog on bulls the greater brute of the two while marinating the nobility of the bull dog who is thus abused).

    Reply
  46. What a fabulous post! I am most certainly a dog person, and I have two of them. A Golden Retriever named Drake and a lovely and sweet English Springer Spaniel named Bella.
    have I ever trained a dog….if you came to visit and got an eyeful of my darlings behaviour, you would definitely agree that my talents do not extend themselves in that direction! lol!
    I am so fascinated by the skills of these dogs, and its going to be such fun to watch him grow with you. What a rewarding job that must be for you!
    That said, I do NOT envy you that writing schedule! Eeeek!
    I am laughing now, because my springer just jumped into my wingback chair in my study and gave me a frosty look–I forgot to make her her toast and jam this morning!

    Reply
  47. What a fabulous post! I am most certainly a dog person, and I have two of them. A Golden Retriever named Drake and a lovely and sweet English Springer Spaniel named Bella.
    have I ever trained a dog….if you came to visit and got an eyeful of my darlings behaviour, you would definitely agree that my talents do not extend themselves in that direction! lol!
    I am so fascinated by the skills of these dogs, and its going to be such fun to watch him grow with you. What a rewarding job that must be for you!
    That said, I do NOT envy you that writing schedule! Eeeek!
    I am laughing now, because my springer just jumped into my wingback chair in my study and gave me a frosty look–I forgot to make her her toast and jam this morning!

    Reply
  48. What a fabulous post! I am most certainly a dog person, and I have two of them. A Golden Retriever named Drake and a lovely and sweet English Springer Spaniel named Bella.
    have I ever trained a dog….if you came to visit and got an eyeful of my darlings behaviour, you would definitely agree that my talents do not extend themselves in that direction! lol!
    I am so fascinated by the skills of these dogs, and its going to be such fun to watch him grow with you. What a rewarding job that must be for you!
    That said, I do NOT envy you that writing schedule! Eeeek!
    I am laughing now, because my springer just jumped into my wingback chair in my study and gave me a frosty look–I forgot to make her her toast and jam this morning!

    Reply
  49. What a fabulous post! I am most certainly a dog person, and I have two of them. A Golden Retriever named Drake and a lovely and sweet English Springer Spaniel named Bella.
    have I ever trained a dog….if you came to visit and got an eyeful of my darlings behaviour, you would definitely agree that my talents do not extend themselves in that direction! lol!
    I am so fascinated by the skills of these dogs, and its going to be such fun to watch him grow with you. What a rewarding job that must be for you!
    That said, I do NOT envy you that writing schedule! Eeeek!
    I am laughing now, because my springer just jumped into my wingback chair in my study and gave me a frosty look–I forgot to make her her toast and jam this morning!

    Reply
  50. What a fabulous post! I am most certainly a dog person, and I have two of them. A Golden Retriever named Drake and a lovely and sweet English Springer Spaniel named Bella.
    have I ever trained a dog….if you came to visit and got an eyeful of my darlings behaviour, you would definitely agree that my talents do not extend themselves in that direction! lol!
    I am so fascinated by the skills of these dogs, and its going to be such fun to watch him grow with you. What a rewarding job that must be for you!
    That said, I do NOT envy you that writing schedule! Eeeek!
    I am laughing now, because my springer just jumped into my wingback chair in my study and gave me a frosty look–I forgot to make her her toast and jam this morning!

    Reply
  51. Thanks so much, Cara/Andrea. I’m afraid my writing discipline is pretty much shot but I do my best!
    Sarah, I can’t wait for Rochester to be big enough to go out for walks. It certainly helps counter the effect of the chocolate eclairs on my waistband!

    Reply
  52. Thanks so much, Cara/Andrea. I’m afraid my writing discipline is pretty much shot but I do my best!
    Sarah, I can’t wait for Rochester to be big enough to go out for walks. It certainly helps counter the effect of the chocolate eclairs on my waistband!

    Reply
  53. Thanks so much, Cara/Andrea. I’m afraid my writing discipline is pretty much shot but I do my best!
    Sarah, I can’t wait for Rochester to be big enough to go out for walks. It certainly helps counter the effect of the chocolate eclairs on my waistband!

    Reply
  54. Thanks so much, Cara/Andrea. I’m afraid my writing discipline is pretty much shot but I do my best!
    Sarah, I can’t wait for Rochester to be big enough to go out for walks. It certainly helps counter the effect of the chocolate eclairs on my waistband!

    Reply
  55. Thanks so much, Cara/Andrea. I’m afraid my writing discipline is pretty much shot but I do my best!
    Sarah, I can’t wait for Rochester to be big enough to go out for walks. It certainly helps counter the effect of the chocolate eclairs on my waistband!

    Reply
  56. Hi Christina and thank you. I really enjoyed reading up on dogs through the ages. I read somewhere that “seeing dogs” were first introduced in the 19th century, which I thought was extraordinary. I hope you enjoy Rochester’s blog!
    Isobel, that must have been quite something seeing six trainee guide dogs having their first experience of public transport! I envy you “The Complete Dog Fancier’s Companion.” That must be a fascinating book. Interesting about the 18 breeds too.

    Reply
  57. Hi Christina and thank you. I really enjoyed reading up on dogs through the ages. I read somewhere that “seeing dogs” were first introduced in the 19th century, which I thought was extraordinary. I hope you enjoy Rochester’s blog!
    Isobel, that must have been quite something seeing six trainee guide dogs having their first experience of public transport! I envy you “The Complete Dog Fancier’s Companion.” That must be a fascinating book. Interesting about the 18 breeds too.

    Reply
  58. Hi Christina and thank you. I really enjoyed reading up on dogs through the ages. I read somewhere that “seeing dogs” were first introduced in the 19th century, which I thought was extraordinary. I hope you enjoy Rochester’s blog!
    Isobel, that must have been quite something seeing six trainee guide dogs having their first experience of public transport! I envy you “The Complete Dog Fancier’s Companion.” That must be a fascinating book. Interesting about the 18 breeds too.

    Reply
  59. Hi Christina and thank you. I really enjoyed reading up on dogs through the ages. I read somewhere that “seeing dogs” were first introduced in the 19th century, which I thought was extraordinary. I hope you enjoy Rochester’s blog!
    Isobel, that must have been quite something seeing six trainee guide dogs having their first experience of public transport! I envy you “The Complete Dog Fancier’s Companion.” That must be a fascinating book. Interesting about the 18 breeds too.

    Reply
  60. Hi Christina and thank you. I really enjoyed reading up on dogs through the ages. I read somewhere that “seeing dogs” were first introduced in the 19th century, which I thought was extraordinary. I hope you enjoy Rochester’s blog!
    Isobel, that must have been quite something seeing six trainee guide dogs having their first experience of public transport! I envy you “The Complete Dog Fancier’s Companion.” That must be a fascinating book. Interesting about the 18 breeds too.

    Reply
  61. Lovely post. My mixed breed proved to be too protective of me to become a therapy dog (sigh…), but I love her anyway. She’s smart and hilarious, which is a counter balance to all the barking done when the mail is delivered 🙂
    I sent the link for puppywithapurpose to a friend who’ll be delighted with it.

    Reply
  62. Lovely post. My mixed breed proved to be too protective of me to become a therapy dog (sigh…), but I love her anyway. She’s smart and hilarious, which is a counter balance to all the barking done when the mail is delivered 🙂
    I sent the link for puppywithapurpose to a friend who’ll be delighted with it.

    Reply
  63. Lovely post. My mixed breed proved to be too protective of me to become a therapy dog (sigh…), but I love her anyway. She’s smart and hilarious, which is a counter balance to all the barking done when the mail is delivered 🙂
    I sent the link for puppywithapurpose to a friend who’ll be delighted with it.

    Reply
  64. Lovely post. My mixed breed proved to be too protective of me to become a therapy dog (sigh…), but I love her anyway. She’s smart and hilarious, which is a counter balance to all the barking done when the mail is delivered 🙂
    I sent the link for puppywithapurpose to a friend who’ll be delighted with it.

    Reply
  65. Lovely post. My mixed breed proved to be too protective of me to become a therapy dog (sigh…), but I love her anyway. She’s smart and hilarious, which is a counter balance to all the barking done when the mail is delivered 🙂
    I sent the link for puppywithapurpose to a friend who’ll be delighted with it.

    Reply
  66. That would be wonderful, Isobel.
    Karen, I think there are some dogs that are suited to be therapy dogs and others are wonderful pets – all have their gifts! Thank you for passing on the blog link.

    Reply
  67. That would be wonderful, Isobel.
    Karen, I think there are some dogs that are suited to be therapy dogs and others are wonderful pets – all have their gifts! Thank you for passing on the blog link.

    Reply
  68. That would be wonderful, Isobel.
    Karen, I think there are some dogs that are suited to be therapy dogs and others are wonderful pets – all have their gifts! Thank you for passing on the blog link.

    Reply
  69. That would be wonderful, Isobel.
    Karen, I think there are some dogs that are suited to be therapy dogs and others are wonderful pets – all have their gifts! Thank you for passing on the blog link.

    Reply
  70. That would be wonderful, Isobel.
    Karen, I think there are some dogs that are suited to be therapy dogs and others are wonderful pets – all have their gifts! Thank you for passing on the blog link.

    Reply
  71. Rochester is adorable! And I am sure Bob will keep him humble. My cats do an excellent job of keeping my dogs in line. I’ve already told you how much I admire your work in taking on a guide dog puppy and what a lovely memorial it is to my darling friend, Monty.
    I’ve trained a number of dogs from Rottweilers to chihuahuas. The bigger dogs are easier to train (or at least in my experience they are!) I think the small dogs tend to have “Napoleon complex” and simply refuse to be dominated.
    I had deaf Great Danes for a number of years and found they were some of the smartest and most trainable dogs in the world. My last Dane, Glory, knew twenty signs and made a great impression on everyone who met her, especially some little deaf girls who saw me signing to her at PetSmart.
    Currently the house is run by a 12 pound Chihuahua who has been banned from a number of veterianarians’ offices because of his “attitude.” Frodo adores me, but tends to look at the rest of the world as creatures to be taught their place.
    I look forward to following Rochester’s progress!

    Reply
  72. Rochester is adorable! And I am sure Bob will keep him humble. My cats do an excellent job of keeping my dogs in line. I’ve already told you how much I admire your work in taking on a guide dog puppy and what a lovely memorial it is to my darling friend, Monty.
    I’ve trained a number of dogs from Rottweilers to chihuahuas. The bigger dogs are easier to train (or at least in my experience they are!) I think the small dogs tend to have “Napoleon complex” and simply refuse to be dominated.
    I had deaf Great Danes for a number of years and found they were some of the smartest and most trainable dogs in the world. My last Dane, Glory, knew twenty signs and made a great impression on everyone who met her, especially some little deaf girls who saw me signing to her at PetSmart.
    Currently the house is run by a 12 pound Chihuahua who has been banned from a number of veterianarians’ offices because of his “attitude.” Frodo adores me, but tends to look at the rest of the world as creatures to be taught their place.
    I look forward to following Rochester’s progress!

    Reply
  73. Rochester is adorable! And I am sure Bob will keep him humble. My cats do an excellent job of keeping my dogs in line. I’ve already told you how much I admire your work in taking on a guide dog puppy and what a lovely memorial it is to my darling friend, Monty.
    I’ve trained a number of dogs from Rottweilers to chihuahuas. The bigger dogs are easier to train (or at least in my experience they are!) I think the small dogs tend to have “Napoleon complex” and simply refuse to be dominated.
    I had deaf Great Danes for a number of years and found they were some of the smartest and most trainable dogs in the world. My last Dane, Glory, knew twenty signs and made a great impression on everyone who met her, especially some little deaf girls who saw me signing to her at PetSmart.
    Currently the house is run by a 12 pound Chihuahua who has been banned from a number of veterianarians’ offices because of his “attitude.” Frodo adores me, but tends to look at the rest of the world as creatures to be taught their place.
    I look forward to following Rochester’s progress!

    Reply
  74. Rochester is adorable! And I am sure Bob will keep him humble. My cats do an excellent job of keeping my dogs in line. I’ve already told you how much I admire your work in taking on a guide dog puppy and what a lovely memorial it is to my darling friend, Monty.
    I’ve trained a number of dogs from Rottweilers to chihuahuas. The bigger dogs are easier to train (or at least in my experience they are!) I think the small dogs tend to have “Napoleon complex” and simply refuse to be dominated.
    I had deaf Great Danes for a number of years and found they were some of the smartest and most trainable dogs in the world. My last Dane, Glory, knew twenty signs and made a great impression on everyone who met her, especially some little deaf girls who saw me signing to her at PetSmart.
    Currently the house is run by a 12 pound Chihuahua who has been banned from a number of veterianarians’ offices because of his “attitude.” Frodo adores me, but tends to look at the rest of the world as creatures to be taught their place.
    I look forward to following Rochester’s progress!

    Reply
  75. Rochester is adorable! And I am sure Bob will keep him humble. My cats do an excellent job of keeping my dogs in line. I’ve already told you how much I admire your work in taking on a guide dog puppy and what a lovely memorial it is to my darling friend, Monty.
    I’ve trained a number of dogs from Rottweilers to chihuahuas. The bigger dogs are easier to train (or at least in my experience they are!) I think the small dogs tend to have “Napoleon complex” and simply refuse to be dominated.
    I had deaf Great Danes for a number of years and found they were some of the smartest and most trainable dogs in the world. My last Dane, Glory, knew twenty signs and made a great impression on everyone who met her, especially some little deaf girls who saw me signing to her at PetSmart.
    Currently the house is run by a 12 pound Chihuahua who has been banned from a number of veterianarians’ offices because of his “attitude.” Frodo adores me, but tends to look at the rest of the world as creatures to be taught their place.
    I look forward to following Rochester’s progress!

    Reply
  76. Cats are great for training dogs up and keeping them in line, aren’t they, Louisa. I am so in awe of your training for deaf Great Danes. The signing is amazing. And that’s very funny about little dogs having a Napoleon complex when it comes to training!

    Reply
  77. Cats are great for training dogs up and keeping them in line, aren’t they, Louisa. I am so in awe of your training for deaf Great Danes. The signing is amazing. And that’s very funny about little dogs having a Napoleon complex when it comes to training!

    Reply
  78. Cats are great for training dogs up and keeping them in line, aren’t they, Louisa. I am so in awe of your training for deaf Great Danes. The signing is amazing. And that’s very funny about little dogs having a Napoleon complex when it comes to training!

    Reply
  79. Cats are great for training dogs up and keeping them in line, aren’t they, Louisa. I am so in awe of your training for deaf Great Danes. The signing is amazing. And that’s very funny about little dogs having a Napoleon complex when it comes to training!

    Reply
  80. Cats are great for training dogs up and keeping them in line, aren’t they, Louisa. I am so in awe of your training for deaf Great Danes. The signing is amazing. And that’s very funny about little dogs having a Napoleon complex when it comes to training!

    Reply
  81. You are awesome! I would love to do this, but I know I would never be able to give up the puppy when the time came and am afraid I would sabotage the training so I wouldn’t have to ;o)
    I have two Dobermans, (waves at Sherrie) a black rescue male and a red female that was my daughter’s 21st birthday gift from her boss but notice the “I” in who really owns her? They constantly pester the cat now that she no longer lives on top of my kitchen cabinets, (She’s gotten too old to get up there) but she takes it all in stride.
    I can’t imagine life without a dog.

    Reply
  82. You are awesome! I would love to do this, but I know I would never be able to give up the puppy when the time came and am afraid I would sabotage the training so I wouldn’t have to ;o)
    I have two Dobermans, (waves at Sherrie) a black rescue male and a red female that was my daughter’s 21st birthday gift from her boss but notice the “I” in who really owns her? They constantly pester the cat now that she no longer lives on top of my kitchen cabinets, (She’s gotten too old to get up there) but she takes it all in stride.
    I can’t imagine life without a dog.

    Reply
  83. You are awesome! I would love to do this, but I know I would never be able to give up the puppy when the time came and am afraid I would sabotage the training so I wouldn’t have to ;o)
    I have two Dobermans, (waves at Sherrie) a black rescue male and a red female that was my daughter’s 21st birthday gift from her boss but notice the “I” in who really owns her? They constantly pester the cat now that she no longer lives on top of my kitchen cabinets, (She’s gotten too old to get up there) but she takes it all in stride.
    I can’t imagine life without a dog.

    Reply
  84. You are awesome! I would love to do this, but I know I would never be able to give up the puppy when the time came and am afraid I would sabotage the training so I wouldn’t have to ;o)
    I have two Dobermans, (waves at Sherrie) a black rescue male and a red female that was my daughter’s 21st birthday gift from her boss but notice the “I” in who really owns her? They constantly pester the cat now that she no longer lives on top of my kitchen cabinets, (She’s gotten too old to get up there) but she takes it all in stride.
    I can’t imagine life without a dog.

    Reply
  85. You are awesome! I would love to do this, but I know I would never be able to give up the puppy when the time came and am afraid I would sabotage the training so I wouldn’t have to ;o)
    I have two Dobermans, (waves at Sherrie) a black rescue male and a red female that was my daughter’s 21st birthday gift from her boss but notice the “I” in who really owns her? They constantly pester the cat now that she no longer lives on top of my kitchen cabinets, (She’s gotten too old to get up there) but she takes it all in stride.
    I can’t imagine life without a dog.

    Reply
  86. “The choice of a pet dog was limited up until the 19th century by the fact that there were only sixteen breeds of dog recorded in England. ”
    Loved the post — but just *had* to comment on the above! There were *undoubtedly* a VAST choice of pet dogs, because dogs don’t care about pedigrees. There may have been only 16 breeds, but there were at least 256 different kinds of crossbreds! 😀
    Rochester is adorable — best wishes for continued great progress!

    Reply
  87. “The choice of a pet dog was limited up until the 19th century by the fact that there were only sixteen breeds of dog recorded in England. ”
    Loved the post — but just *had* to comment on the above! There were *undoubtedly* a VAST choice of pet dogs, because dogs don’t care about pedigrees. There may have been only 16 breeds, but there were at least 256 different kinds of crossbreds! 😀
    Rochester is adorable — best wishes for continued great progress!

    Reply
  88. “The choice of a pet dog was limited up until the 19th century by the fact that there were only sixteen breeds of dog recorded in England. ”
    Loved the post — but just *had* to comment on the above! There were *undoubtedly* a VAST choice of pet dogs, because dogs don’t care about pedigrees. There may have been only 16 breeds, but there were at least 256 different kinds of crossbreds! 😀
    Rochester is adorable — best wishes for continued great progress!

    Reply
  89. “The choice of a pet dog was limited up until the 19th century by the fact that there were only sixteen breeds of dog recorded in England. ”
    Loved the post — but just *had* to comment on the above! There were *undoubtedly* a VAST choice of pet dogs, because dogs don’t care about pedigrees. There may have been only 16 breeds, but there were at least 256 different kinds of crossbreds! 😀
    Rochester is adorable — best wishes for continued great progress!

    Reply
  90. “The choice of a pet dog was limited up until the 19th century by the fact that there were only sixteen breeds of dog recorded in England. ”
    Loved the post — but just *had* to comment on the above! There were *undoubtedly* a VAST choice of pet dogs, because dogs don’t care about pedigrees. There may have been only 16 breeds, but there were at least 256 different kinds of crossbreds! 😀
    Rochester is adorable — best wishes for continued great progress!

    Reply
  91. Theo, giving up the puppy is the hardest thing at the end of the year and I do remember how tough that was in the past. I don’t think we would get away with sabotaging him (LOL!) but the thought has crossed our minds before! So pleased to hear you cat takes the pestering in her stride. They need to be very tolerant sometimes.

    Reply
  92. Theo, giving up the puppy is the hardest thing at the end of the year and I do remember how tough that was in the past. I don’t think we would get away with sabotaging him (LOL!) but the thought has crossed our minds before! So pleased to hear you cat takes the pestering in her stride. They need to be very tolerant sometimes.

    Reply
  93. Theo, giving up the puppy is the hardest thing at the end of the year and I do remember how tough that was in the past. I don’t think we would get away with sabotaging him (LOL!) but the thought has crossed our minds before! So pleased to hear you cat takes the pestering in her stride. They need to be very tolerant sometimes.

    Reply
  94. Theo, giving up the puppy is the hardest thing at the end of the year and I do remember how tough that was in the past. I don’t think we would get away with sabotaging him (LOL!) but the thought has crossed our minds before! So pleased to hear you cat takes the pestering in her stride. They need to be very tolerant sometimes.

    Reply
  95. Theo, giving up the puppy is the hardest thing at the end of the year and I do remember how tough that was in the past. I don’t think we would get away with sabotaging him (LOL!) but the thought has crossed our minds before! So pleased to hear you cat takes the pestering in her stride. They need to be very tolerant sometimes.

    Reply
  96. Good point, Sue. I’m sure there were huge numbers of cross breds just as there are now. I suppose the research book I was reading mostly concentrated on the choices made by the nobility who preferred pure breeds to match their own breeding! I remember joking when we had Monty that his pedigree was a great deal more aristocratic than my own and he could probably trace his family tree back further than I can!

    Reply
  97. Good point, Sue. I’m sure there were huge numbers of cross breds just as there are now. I suppose the research book I was reading mostly concentrated on the choices made by the nobility who preferred pure breeds to match their own breeding! I remember joking when we had Monty that his pedigree was a great deal more aristocratic than my own and he could probably trace his family tree back further than I can!

    Reply
  98. Good point, Sue. I’m sure there were huge numbers of cross breds just as there are now. I suppose the research book I was reading mostly concentrated on the choices made by the nobility who preferred pure breeds to match their own breeding! I remember joking when we had Monty that his pedigree was a great deal more aristocratic than my own and he could probably trace his family tree back further than I can!

    Reply
  99. Good point, Sue. I’m sure there were huge numbers of cross breds just as there are now. I suppose the research book I was reading mostly concentrated on the choices made by the nobility who preferred pure breeds to match their own breeding! I remember joking when we had Monty that his pedigree was a great deal more aristocratic than my own and he could probably trace his family tree back further than I can!

    Reply
  100. Good point, Sue. I’m sure there were huge numbers of cross breds just as there are now. I suppose the research book I was reading mostly concentrated on the choices made by the nobility who preferred pure breeds to match their own breeding! I remember joking when we had Monty that his pedigree was a great deal more aristocratic than my own and he could probably trace his family tree back further than I can!

    Reply
  101. I live not far from a similar organization – the Seeing Eye located in Morristown, NJ, USA. I often see the trainers walking the streets of Morristown either while training the dogs or with their new human companions. It’s a wonderful thing you are doing. I look forward to following Rochester’s progress.

    Reply
  102. I live not far from a similar organization – the Seeing Eye located in Morristown, NJ, USA. I often see the trainers walking the streets of Morristown either while training the dogs or with their new human companions. It’s a wonderful thing you are doing. I look forward to following Rochester’s progress.

    Reply
  103. I live not far from a similar organization – the Seeing Eye located in Morristown, NJ, USA. I often see the trainers walking the streets of Morristown either while training the dogs or with their new human companions. It’s a wonderful thing you are doing. I look forward to following Rochester’s progress.

    Reply
  104. I live not far from a similar organization – the Seeing Eye located in Morristown, NJ, USA. I often see the trainers walking the streets of Morristown either while training the dogs or with their new human companions. It’s a wonderful thing you are doing. I look forward to following Rochester’s progress.

    Reply
  105. I live not far from a similar organization – the Seeing Eye located in Morristown, NJ, USA. I often see the trainers walking the streets of Morristown either while training the dogs or with their new human companions. It’s a wonderful thing you are doing. I look forward to following Rochester’s progress.

    Reply
  106. This is great Nicola. Reading all the blogs above it seems there are lots of dog lovers in the world. We have a tiny little dog, pomeranian/chih (and I can’t spell it!!) cross who is now 10 years old and still thinks she is a puppy even though she has arthritis. A lot of the guide dogs here in Australia now are crossed with the poodle because they don’t shed and alergies are so prevalent here. The non shedding dog gives so many more people a chance to have help.

    Reply
  107. This is great Nicola. Reading all the blogs above it seems there are lots of dog lovers in the world. We have a tiny little dog, pomeranian/chih (and I can’t spell it!!) cross who is now 10 years old and still thinks she is a puppy even though she has arthritis. A lot of the guide dogs here in Australia now are crossed with the poodle because they don’t shed and alergies are so prevalent here. The non shedding dog gives so many more people a chance to have help.

    Reply
  108. This is great Nicola. Reading all the blogs above it seems there are lots of dog lovers in the world. We have a tiny little dog, pomeranian/chih (and I can’t spell it!!) cross who is now 10 years old and still thinks she is a puppy even though she has arthritis. A lot of the guide dogs here in Australia now are crossed with the poodle because they don’t shed and alergies are so prevalent here. The non shedding dog gives so many more people a chance to have help.

    Reply
  109. This is great Nicola. Reading all the blogs above it seems there are lots of dog lovers in the world. We have a tiny little dog, pomeranian/chih (and I can’t spell it!!) cross who is now 10 years old and still thinks she is a puppy even though she has arthritis. A lot of the guide dogs here in Australia now are crossed with the poodle because they don’t shed and alergies are so prevalent here. The non shedding dog gives so many more people a chance to have help.

    Reply
  110. This is great Nicola. Reading all the blogs above it seems there are lots of dog lovers in the world. We have a tiny little dog, pomeranian/chih (and I can’t spell it!!) cross who is now 10 years old and still thinks she is a puppy even though she has arthritis. A lot of the guide dogs here in Australia now are crossed with the poodle because they don’t shed and alergies are so prevalent here. The non shedding dog gives so many more people a chance to have help.

    Reply
  111. Isn’t it wonderful seeing the progrress these dogs make, Diane.
    Jenny, you’re so right – there are a lot of dog lovers about! It’s a great idea to cross the guide dogs with poodles for those people who are allergic. I think that’s why they are also starting to use the Labradoodle here in the UK.

    Reply
  112. Isn’t it wonderful seeing the progrress these dogs make, Diane.
    Jenny, you’re so right – there are a lot of dog lovers about! It’s a great idea to cross the guide dogs with poodles for those people who are allergic. I think that’s why they are also starting to use the Labradoodle here in the UK.

    Reply
  113. Isn’t it wonderful seeing the progrress these dogs make, Diane.
    Jenny, you’re so right – there are a lot of dog lovers about! It’s a great idea to cross the guide dogs with poodles for those people who are allergic. I think that’s why they are also starting to use the Labradoodle here in the UK.

    Reply
  114. Isn’t it wonderful seeing the progrress these dogs make, Diane.
    Jenny, you’re so right – there are a lot of dog lovers about! It’s a great idea to cross the guide dogs with poodles for those people who are allergic. I think that’s why they are also starting to use the Labradoodle here in the UK.

    Reply
  115. Isn’t it wonderful seeing the progrress these dogs make, Diane.
    Jenny, you’re so right – there are a lot of dog lovers about! It’s a great idea to cross the guide dogs with poodles for those people who are allergic. I think that’s why they are also starting to use the Labradoodle here in the UK.

    Reply
  116. Rochester is just adorable, I agree it would be too hard to give such a sweet dog up after a year so you deserve a lot of thanks and blessings for what you are doing. Best of luck to Rochester and to you, for your book!

    Reply
  117. Rochester is just adorable, I agree it would be too hard to give such a sweet dog up after a year so you deserve a lot of thanks and blessings for what you are doing. Best of luck to Rochester and to you, for your book!

    Reply
  118. Rochester is just adorable, I agree it would be too hard to give such a sweet dog up after a year so you deserve a lot of thanks and blessings for what you are doing. Best of luck to Rochester and to you, for your book!

    Reply
  119. Rochester is just adorable, I agree it would be too hard to give such a sweet dog up after a year so you deserve a lot of thanks and blessings for what you are doing. Best of luck to Rochester and to you, for your book!

    Reply
  120. Rochester is just adorable, I agree it would be too hard to give such a sweet dog up after a year so you deserve a lot of thanks and blessings for what you are doing. Best of luck to Rochester and to you, for your book!

    Reply
  121. Nicola, I’m loving these tales of Rochester’s training. I’m a dog person from way back, but I’ve never trained a guide dog. My Chloe was almost a care dog, though, from visiting old folks in nursing homes from the time she was a puppy. She was always very good and gentle and patient with them, but as soon as we got outside at the end of the visit all the pent-up energy she’d suppressed came out in a wild, mad run-leap-bounce-pelt around that always made me laugh.
    I do love cats as well, but I tend not to have them as they make me sneeze. I should say I don’t go out to deliberately acquire cats for that reason, however some cats have made it their business to acquire me. Cats do that.

    Reply
  122. Nicola, I’m loving these tales of Rochester’s training. I’m a dog person from way back, but I’ve never trained a guide dog. My Chloe was almost a care dog, though, from visiting old folks in nursing homes from the time she was a puppy. She was always very good and gentle and patient with them, but as soon as we got outside at the end of the visit all the pent-up energy she’d suppressed came out in a wild, mad run-leap-bounce-pelt around that always made me laugh.
    I do love cats as well, but I tend not to have them as they make me sneeze. I should say I don’t go out to deliberately acquire cats for that reason, however some cats have made it their business to acquire me. Cats do that.

    Reply
  123. Nicola, I’m loving these tales of Rochester’s training. I’m a dog person from way back, but I’ve never trained a guide dog. My Chloe was almost a care dog, though, from visiting old folks in nursing homes from the time she was a puppy. She was always very good and gentle and patient with them, but as soon as we got outside at the end of the visit all the pent-up energy she’d suppressed came out in a wild, mad run-leap-bounce-pelt around that always made me laugh.
    I do love cats as well, but I tend not to have them as they make me sneeze. I should say I don’t go out to deliberately acquire cats for that reason, however some cats have made it their business to acquire me. Cats do that.

    Reply
  124. Nicola, I’m loving these tales of Rochester’s training. I’m a dog person from way back, but I’ve never trained a guide dog. My Chloe was almost a care dog, though, from visiting old folks in nursing homes from the time she was a puppy. She was always very good and gentle and patient with them, but as soon as we got outside at the end of the visit all the pent-up energy she’d suppressed came out in a wild, mad run-leap-bounce-pelt around that always made me laugh.
    I do love cats as well, but I tend not to have them as they make me sneeze. I should say I don’t go out to deliberately acquire cats for that reason, however some cats have made it their business to acquire me. Cats do that.

    Reply
  125. Nicola, I’m loving these tales of Rochester’s training. I’m a dog person from way back, but I’ve never trained a guide dog. My Chloe was almost a care dog, though, from visiting old folks in nursing homes from the time she was a puppy. She was always very good and gentle and patient with them, but as soon as we got outside at the end of the visit all the pent-up energy she’d suppressed came out in a wild, mad run-leap-bounce-pelt around that always made me laugh.
    I do love cats as well, but I tend not to have them as they make me sneeze. I should say I don’t go out to deliberately acquire cats for that reason, however some cats have made it their business to acquire me. Cats do that.

    Reply
  126. Thanks, Anne. Rochester is getting to grips with the snow here today! How lovely that Chloe was such an asset as a “pat dog” (that’s what they are called here in the UK). It’s very funny that she bottled up all that energy and let it all out at the end of the visit!

    Reply
  127. Thanks, Anne. Rochester is getting to grips with the snow here today! How lovely that Chloe was such an asset as a “pat dog” (that’s what they are called here in the UK). It’s very funny that she bottled up all that energy and let it all out at the end of the visit!

    Reply
  128. Thanks, Anne. Rochester is getting to grips with the snow here today! How lovely that Chloe was such an asset as a “pat dog” (that’s what they are called here in the UK). It’s very funny that she bottled up all that energy and let it all out at the end of the visit!

    Reply
  129. Thanks, Anne. Rochester is getting to grips with the snow here today! How lovely that Chloe was such an asset as a “pat dog” (that’s what they are called here in the UK). It’s very funny that she bottled up all that energy and let it all out at the end of the visit!

    Reply
  130. Thanks, Anne. Rochester is getting to grips with the snow here today! How lovely that Chloe was such an asset as a “pat dog” (that’s what they are called here in the UK). It’s very funny that she bottled up all that energy and let it all out at the end of the visit!

    Reply

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