Well Done Ruby
This week is National Guide Dog Week and it’s the charity’s biggest fund-raising event of the year. As ‘Move it for Money’ is the fund-raising theme, we decided to get moving and make a mini film (just a few minutes long) all about our own Forthglade sponsored Guide Dog pup – Ruby.
It’s been over a year and a half since Forthglade joined forces with Guide Dogs, supporting them as our lead charity and one of the very first things we did was sponsor Ruby through the ‘Name a Puppy’ campaign.
Ruby’s video highlights the various stages of training required by a dog, before it qualifies to become an official guide dog. Training starts with a year-long programme alongside a Puppy Walker to help teach general socialisation and basic commands. Next is time with a highly skilled Mobility Instructor who really polishes their training, and then finally there’s the matching process, where the dogs are matched with an owner (the person they will remain with) and taken through a stage called ‘Class’. After this, they’re off as qualified guide dogs.
When we first met Ruby she was just seven weeks. We met at the Guide Dog’s National Breeding Centre in Leamington Spa. The meeting was by sheer chance as Ruby was departing that day to start her Puppy Walker training. We saw her playing with her friends and charging about in an outdoor playground. She was having a ball whizzing down a slide with her tail wagging and ears flapping!
After eight months we visited Ruby near her home in the South West to catch up on her progress. We were impressed with all the skills she’d learned; obedience skills, tackling obstructions and ignoring distractions – even edible ones!
It was a real honour to meet her again just a few weeks ago, to see how polished her guiding skills had really become. We had a great day filming in the town of Topsham, close to Exeter, where Ruby strolled proudly ahead of us and a camera crew. She confidently crossed roads, avoided busy pedestrians and even ignored noisy seagulls and ducks on the water. She only stopped briefly to acknowledge a fellow guide dog, which was a rather touching moment!
We hope you’ve enjoyed following Ruby’s progress as much as we have. Next month she’ll be matched with her new owner and have a few final weeks of training together, then she’s off to transform a life.
From all of us at Forthglade – Good luck Ruby, we know you’ll be a life changer. #proud.
And what’s next? Little Ralph will soon be following in Ruby’s footsteps and we’re looking forward to giving you all an update on his progress soon.
Guide Dogs Week
This Guide Dog’s week, people all over the UK are Moving it for Money to help ensure Guide Dogs can help as many blind and partially-sighted people as possible.
More people than ever need a guide dog and there’s still time for you to help raise funds, however big or small.
The Forthglade team have been proudly wearing their Guide Dog ears!
Visit Guide Dogs to learn more about how you can raise much-needed funds.