Bring your day to work day in support of Guide Dogs.

Written by Lauriance Gerthoffer-Ham

Healey as a puppy.

It’s impossible not to fall in love with Healey, our Guide Dog puppy.

Knowing that you are contributing in such a simple way to ‘change a life’ by becoming a puppy walker is one of the greatest rewards there is.

Not only are you looking after such an adorable pup but you are giving back in the most inspirational way possible.

Intrigued to know more about what our sponsorship’s have given not only to the charity but to the puppy walkers themselves — we sat down with our latest puppy walker, Sue.

This was Sue’s first time as a puppy walker and from what we could see she was exceptional. Healey trusted and adored Sue, during their time together Sue explained her experience as a “…learning curve. It was 15years since I lost my last dog and I was in my teens when I had a very young puppy. The needs of a small puppy are very different from an older dog. Healey cried all night for the first night and not quite all night for the next few nights — but then life with him just got better and better. He made friends with all the neighbours and our outings were accompanied with calls of ‘Hello Healey’ wherever we went (he loved going out and about meeting people). Having come from a large family he wanted to play most of the time when awake. His routine was eat, play, sleep and he expected me to adhere to it. I tried to make play time learning time and he enjoyed playing and learning especially when food was his pay packet. Healey was a quick learner which made our sessions very rewarding for me.”

Healey’s favourite toy — Kong Wubba!

Being a puppy walker sometimes takes a bit to get used to however, Sue explains that when puppies move onto the next stage of Guide Dog training you miss their “…morning routine, after breakfast he would stand up and look me in the eye as if to say ‘I’m ready, so what are we going to do now?’.”

Healey waiting to find out what is on the days agenda — is it a walk, a trip to the shops or something else?

Although challenging “The support from Guide Dogs has been exemplary. There is 24 hour a day help available. The puppy training supervisor is always just a text away and if asked will phone back at the first opportunity. The other puppy walker volunteers have also been very supportive. Healey and I enjoyed our fundraising experiences and raising awareness of the Guide Dog organisation and all that it has to offer. I feel that I have made new friends and there is always such a positive atmosphere. I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to spend a year with Healey and to be part of his journey to become a Guide Dog. During my Guide Dog year I have met and spoken with members of the public who I would never otherwise have engaged with. I feel that it has been an enhancing and rewarding experience and so much so that I have offered to have another puppy. My Healey replacement should be arriving at the end of July, so something to look forwards to which helps fill the void left by Healey. He will always be my first.”

Another one of Healey’s favourite toys.

‘Bring your dog to work day’ for a Guide Dog is not just one day of the year but everyday, their waggy tails and inherent kindness enriches their carers life and those around it.

“I am very thankful that I had a year with the wonderful Healey but accept that it is now time for me to take a step back. He must be free to share his love with others and make new memories with them”.