Meeting our Guide Dog Puppy, Ted!
After two years of raising funds for the Guide Dog’s puppy training programme, meeting Ted, Fold Hill Food’s official sponsored Guide Dog puppy, and his puppy walkers Rick and Laura, was a real treat for the pet food team – and although it was a virtual event, the team felt honoured to finally meet Ted up close.
Raising £6,000 for the UK charity through knitting blankets and auctions, sponsored cake sales, the National Three Peaks, the Yorkshire Three Peaks, sponsored bike rides and family walks in Lincolnshire, the Fold Hill Foods team were able to finally ‘virtually meet’ Ted and his dog trainers, and were delighted to discover that he is very much a ‘laughing dog’!
Rick and Laura took the team step by step through Ted’s training, explaining his strict training regime from 7 weeks to 18 months and advising how Covid-19 has altered his traditional routines – from moving training classes to online, to 1-to-1 classes being conducted via Zoom groups (proving entertaining and challenging!). Rick and Laura also advised that due to the pandemic most puppies at Ted’s age will be slightly behind the curve in terms of their confidence and exposure to other people, public transport, and different environments due to the current restrictions.
“He’s keen to learn and quick to learn so even though we’ve missing out we think he’ll be okay…”, said Rick.
Another impact, Rick explained, was that with dogs often experiencing food/other distractions, the pandemic seems to have positively correlated with related items being littered outside and on paths. The likes of masks, latex gloves and tissues are causing distractions because Ted wants to investigate and pick those items up, making this part of training far more challenging. Laura explained that Ted was never a scavenger before the pandemic, and believes it is the human smell on these littered items that are causing distraction.
The Fold Hill Foods team were delighted to learn that despite COVID-19’s challenges, Ted is a lively dog, full of character and doing really well in his training. Laura said, “Knowing that Ted will go on to do such a fantastic job and will be so appreciated, it’s just nice to give a little bit back for people who are in a less fortunate position.”
Rick, who has trained other Guide Dogs previously, added: “We recently had a call from our previous puppy’s owner, with him explaining what a tremendous difference it’s made to his life to be able to get out and about.”