10-month ‘pupdate’ from Guide Dogs

Monday November 22, 2021

Concord was delighted to hear from Guide Dogs last week with a 10-month ‘pupdate’, regarding the College’s sponsored Guide Dog, Harmony. The Labrador cross Golden Retriever, alongside her 11 siblings, was welcomed on the Guide Dogs’ training scheme at the start of 2021 and will soon be progressing to ‘big school’. In an email to the College, Guide Dogs Director of Fundraising and Marketing, Maria Novell said: “Although Harmony will be with her Puppy Raiser for another 2-4 months, it is already time to start looking to the future and start polishing up the skills that she has learnt, making sure that she is as ready as she can be to start her next stage of guide dog training. “I am delighted to send you an update on what Harmony has been up to over the last couple of months and I look forward to contacting you again soon to celebrate Harmony’s birthday.” Harmony’s Puppy Raiser, Geraldine had this to say: “Harmony is an intelligent and playful girl who has made lovely progress and is a pleasure to raise. “Her lead work is now of a very high standard – she rarely pulls and happily walks alongside me. She’s confident in all environments and doesn’t ever seem to be bothered by anything she’s encountered so far. For example, Harmony is happy in town and uses all types of stairs and lifts with confidence. “Free runs are a favourite activity of Harmony’s, and she has very good recall to the whistle and her name being called, especially if she’s getting a high-value treat as a reward for returning. She also enjoys being off the lead during walks through the local woods and doesn’t ever stray far.” Speaking of Harmony’s behaviour at home, Geraldine said: “At home, Harmony enjoys playing with her toys and she is able to keep herself amused with her selection of toys. She makes some squeak by pushing her nose hard against them and likes chasing them around the room and tossing them up in the air. “Harmony knows she is not allowed upstairs in the house, but that doesn’t stop her from trying, and when she succeeds, she will look through the banister with a cheeky look on her face!” According to Maria Novell, a key area for improvement includes a focus on breaking the habit of excitedly jumping up at people, which previously subsided, but has started up again recently probably due to hormonal changes. “We will be in touch again soon to celebrate Harmony’s birthday with you” she added. Concord hopes that Harmony’s birthday will coincide with her being allowed to visit the College with her Raiser, potentially either side of Christmas. Concord’s Mrs Suzanne Truss, Marketing & Development Officer, commented: “The students really enjoy projects where their fundraising makes a tangible difference in people's lives and sponsoring a puppy through Guide Dogs does just that. “Seeing Harmony grow up and hearing of her progress is wonderful, we can imagine her when she is a working guide-dog.”