Sunday, 14 August 2011

One year on....

Ian being a big sook and offering Renton a nibblet for being a good boy

It’s hard to believe it’s nearly a year since the Guide Dog Association brought Renton for his matching visit with me. Basically, this is when they bring the dog for a test drive. It’s at this point when you decide whether this particular dog is the right one or not. 
This can involve a number of factors. Like: walking speed, size, breed and temperament. Admittedly, it’s hard to draw any firm conclusions from such a short meeting, but often it’s best to follow your gut instinct and get some further background from the instructor. 
However, it’s always best to look between the lines as guide dog trainers can be a bit like estate agents. 
“The dog is very keen” 
Translation -  they’ll drag you off your feet.

“He responds well to firm handling.” 
Translation -  you’ll have to wrestle him to the ground if a cat goes past.

“The dog shows great caution at an obstacle.”
Translation - dog requires some kind of bribery usually food, to get them past anything. Even then they’ll require counselling for their nerves.
I am not saying that it has been plain sailing. He has had plenty of his own challenges to overcome. Like his suspicions and hate of cats, horses, small dogs, [not large ones he’s not stupid.] squirrels. He is a bit too enthusiastic when people come to the door, but we are working on this also.  (do you like my estate agent speak there...translate..he barks the house down until you are deaf!!!...anyway other than those, Renton who had his 3rd birthday last Wednesday  is maturing nicely  and it feels that I’ve been working with him for years.
Talking about his barking... this has been new to us..we are a quiet house and Moss rarely barks, far to much like hard work for a Labrador. However, Renton likes to bark at dogs going  past the gate, the postman, [particularly the postman.] visitors to the door. We can quieten him down a bit and then he coughs and splutters instead.

Renton sitting at the window watching for someone to bark at!
We have had loads of laughs with him, and I mean loads, he is incredibly intelligent and caring even to Moss. (which I've talked about before)
Moss and Renton with Ian at the front of the house

Moss is still not sure about him. Renton is far to fussy and loud for Moss (the Buddhist dog) He tends to put up with Renton, but we noticed that they have started to lie together out in the grass..and run down to the gate maybe there is a change happening.

So..from this sad dog who arrived, not long from the kennels, missing his handler, not eating anything and wanting to stand in a dark corner in the bathroom..we call this his ubend phase!..he was a bit disorientated at first and I think it has taken this full year for him to finally feel confident and at home..His work, however has always been good...but, I now have this big bouncy, Gucci pawed bear of a dog..Renticus Giganticus, his guiding work is just brilliant  and we both love him to bits.


1 comment:

  1. Gucci paws? Yes, he does have perfectly manicured giant claws...