So what does a guide dog puppy do when he as 3 days to spend in Edinburgh? Well, he works and rests and plays!
There were various work challenges for Rochester. First of all it’s a new place with no familiar shops, parks or people. Fortunately one thing that was familiar was the buses run by Lothian Buses. Identical in every way to Swindon buses, except for the tartan! So Rochester was able to head straight for his favourite spot by the window. Like many public transport companies Lothian buses offer free travel to guide dog puppies and we were welcomed like old friends!
Edinburgh is a city built on hills which includes some very long and quite steep sets of steps. Rochester has been gradually getting better at taking steps slowly and these provided quite a challenge. One particularly challenging set was underground! The spooky Real Mary Kings Close is a 17th century lane that has been built on over the years; but all the stairs and houses remain, deep below the ground. The tour sounded interesting, so Rochester came too!
There’s also a lot of culture to take in, historic buildings and museums. The Museum of Scotland was very interesting and also a convenient shelter from the incessant rain! It seemed every school child in Edinburgh was also visiting, so Rochester had to cope with hundreds of shrieking, active children running around all over the place.
Rochester couldn’t visit Edinburgh with paying homage at the grave of Greyfriars Bobby. This is a dog who faithfully visited his master’s grave for years after his death. He has both a grave and a statue! Rochester posed for pictures but put off one tour guide who felt she couldn’t tell the story with a live dog standing next to the grave!!
It wasn’t all work, so on the final day Rochester had a free run up the impressive Edinburgh hill, Arthurs Seat. This is the first big hill he has walked and hadn’t cottoned on to the idea of “pacing himself”. Consequently he was well and truly exhausted by the time we got back to base.