When a Guide dog is fully trained it will be with it’s new owner through the average days and the exciting days. So it’s quite a big event when we feel sufficiently confident in Rochester’s abilities to have him tag along for a “normal” day of activity with us his human companions! So today’s blog is a “a day in the life” which culminated in a once in a lifetime experience for Rochester (and me!)
0800 … up early for a free run ahead of a busy working day. We walked along a favourite footpath in the lovely spring sunshine (at last!). Rochester enjoyed poking around in the undergrowth, picking up on all the smells but never letting me out of sight. On a free run we can safely let him loose confident he’ll come to heel when we call him or blow his whistle. We passed a couple of other early walkers and a cyclist both of which Rochester ignored.
0930 … Next it’s into Swindon and a twenty minute walk to the railway station. We get there early so have the opportunity to watch a couple of other trains pass. We catch our train to Bath and encounter another dog travelling in the same coach. Claude is a seasoned train traveller having travelled today from Brussels on the Eurostar. Claude doesn’t bat an eyelid as we pass and Rochester barely deviates from finding our seat!
1100 … We are in Bath for a hospital apppointment, so after a little walk in the park we pitch up at out-patients to a very friendly greeting from the staff. Everybody is very respectful of the fact that Rochester is working, which in this case mainly means lying down and sleeping! After the appointment we go back to visit the friendly out-patient staff. This time the coat comes off and it’s time for a well desevered bit of play and attention!
1230 …Time for some lunch and a sit down at the station. I have a rather delicious bacon, brie and red onion marmalade sandwich … and Rochester has some dry fish flavoured treats and a bowl of water!
1300 … Back on the train and unbelievably there are two more dogs in our coach! I imagined a dog on a train to be an unusual occurence, but no! Sadly the other canine passenger isn’t quite as chilled as Rochester and spends the whole journey biting his squeaky toy much to the annoyance of the other passengers …. Mr. R. got his head down for some sleep!
1345 … We are now back in Swindon and notice rather a lot of activity. Police cars and helicopters, people in Hi-Vi jackets and crowds everywhere. It turns out the Olympic torch relay is coming to Swindon. One leg is being run by the Chelsea’s champion league winning player Didier Drogba which explains the hundreds of Chelsea fans everywhere. He’s obviously quite tired after winning the champions league as only runs 300m of the relay! We decide to hang around by the Football ground and watch the fun as its on our way home.
1415 … Rochester waits patiently with the crowd for the relay to pass by. He’s a patient and calm dog and takes it all in his stride. After another drink of water he lies down in the street with another labrador dragged out to watch the fun!
1500 … Finally back home after a long days activity. Rochester has done extremely well coping with a variety of familair and unfamiliar situations. Time to put his paws up for a well deserved nap!