We just wanted to say a very big Thank You to the wonderful Alice Mernagh, family and friends for raising €1600 at her Open Garden 2018 on the 8th of July in Moorfields, Co. Wexford, Y35NY22. We are delighted with her continuous support every year.
On Friday 1st December our Patron Peter O’Mahony called to our headquarters here in Togher, Cork, to launch our 2018 calendar and to meet some of the boys from the local Togher Boys National School. Also, some of our incredible partnerships attended the event as well!
Quote from Peter:
“I’ve always had a passion for dogs and I’m delighted to now be involved with such a hardworking group of people and see the difference their dogs make in people’s lives”
It was a wonderful day for everyone here and a big Thank You to Peter for calling in!
We were thrilled and excited to have been invited into Google HQ in Dublin, on Thursday 30th November, during their Giving Week. The staff were super generous and friendly and loved interacting with our assistance dog partnerships. It was an inspirational place to visit and some of our partnerships enjoyed guided tours of the building. Definitely a trip to remember!
We are thrilled to bring you our 2018 calendar, with thanks to CR Print who have, once again, sponsored this.
Packed with fabulous images of our dogs, stories about our partnerships, our journey and our future plans, it is available to buy online now for €10 including p and p – see HERE.
You can order by visiting our donate page HERE, donating €10, and giving us your name and address.
As soon as we have your details we will send one of the dogs off to the post office immediately!
As always, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts, without your support behind us we would not be able to help others.
Final Week at HQ
The humans have said that I’m almost finished my training and ready to start my very important job as Sophie’s assistance dog. They said that Sophie will be coming to see me today and spending the whole week with me! I don’t know how long a week is but they make it sound like a loooong time. They said that all the things I have learned already need to be tried out with Sophie to make sure I can do everything she needs.
Sophie is here! She’s here, she’s here, she’s here! I’m so excited, I can’t stop sniffing her and licking her. She thinks I’m really funny and keeps giggling. Today we did lots of things together and we tried out doing some walking. I have to walk on her right hand side so that I don’t make her fall over and I have to walk really slowly and stop when she stops. It’s a bit tricky but I think we’re getting better at it.
While Sophie is here I get to live with her so we can spend lots of time together and get used to each other. I even get to sleep in the same room as her and I never slept in the same room as a half-size human before!
We have to practice some of the things I’ll be doing for Sophie every day. Sometimes she can’t get the things she wears over her head and I have to help her so I know how to pull things with my teeth without hurting her. I don’t know why humans have to wear things anyway. If they didn’t wear them then they wouldn’t need to get them off again! It’s the same with those things they wear on their feet. Socks I think they call them. Those are my favourite thing to pull off as I can throw them around afterwards and try to catch them again which really makes Sophie laugh.
Sophie is learning lots of things too about how to look after me. She knows how to brush me and how often I need to get walked. She even knows what I like to eat and my favourite treats!
Now that our training is finished I get to go home with Sophie and walk with her every day. I can’t wait! I think she’s going to be my best friend…
I’m still so excited that I’ve met the half-size human I’m going to be living with! Did I tell you her name is Sophie? The people who have been teaching me all the new things told me today that I’ve got lots of new things to learn now so that I’ll be ready to help Sophie in a few months. Sophie goes to school every day so I need to be well-behaved around lots of half-size humans and I need to be careful not to sniff or lick them if they don’t want to be sniffed or licked. I’m not sure why someone wouldn’t want to be sniffed or licked though? What’s not to like?
I heard them say that Sophie likes to go to the library lots and read books so I’ll need to be a very quiet doggy sometimes so that Sophie doesn’t get into trouble. Sophie has another half-size human who lives in her house so I’ll have lots of people to play with me.
They told me as well that Sophie lives in a place called a city. I don’t know what a city is or if I’ve been to one before but it means that I need to be ok around lots of noise and traffic. I tried to tell them not to worry because I don’t mind lots of noise at all but they thought I was just barking at them. Oh well…
I’ve been doing lots of special things this week and have been practising walking on the same side of a person all the time, as that’s what I’ll need to do when I’m with Sophie. I’ve been practising picking things up and putting them in places that Sophie will be able to reach them (as she’s only half size after all). I’m even getting good at pulling off those things that humans wear on their feet without biting them! Everyone cheers when I do that and I feel so proud.
Client Matching Process
This week I had to say goodbye to my hairy human Bob and now I don’t live with him any more in the place with all the grass. I feel quite sad about this because Bob and I had lots and lots of fun together and I think he was quite sad when I had to leave too. He told me that I’ve been his good friend and that I’m leaving to start something very exciting and learn more new things so I can be a special assistance dog!
This week me and all my brothers and sisters are back with the people who take us places in their van. I’m getting lots of attention from them all and they always have a piece of paper and a pen and are putting ticks in boxes and making notes about me. They’ve brought some big humans and some half size humans in to meet me to see who I like to sniff most. I definitely like to sniff the half size humans most because they seem to be the most fun and they give the best cuddles.
One of the people who are teaching me all the new things told me that soon I will be meeting someone who is desperate to get a dog just like me. They are asking her lots of questions just now and putting ticks in boxes about her and what she likes to do and doesn’t like to do so they can decide if we would make a good partnership. I will want to sniff her before I decide anyway, that’s for sure.
I heard them say that I would need to be ok in places where there are lots of half size humans and lots of noise as the person who wants a dog like me goes to school and I would need to go with her! I’m so excited now. A place with lots of half sizers and lots of noise sounds like the best place ever! I really hope she smells ok when I get to sniff her.
They must have ticked all their boxes now because they said today is the big day and I am going to meet a little half size human called Sophie. She has a hairy tail coming out of the back of her head! She has a special chair that she sits in and it has wheels on it so she can move around. She’s pretty fast! I sniffed her a few times and I like the smell of her so I think we can work together. She seemed to like me to so everyone was happy and said ‘IT’S A MATCH!’
Till next week…
18 months + (Shelton Abbey Prison Programme)
I’ve been on the move again and now I have a new home and a new human looking after me! I’m not sure what the new place I’m living in is called just yet but there are lots and lots of other people living here too and all of them are the more hairy humans (I haven’t seen any smooth humans yet in this new place). We all live together in a huge house, sort of like a castle. My human sleeps in the same room as some other humans and I have a bed in there too so I’m not feeling too lonely in this new place. The best bit about living here is that my brothers and sisters are living here too! They all have their own hairy human taking care of them now.
I really like it here because my human doesn’t go anywhere without me at all, so I never have to worry that I’ll be on my own and I get lots and lots of attention! I heard someone call him Bob so maybe that’s his name, or maybe all the hairy humans are called Bob? I’m not sure yet.
There is lots of grass to run around on outside my new home. I go out for a big walk a few times a day with my human and then every night when we are back inside he brushes my whole body with a big brush which always makes me feel really sleepy.
I have some great new toys to play with here and I don’t even need to share them with anyone (except my human who throws them for me and I try to catch them as fast as I can). One of the toys is really bouncy and I never know which direction it’s going to go in next! I’m always really tired after trying to catch it for a long time but I usually manage to get it eventually. Another new toy I have is really good fun to push over with my nose and then treats come out, like magic!
Some days in my new home are special days, and some special men come and take me and my brothers and sisters and all our humans outside. We are learning lots of new things now and my human says I will need to know all these things for the special job I have to do when I’m a big grown-up dog. I learned that sometimes the human wants me to sit down and I get a treat for sitting until he tells me its time not to be sitting any more. Sometimes he wants me to follow him and sometimes he doesn’t and he says ‘WAIT’. I realised I get really good treats when I do well and my human is really pleased with me too.
Sometimes other humans come to visit my human! One of them is a smooth human and there are two half size humans that call him ‘Daddy’ (so maybe his name isn’t Bob after all). The half humans are always really excited to see me and give me lots of cuddles and they love it when my human shows them all the new things I learned.
Anyway, I have to go now as it’s time to go back outside and practice all the new things I’ve learned
Till next week…