Friday, 25 April 2014

A day at 'Big School'

We got up before 6 to get ourselves ready for a special Induction Day at the Guide Dog's Training School in Forfar yesterday.

We had to drop Odi off with her pal Nancy. The 2 of them were going to spend the day together with Alec's wife, Jackie, whilst Alec, Mountain Man and I got the easy option.

As both of them are in season it was a great opportunity for them to have a playday.

On the way up my Puppy Supervisor had asked if I could pick up a puppy at the Forth Road Bridge Tesco's car park to take to Forfar with me and hand over. We rendezvoused at 9.15 am and picked up the absolutely adorable Victor. He was so cute and so different to Odi. Victor was unbelievably gentle and, although a bit unsettled at one point during the journey, he had none of Odi's biting or 'in your face' tendencies that she showed from Day 1. Whoever ends up with him will be very lucky. There were moments where Alec, MM and I talked about bypassing Forfar and kidnapping Victor because he was so adorable, but we decided to be sensible. I handed him over with a bit of a heavy heart!

The adorable Victor

The Training School at Forfar really is state of the art. We got talks from an instructor, a puppy supervisor, a dog welfare officer and a blind person who works there and has had several guide dogs. The last was incredibly moving and made all the difficulties we've had with Odi seem totally worthwhile. We also got a guided tour, which was fascinating and here are a few pics for you to give you a flavour of the place:

The Puppy Wagon that brings the puppies to Forfar

One of the 2 cats that live at Forfar. Apparently this one hates dogs, but chooses to live there!

The indoor training arena

The state of the art kennels. The dogs were only jumping up because one of their trainers was near.

We got to see several dogs doing a training demo and even got to do a blindfold walk with a dog in training. What an experience that was!

It was a long day and we didn't get to pick Odi up until almost 7 pm. Apparently Odi and Nancy had spent most of the day playing and having a really good time.

Odi and Nancy having a laugh

As soon as we got in the car Odi fell asleep and once home she flopped on the floor, where she remained for the whole evening.

Today we had her other pal, Mary, who's also in season and needed a play, come over, but the photos of that playdate are on MM's phone so you'll have to wait til tomorrow for those pics. Interesting that all 3 of them, who live relatively close, are in season together - Mary's 10 months, Nancy's 8 months and Odi's 7 months.

Anyway, that was our day at Guide Dogs big school where Odi will go when she's about 13 months old, unless she's withdrawn before for not being suitable.

It was good to see it all, but both MM and I were also tired when we got home and so Odi wasn't the only one who flopped for the evening!


  1. Sounds so interesting and it must be encouraging to have a reminder of what it's all about.
    I wonder if the hormones are influenced by daylight in the same way as moulting?

    1. I haven't a clue re hormones... I'm just waiting, not all that patiently, for it all to finish!

  2. Sounds like an amazing day. I admire your restraint with Victor! What was the blindfolded walk like? With trained dogs I assume?

    1. With dog in training. It was unbelievably disorientating. I hadn't a clue where I was, but I just put my trust in the dog... and the handler too of course!