Oldham Flower Club

Hope (Guide Dog Puppy)

One of our members is severely visually impaired and is now with her second Guide Dog, Hetta.  Her first Guide Dog was named Molly and was a regular visitor to the Club and also accompanied us on visits we made to outside venues. When Molly was sadly put to sleep following a short illness, the Club decided to raise sufficient funds to enable us to name a Guide Dog in memory of Molly.  After holding two flower festivals at Daisy Nook Garden Centre we were delighted to raise the funds and our Guide Dog pup has been named "Hope.

Here is a pupdate we have received from Guide Dogs for the Blind detailing her progress.

Hope's  6 Month Pupdate

Hope is now just over 6 months old and around halfway through her puppy training with her Puppy Walker, John. We recently caught up with him to find out how Hope has been getting on.

John told us that Hope has grown into a confident young dog and she is getting on well with most areas of her training. Since we last wrote to you, Hope has been fitted with a puppy jacket, which she took to wearing straight away. This jacket should help Hope get used to wearing something on her back, in preparation for when she is fitted with a harness at a later stage in her training. It should also prevent people from distracting her, as it makes it obvious that she is a trainee guide dog.

Recently, Hope was fitted with a special training collar to help prevent her from pulling when on training walks. This collar has really helped Hope to steady her pace when out and about, and John is very pleased with the progress she has been making since the collar was fitted. Hope is now old enough to go on regular free runs, which we are told she thoroughly enjoys. She does like to play with other dogs when she is free running, but her recall is very good, and as soon as John calls her, she comes sprinting back to him.

Hope has been taken on several bus and train journeys, which she has taken in her stride. John told us that there is often quite a large gap between the train and the platform at their local station, but this has never fazed Hope, and she has always been happy to jump over it without a second thought. Sometimes Hope will whine when on a longer bus journey, so this is something that John is working on with her.

When Hope is taken to a busier place such as a town centre, she is calm and confident and doesn’t mind walking through crowds of people. John regularly takes her to Skipton market, so that she can experience all of the hustle and bustle there, and she always copes with this well. John has also been walking Hope up and down different types of stairs and taking her in lifts, and she has no problems with either of these activities.

At home, Hope is very well behaved, but she does sometimes get up to mischief. On one occasion she managed to pull down some coats that were hung up in John’s porch, and John found them all in a big pile on the floor. She also likes to try and eat bees and wasps, so John has to keep a close eye on her!

We hear that you will be meeting Hope soon at her puppy training class* – we hope you have a great time with her. It’s great to hear that Hope is getting on well and learning lots with the help of her Puppy Walker. We hope you’ve enjoyed her latest pupdate and look forward to sending you her next report card soon.

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Note from Oldham Flower Club

*During September, a number of the Committee went to Barnoldswick to meet and watch Hope in her puppy training class. We could not bring her to flower club as it is a very long journey for her and as part of her training it would not be good for her for too many people to fuss her. She is now a big dog. She is very strong and very boisterous but in the puppy class she followed all the commands and did particularly well when told to lie down and STAY which she did for over 2 minutes. She is quite mischievous but her puppy walker says he thinks it is because she is very intelligent. The only thing she needs to practice is walking on the lead as she is too keen to get to where she is going

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A further update we have received from Guide Dogs is that Hope has now left her puppy walker John and has gone onto "Big Girl School" for her final stage of training. We are hoping that it will not be too long before we hear that she has qualified and has been placed with a blind person to work as a fully qualified Guide Dog.

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We have now heard that Hope is in her final stage of training with the West and North Yorkshire team of Guide Dogs and has been taken to a supermarket, Leeds Railway Station and other venues as part of her training. The  latest picture of Hope we have received is shown on this page You can view a number of photographs of Hope during her training and at play on the Facebook by searching for the page "Hetta Guide Dog"

FURTHER UPDATE Finally, we were informed that Hope successfully became a fully trained Guide Dog and has now been paired with a blind person in Leeds





Contact Information

Oldham Flower

Tel: 0161 633 5830

Meeting times

We meet at 1.00pm on the 3rd Wednesday of the month from February to November inclusive at Daisy Nook Garden Centre, Stanneybrook Road, Daisy Nook, Failsworth, Manchester. M35 9WJ.

Demonstrations usually finish at approximately 3.00pm