Well its been a busy, exciting and awesome few weeks for Team Mable. I was inspired to write another blog post today as we met Fable’s puppy walkers for the first time. What a lovely couple; these amazing people looked after Fable from around 7 weeks old until she was about 15 months old. They loved her, cleaned up after her (I’m told puppy walkers favourite subject at dinner parties is big and little busies:-), they taught her obedience, recall and introduced her to traffic, trains, buses, shops and restaurants. Without their love and commitment Fable wouldn’t be the amazing Guide and fabulous companion she is today. Thank you to you both and to all Puppy Walkers.
Sadly, in my opinion, not all Guide Dog Owners choose to contact their Puppy Walkers when they qualify but for me it was really important as they played such a big part in turning Fable into a Guide Dog and it was lovely to receive some photos of her as a puppy and to hear all about her puppy antics, it doesn’t sound like she has changed much 🙂 I have to be honest I was little nervous before meeting them, I wanted Fable to remember them of course but I was worried she might love them more than me or be sad when they left. I needn’t have worried; she clearly remembered them and was more excited than I have ever seen her, she went to them for cuddles but was completely focused on me when we put her harness on and showed then how brilliant she was. When they left she didn’t seem worried, in fact she has been fast asleep since they left after her fun free run.
A few weeks ago Fable and I were invited to go to our local airport with Guide Dogs to look at access for Disabled Passengers. It was a really useful day for me as it showed me how it would be if I took a flight with Fable. I would need to get her a passport of course but during the day we went through security and were actually able to get on a plane. If you fly with a Guide Dog the seat next to you will be free so that you dog can rest in the foot space of the seat next to you. I think this is something I would like to do with Fable but best not run before we can walk, a little UK mini break first I think.
I also attended speakers training for Guide Dogs a few weeks ago. This means that I can now attend schools, workplaces or other groups and tell them all about Guide Dogs and what a difference Fable has made to my life. I’m really looking forward to my first appearance…. At this training we met one of Fable’s brothers, Freddie, who was there with his owner. As you can see from the photo he is a very handsome yellow lab.
As well as volunteering to be a speaker for Guide Dogs I am also co-organiser for our fundraising branch and I’m looking forward to taking Fable to her first event soon.
I am passionate about being able to give something back to Guide Dogs as I can’t put into words how grateful I am to everyone involved for giving me the best gift I have ever received; my independence and excitement about my future. So myself and a friend, who is a volunteer for Guide Dogs, are embarking on an 85 mile tandem ride in July. Its the 85th anniversary of Guide Dogs this year so we wanted to mark the occasion with 85 miles. We are raising money for Guide Dogs of course and if you would like to sponsor us then please use the link below.
We have just started our training and have so far only fallen off once (no major injuries sustained thankfully). For me riding a tandem is a similar feeling to working with a Guide Dog; its all about team work, communication and trust. I will of course keep you posted on our progress.
We have also been enjoying a lot of walks with fellow Guide Dogs and Guide Dog Owners; I am incredibly lucky to have met so many awesome people over the last 9 months. You can see from the photos that fable has also been having some fun, muddy free runs.
We have also been on trains (first class is so much better for Fable and me as she settles much better with less distractions), visited Fable’s early trainer, been out for dinner, collected an Equality and Diversity award at work for the whole team and had fun days out with family. You see my life really is exciting these days…. 🙂