Our First Christmas

File 31-12-2015, 17 18 35

Hello everyone, its Fabes here; Mum left her PC on so I’ve finally got the chance to post something on our blog (she has been hogging it until now)!

Firstly I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to read our blog. Mum said there had been over 4,000 views! I guess this means you have been enjoying following our adventures and I hope that you have learnt something too; if Mum and I can help people understand how being visually impaired affects people and how working as a Guide Dog partnership can really improve lives then we will both be very happy. We also hope that some of things Mum has posted will educate people on how to behave around guide dogs so that me and my friends can look after our owners and do our jobs well.

Since Mum’s last post a few weeks ago we have been getting better and better. I think we are really getting to know each other and Mum seems to understand me better and listens more when I try to tell her there are obstacles ahead. I think I have done some pretty good things as she often gives me loads of praise, the occasional biscuit and tell people how brilliant I am. She seems most pleased with me when I ignore her when we are crossing a road when she hasn’t seen a car or bike approaching (I am pretty good at this part of my work even if I do say so myself) 😉

We have done a few new routes which I absolutely love; I do get a bit board going to and from Mum’s work every day, I know Mum tries to vary the routs for me but its still the same destination. I know we have to do it so I just get on with it, there might be the occasional sniff which I get told off for but generally I such it up and do my job.

I seem to be getting lots more free runs too which I think is because Mum is getting more confident and trusts me more. I’m glad I’ve been good and always come back when she whistles to get my cheese because I think that’s why I’m getting more fun runs and they seem to be longer too 🙂 Mum’s friends and family and great fun on free runs and they help her keep an eye on me in case I get distracted and run off a bit too far where she can’t see me. Mum has also discovered that I love water and mud (ideally  muddy water), she doesn’t seem to mind and basically just laughs at me before giving me a gentle hose off in the garden. We even went to the seaside yesterday with some other Guide Dogs which was brilliant fun and the humans seemed to have fun too. I wasn’t allowed to go in the sea though as it was so windy and rough that mum said it was dangerous and that I wouldn’t hear the whistle. Mum and her friend enjoyed showing off how fast me and my friend were as you can see from the photos, we worked really well together and I picked up a few tips about getting through crowds 😉

Just before Christmas we have a visit from our Guide Dog Mobility Instructor. This was our 6 months review (I can’t believe me and Mum have been together that long)!. Mum thinks I don’t know about these visits but I know that our GDMI phones mum when she is outside and then we set off on one of our normal routes and she follows us. I knew Mum was worried about my sniffing on our walks to work so I did a good job of doing all the naughty things I do so that our GDMI could help mum make me better at my job. I sniffed a lot, stopped a few times for no reason other than to get some fuss and got a bit distracted by a couple of dogs. Despite this out GDMI was really pleased with us; she said mum was dealing with my minor distractions really well. I’m a bit upset that she told mum to pause before fussing me when I stop though so that she can make sure I have stopped for a good reason, not just for some love. Although when I do get it right Mum is so pleased and happy, she often thanks me for looking after her so its not all bad.

The last week has been a bit strange but so much fun! We haven’t been to work for a while which is great and we stayed at Grandma and Granddad’s for a few nights, apparently that was because it was Christmas. I had a great time; lots of attention and I got some lovely new toys which I got to unwrap too. We walked to see Mum’s brother, sister in law, nephew and niece and I went to their house for the first time. I had to stay on my lead though because they have a cat and they think I might scare the cat. I don’t know why; I’m not scary, I just want to play 🙂 The cat didn’t seem too bothered by me and I behaved myself too so I think I’m invited back.

We spent lots of time with our family and I loved playing with the children; Mum was worried I might eat their toys but I showed her I can be well behaved. She also took me to another friends house where I could smell a dog but I couldn’t find him. I even took a sneaky chance to look upstairs but Mum got a bit cross, called me and put me back on my lead for a bit. I don’t think I’m allowed to go upstairs unless Mum says its ok.

I think I have been a really good girl as Mum said I make her really proud. What she doesn’t realise is that I love her so much, I’m so glad we were matched as her busy life and work-hard play-hard motto really work for me. I love my job and get a lot of satisfaction and pride from guiding mum safely where she want to go. I also really enjoy the fun we have on free runs and of course our cuddles.

Mum said I have made her life better in lots of different ways: She feels like she now has a choice about where and when she goes somewhere without having to rely on someone else. This makes her feel truly independent. She also said she loves being more active and outside for our free runs, I also think her friends and family enjoy coming too which is much more fun for me. Mum told me that since I arrived she has met so many lovely people through Guide Dogs and that we are going to do some exciting fundraising next year.

Anyway I had better go before Mum realises I have written our blog post (hehe). Happy new year to everyone; I’m really excited about what Team Mable have ahead of us in 2016!

Lots of love and licks from Fable x


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