Well it’s been a few weeks since PWAP has reported on Rochester’s progress. He has been busy… busy growing and growing and growing. In fact he barely looks like a puppy now, more a miniature labrador! We check his weight at the Drove Vetiniary practice every 2 weeks and this week he weighed in at 8.5kg, which means he has put on 2kg in a fortnight and almost tripled his weight in the 7 weeks we have had him; phew!
The next important milestone has been that his vaccination program has now been completed, which means he is free to go out and about meeting other dogs with impunity free from the fear of infection. He has done plenty of socialising walking, but only in places where other dogs are unlikely to have been. So “favourite” venues have been the park and ride, the DIY shop and the supermarket carpark. It may not be very facinating, but it’s safe and has plenty of useful things for Rochester to get used to. For example; buses, trolleys, lawnmowers, crowds and shelves of food. People are always pleased to meet him, interested in the work of Guide Dogs and Puppy walkers and by and large respectful of the fact that he is working!
Yesterday’s trip out was to sort out a new mobile at the Vodafone store in Swindon. He’s been in shops before, but this was the first visit where he would have to sit still and let me get on with stuff. For a future Guide Dog this is an important part of the job. Whilst the owner is out and about getting on with “life” the dog has to Guide but also spend lots of time sitting around waiting. Rochester’s first attempt at this was a great success. The staff at Vodafone couldn’t have been more helpful; I sorted out my new phone contract and Rochester learnt there is a lot of sitting around for a working dog!