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The diary of Kingswell's very own Guide Dog Puppy

Updated: 14 September 2004

WALKER'S DIARY

WALKER'S DIARY - 14 SEPTEMBER 2004
Hello everyone. Walker again with some sad news - at least it's very sad for me and I hope you will be sad too. I have to leave Kingswells on Wednesday, 15 September to go to Forfar to the Guide Dogs Scottish headquarters to start my more advanced training. It's like going from Primary School to Secondary School, except I have to leave home altogether. I have been here for over a year which is a long time for a Guide Dog puppy to be and I've really settled in. This is my home as far as I'm concerned and I'm not really looking forward to having to leave. In fact, I'd stay if I could but Mum says I have to go. It's really going to be hard 'cos I've enjoyed being here so much and I have lots of pals here. And I've been so happy having Rebecca here to play with. You will remember I told you that she was home 'cos she was too shy to be a Guide Dog - but she isn't shy with me and we have had some super romping, rough games.

So after Wednesday I'll be away and I won't see you. I'm going to miss meeting everyone and specially all the boys and girls. I hope you will miss me too and remember me, 'cos I'll remember you and I'll be thinking about you. However, you will have someone else to speak to in October, as there's a new puppy coming to stay with Mum and Dad. I'm told he will also be black like me and that his name is Miles. So watch out for him and speak to him when you see him.

I wish I was going to still be here at the end of October, 'cos I'd be hoping to meet lots of you at the Guide Dogs Xmas Card sale. This is happening on Saturday, 30 October in Kingswells Community Centre and starts about 10.30am. I think that coffee, tea and juice will be available and there will be lots of super Xmas cards to buy and many of them will have doggy pictures tho' there will be others too. So, even if I can't be there to see you at the card sale, I hope that lots of you will be able to go along and remember, all the sales of cards help me and my Guide Dog pals.

I think I'm going to cry even though I am a big boy now so I'll have to stop or else I won't be able to see what I'm writing for the tears. I have enjoyed being here and meeting you all. I won't forget you. Lots of love from a very sad Walker. (Posted 14.9.2004)


WALKER'S DIARY - 17 AUGUST 2004
Hello Everyone. Walker here again with another word or two. Thought you might like to know that it was my birthday on 14 August and I was one year old. By this time, Mum says I really should be off to the "Big School" at Forfar for all my new lessons, but Mum spoke to the school people and got to keep me longer. So I'll be staying till probably early September and I hope to see you all soon. By the time you read this, all you boys and girls will be back at school (moan, moan!) so I'll maybe see you in the mornings before school. I hope so. I look forward to it.

Can I mention the Annual Kingswells Dog Walk which will be held on Sunday 5 September. All meet at Kingswells Community Centre at 2pm. Lets hope it's good weather as I'm looking forward to it. There's a minimum donation of £1 for Guide Dog funds. I do hope lots of you will come, as it may be my last chance to see some of you to say "goodbye" before I go off to Forfar. Mum says we may try one of the new (well, quite new) Kingswells walks which have been made. Should be fun. Do come, even if you don't have a dog, as all are welcome, with or without a dog.

Take care everyone and lots of love from Walker.


WALKER'S DIARY - 13 JULY 2004
Hi, everyone. Walker here again. Sorry it has been a little while since I wrote, but I have been on holiday. Mum and Dad were away and Glennis, Rebecca and I couldn't go with them. By the way, you will remember that I told you that Rebecca who was the Guide Dog puppy before me, is back to stay with Mum and Dad for always./ Well, anyway, we three couldn't go with Mum and Dad, so Glennis stayed with Jack the Belgian Shepherd dog here in Kingswells. I'm sure you know Jack. He's a very big dog - even bigger than me - but he is really soft and gentle and he doesn't like thunder and lightning. You wouldn't think a big dog like him wouldn't like thunder, but he hates it.

Rebecca and I went out to stay with some friends at Monymusk, where there are other dogs - and 7 cats! Can you imagine that. Just think of 7 cats! Of course, it's out in the country so there's lots of space and a huge garden to play in. Rebecca and I had lots of fun. rebecca has been there before when she was a puppy but it was my first time there and I really enjoyed myself. I tried chasing some of the cats (I know I'm not supposed to, but I couldn't resist it!), but they are very "dog aware" and soon got out of the way. We also played with the other two dogs there and that was great and we got lots of country walks too. So, when Mum and Dad came to collect us when they got back, Rebecca and I didn't want to come home, 'cos we were enjoying ourselves so much.

All of you at school are on holiday now so I hope you all have super fun, too, just like Rebecca and I did. Glennis hurt one of her legs while she was staying with Jack. Well, she did try to jump off a wall but landed badly. Silly old Glennis. She should remember she is quite an old lady now. She had to go to the vet a couple of times, but I think she is recovering now. I hope so even though she doesn't play with Rebecca and I very much. Probably 'cos she is quite old. But I have great fun playing with Rebecca who isn't 2 years old yet, so she hasn't forgotten about being a puppy. I'll miss Rebecca when I go to Forfar to the Training Centre (the "Big School"). I hear Mum and Dad saying that it won't be too long now before I have to go and they say they will miss me, even if I am very big! I'll miss them when I have to go. I would rather stay here in Kingswells, but Mum says I have to go to learn lots more things, even if she would really like it if I was able to stay.

Have super holidays, specially if you are going somewhere nice. And I hope the weather will be good. It isn't very good when I'm writing this, so surely it will get better. But I'm sure I'll see quite a lot of you around. I do look forward to meeting everyone.
Lots of love from Walker.


WALKER'S DIARY - 14 MAY 2004
Hello, everyone. Walker here again. Sorry I haven't written anything for a little while. I'm just recovering from a small operation which I had to have. The vet says I'll be OK soon but I have to take it a bit easy for the moment. So, if you don't see me around, you will know why. I can't go for long walks or anything just now, but I don't think it's fair 'cos I don't feel really ill at all. But the vet says "no walks", so I have to do what he says.

But I do have some quite exciting news for you. Do you remember Rebecca the Guide Dog puppy who was here before me? She is actually my half sister. Well, she's back! And she is back to stay! My Mum and Dad have adopted her. She was doing very well at the "big school" in Forfar and learning all her lessons. But she was sent to Middlesburgh for her last lessons, before becoming a real Guide Dog, but the teachers there said she wasn't strong enough and was too quiet and shy to be a Guide Dog. Sound stupid to me 'cos I saw her back in February in Forfar and she was doing great then and her teacher said she would easily pass. So I can't really imagine why she didn't. She isn't very big so maybe that had something to do with it. But never mind. She's back in Kingswells to stay with Mum and Dad for always. And she doesn't seem all that shy to me and we get on fine as she does with Glennis the old retired Guide Dog who also stays here. So keep your eyes open for Rebecca. She says she is really looking forward to seeing you all again. She remembers everything about Kingswells, so she won't have forgotten you.

Must go now as I do feel a bit tired and think I need to have a little sleep. Take care of yourselves and I'll see you all soon when I'm better. But remember to watch for Rebecca as she is looking forward to seeing you again.
Lots of love from Walker.


WALKER'S DIARY - 15 MARCH 2004
Hello, everyone. Walker here again with some more news. I've been quite busy lately. And what have I been doing? Well, I've been hill-walking in the snow - that was good fun but quite tiring. I've also tried to chase some deer I saw in the woods around Kingswells, but they're too fast for me. Just as well, 'cos I'd just be scared if I met one. I only wanted to see if they would play with me. I suppose I was being naughty doing that and all I got was lost, which served me right, really. But I was able to find my way home alone, thank goodness. My Mum was really worried and was looking for me everywhere. She had to come home in the end. But there I was waiting for her. She wasn't very pleased that I'd run off but she was glad to see me, none the worse for my escapade! It was a bit scary, though, and I don't think I'll do that again, even though I was able to get home OK myself.

I've been doing shopping too with Mum, but I think that's boring and not much fun, unless I meet anyone, specially any girls or boys. I do enjoy meeting them and like going to Church where I meet all the girls and boys after Sunday School which is great, especially Holly who looks after me while my Mum is having a cup of coffee in the Church hall.

I'm going to Arduthie School in Stonehaven soon to meet all the girls and boys there and Mum will tell them all about Guide Dogs and puppies. I'm going to Newtonhill Church too with Mum who is to be talking to the ladies there and also to the Beavers at Culter. So it looks as though I'm going to be busy. But I do enjoy meeting everyone and I always like going for talks, particularly if there are girls and boys there.

Don'y forget about "Shades for a Day" and remember to collect all those used stamps and old mobile phones. There may be a Guide Dogs stamp box at school, but, if not, you can hand them in to Debbie at the Community Centre and also old mobile phones which aren't wanted, even if they are broken. Guide Dogs can get money for them.

Must go as I'm going for a walk soon, even though the weather isn't very nice. But I don't care 'cos I like going for a walk. Love to you all from Walker.


WALKER'S DIARY - 5 MARCH 2004
Hi, everyone. Sorry I haven't been in touch for a little while, but I've been very busy.

Isn't all this snow wonderful? I just love it. It's great to roll in and I do like chasing snowballs and diving into snow drifts. Mum isn't too pleased with me when she has to pull me out. Sometimes, if the drift is deep, I just disappear. I also enjoy sledging, when I get the chance. I bet you have all enjoyed sledging and building snowmen and playing snowballs, specially while the schools have been closed because of the snow. What a super extra holiday. Talking of snowmen, our neighbour mage a huge one in his front garden. He said he didn't know where to put all the snow when he was clearing his drive, so thought he would make a snowman to use up all the snow. I bet you all could do that and help keep your Mum and Dad's drive clear. What about it?

As I said, I have been busy and one thing I did was to go to Forfar with Mum and Dad and Glennis the retired Guide Dog too. We went to the Guide Dog School to see Rebecca. Do you remember Rebecca the Guide Dog puppy? Well, Rebecca is now all grown up and has nearly finished her training to be a Guide Dog. I found out that she is my half sister as we both have the same dog Daddy. She showed Mum and Dad how well she has learned all her Guide Dog lessons and kept checking that they were watching when her teacher took her round some of the Forfar streets to show Mum and Dad how well she was doing. I didn't see her doing this as I was with Glennis at the Guide Dog office, but they said she did very well and that she really looked proud that she could show Mum and Dad. She has now gone off to Middlesborough to finish off her training. We all hope she will get a really nice blind owner, as Rebecca is such a nice dog.

Now! Have you heard of "Shades for a Day"? It's in aid of Guide Dog funds - and school funds too, if a school does it. I'm told that all head teachers have been told about it by the Guide Dogs Association, so do ask your teachers about it and get them interested in it. It's all about getting to wear sunglasses ("Shades")at school on a day in the summer, before the holidays. Everyone pays £1 and gets to wear their Shades for a Day so they can look cool for Guide Dogs. It isn't only for schools but also for Mums and Dads and for really everyone whereever they work. Everyone can dress up too if they want to and if they get permission from the teacher or their boss. It can also help schools to raise some fundsfor any special things they want, such as outings, because all the money collected from Shades for a Day at school is shared half and half between the school and the Guide Dog Association. If anyone interested needs more information or help to organize Shades for a Day, please contact my Mum, Lydia Martin at 31 Kingswood Crescent, Kingswells. She'll be delighted to assist.

Take care everyone and do keep well. I do like meeting so many of you girls and boys when you are going to school. It really cheers me up. Lots of love from Walker.

PS. Don't forget to keep collecting used stamps from letters, parcels, etc. If there isn't a collecting box for stamps at Kingswells school, you can give them to Debbie at the Community Centre and she will pass them on to my Mum, who sends them to the Guide Dogs Association Scottish Headquarters at Forfar. The same goes for old, unwanted mobile phones, even broken ones. If you hand them to Debbie, she will give them to my Mum who sends them to Guide Dogs, Forfar who get £3.50 for every old or broken phone. So remember: stamps and old mobiles all help to raise funds for Guide Dogs.


WALKER'S DIARY - 4 JANUARY 2004
Hello, everyone. Walker here again, wishing you all a Very Happy New Year. Hope you all had a good Christmas and that Santa brought you lots of nice presents. I got lots of doggy gifts off the Christmas tree.

Though this has been a happy time of year, I have to tell you something that isn't so happy. Did you see the report in the P&J last week - about rats? It was quite scary really, but it is very true. I'm sure you know that rats are nasty, dirty animals who bring disease and we don't want them around. The trouble is that they could be around if we aren't all careful, because there are lots more of them this year. The P&J article said that the Pest Control people say that food should not be left lying around outside and that includes bread for the birds and chicken and turkey carcases, etc. and to keep bin areas food-free. This applies to everyone but especially those whose houses back onto woodland and open spaces. If food is left lying around like that, the article said that we could soon find rats around our houses and that would be horrible and dangerous.

On my walks around Kingswells, I twice found turkey carcases and I was even able to eat part of one before Mum could stop me. She said that it's very dangerous for dogs - and cats too - to eat carcases because the cooked bones can splinter in our tums and rip them up and maybe kill us. I know one dog that ate a carcase and had to have an operation at the vet's 'cos it nearly died. So, not only are carcases and small bones thrown out something that attracts rats, but they can also be very dangerous for us dogs and cats too. And if a small bone rips an animal's stomach, it can lead to a very painful death.

So I'm sorry to start the New Year on such a gloomy and serious way, but please everyone, don't throw stuff out that's going to attract rats (we just don't want them around) or maybe kill animals like dogs and cats. And think of vets' bills too.

To be cheery again, I hope you all got lots of cards and presents through the post and have been saving the stamps off them. Don't forget to hand them in at school or at the Community Centre to help Guide Dogs. The same goes for old mobile phones you don't need. Hand them to Debbie at the Community Centre And please keep saving stamps and handing them in. Every little helps.

Have a great New Year, everyone and a healthy and peaceful one, too.

Lots of love from Walker.


WALKER'S DIARY - 22 OCTOBER 2003

Hi, everyone. My name is Walker and I'm the new Guide Dog puppy in Kingswells. As you know, Rebecca who was here before me, left about two weeks ago. I met her at the Forfar Training Centre and she is doing fine and is loved by all the staff there. She sends her love to you all.

Now, what about me. Well, I arrived on 16 October and I'm a VERY BIG boy, even though I'm only just over 8 weeks old. I weighed seventeen and 1/2 lbs when I arrived. When Rebecca arrived last year, she weighed just 7 lbs, but then she was quite small. I'm black like Rebecca but with a funny woolly coat and my new Dad says that my head is too small for my body which is huge for a small puppy. My doggy Mum is a golden retriever and my doggy Dad is a flat coat retriever. So I suppose you could say I'm a cross retriever/retriever! I think I'm going to like it here. My new Mum and Dad seem nice and so do Glennis the retired Guide Dog and Mr Holly the cat who live here too. I still cry a bit at night before I go to sleep, 'cos I miss my doggy brothers and sisters. We all slept together and now I'm on my own at night, 'cos Glennis and Mr Holly are in another room.

I believe that school is on holiday just now, so I won't see many of you when I'm out with Mum in the morning, but I'm really looking forward to meeting you all when school goes back. Keep an eye out for me. I don't think you'll miss me 'cos I'm big and black and sort of fluffy. Well, big for a puppy that is! And I love meeting boys and girls.

I can walk further than new puppies usually can 'cos I'm big and quite strong, but I do like to have a little lie down now and then for a rest. In fact, I'm feeling a bit tired now, 'cos I was out for a walk this afternoon, so I think I'll go and have a little rest. Must keep my strength up.

Looking forward to seeing you. Do speak to me if you see me. Lots of love from Walker.


REBECCA'S DIARY

REBECCA'S DIARY - 29th September 2003

Hi, everyone. Rebecca here again. I've been on holiday since I last wrote. I had a really super time with a German Shepherd puppy called Fabian out at Monymusk. I was there for three weeks and I can tell you that we really had a three-week party. It was just great and I didn't want to come home. Fabian has a super big garden and part of it is quite wild and doesn't have lots of flowers and things, so Fabian and I were really able to run around and, I'm afraid, we got up to lots of naughty tricks. However, I did have to come home but I was sad to leave Fabian. I think he was sad too. It's just a great place for us puppies to play and no one is angry. At least, not very much. I think I maybe have told you about where Fabian stays before. There is a grown-up German Shepherd dog there too called Gracie, but she pretty much left us puppies to play by ourselves as she is grown-up and doesn't play puppy games. There are also seven cats there and I thought it would be real fun to chase them, but they didn't like that much and ran off to their own little house, so I couldn't catch them. I know that Guide Dogs aren't supposed to chase cats, but I'm still just a puppy and that's what puppies do.

But, oh dear. Just two days after coming home, I had to go to the vet for an operation. That wasn't so good, but at least I could come home after, to Mum and Dad. I felt sore for a few days, but I'm glad to say that I feel pretty good now and I get the stitches out on Monday, 29 September, so when you read this, I should be my old self again. I think I shall have to go to the big dogs Training School at Forfar soon, as I'm getting quite big and I'll have to start the Guide Dogs secondary school. I don't want to go as I'm so happy here and I'll miss Mum and Dad and Glennis the retired Guide Dog who lives here and also Holly the cat, who has been quite nice to me, even though he is a cat. And I'll miss all of you too. I do like meeting all you girls and boys in the morning before school. It really cheers me up.

But I might still be here on Saturday, 11 October when my Mum is having a Coffee Morning and Christmas Card sale at the Community Centre, starting at 10.30am, in aid of Guide Dog funds. So why don't you get your Mums to bring you along to see if I'm there and they can have coffee and you can have juice. I hope I will be, because I'd love to see you again. But if I can't be there, Mum says that there maybe might be another tiny little puppy instead. So do come along and see. If I hear any more, I'll let you know.

See you all soon before school.

Lots of love from Rebecca.

REBECCA'S DIARY - 5th July 2003

Hi, pals. I'm just back from Udny Green Primary School and I had to tell you about the super time I've had. Glennis the retired Guide Dog was with me and Mum, too. We went to tell the boys and girls there all about Guide Dogs and Guide Dog Puppies like me. We had great fun and all the girls and boys were really good. We would love to be able to go back there this Friday (4 July), because all the girls and boys at the school are going to do "Shades for a Day" in aid of Guide Dogs. It's the last day of term, I think, and "Shades for a Day" is going to be combined with a Teddy Bears' Picnic. All the children will wear sunglasses all day and will give a donation of at least £1 each to be allowed to wear their sunglasses. Half of the money goes to Guide Dog funds and the other half goes to school funds. And then they will all be taking their Teddy Bears too - or they can dress up as Teddy Bears if they want to. They will all have a picnic outside, instead of school dinners, and it's going to be lots of fun. I hope the weather is nice and sunny and warm. Gosh. I'd love to be there, too. I could take my Teddy Bear (yes, I've got one) but I don't think I could dress up as a Teddy Bear, do you?

Why don't the schools you go to have a "Shades for a Day" and a Teddy Bears' Picnic too? Why don't you tell your teachers. They can get all the information they need at the Guide Dogs headquarters at Forfar. The phone number is 01307 463531 and the email address is fundraising.scotland@gdba.org.uk. Or my Mum can give some information if they phone her at Aberdeen 740030, but it's better to contact Forfar as they really do have all the details and can send information too. You can still have a "Shades for a Day" right up to the end of September, so it's not too late. Maybe you could do it at the beginning of term. But you'll have to remind them 'cos you know what grown-ups are like!

Have a super time during the summer holidays and lets hope there's lots of sunshine both here and whereever you are on holiday. Hope you go somewhere nice - tho' most places are nice if the sun shines.

Take care of yourselves.

Lots of love from Rebecca

REBECCA'S DIARY - 11th June 2003

Hello, everyone. Rebecca here again. Sorry I haven't written my diary for a wee while. That's 'cos I've been very busy with my Mum and also I was away on my holidays for a few weeks. I was staying in the country with two German Shepherd dogs and seven cats! The dogs were a retired Guide Dog and a Guide Dog puppy called Fabian. He's a bit younger than me but he's a lot bigger. And I can tell you we had fun! Don't think Gracie the retired Guide Dog really approved! She tried to be strict with us but gave up in the end. Some new roses had been planted in the garden where i was staying. There is also a big lawn. Fabian and I thought that it would be good to plant roses in the lawn too, so we dug lots of holes ready for roses. There was lots of lovely manure around the roses so we got some of that too to make the holes ready for roses. But we left it to the humans to do the planting! But they didn't and I don't think they were too pleased to see what we'd done with the lawn. Well. We were only trying to help. We tried to help them to plant some more in the rose bed, but they said they didn't need our help. That wasn't very kind, was it. We were only wanting to help. Then I tried chasing the cats, but they just told me to go away and not bother them. They weren't very nice about it either. So that was the end of that game. But my hols were super really and I enjoyed having Fabian for a pal.

I've been to lots of schools with my Mum, meeting all the girls and boys. Some Nurseries too. Mum was telling them all about Guide Dogs and Guide Dog puppies and what they do and, afterwards, I played with the girls and boys. I love meeting all the girls and boys like that and I think they liked meeting me too. But it reminded me that I believe I will be going off to the "big" (Secondary) school in a few months time, possibly August, because my Primary School days will soon be finished. I wonder what it will be like. I'd rather just stay on here, but Mum and Dad say I have to go to the "big" school to learn lots of new lessons about how to be a Guide Dog. I'll miss everyone when I do go. I wonder if I could do something so that I don't have to go. I know I'll be crying when I do have to go. But I know my sister will be going too so that will help. We can stick together, if we're allowed to.

Last Saturday, I was helping to collect money in aid of Guide Dogs at the Bon-Accord Centre. I was keeping my eyes open for you but I don't think I saw anyone I knew, though I did meet some girls and boys. Some of my Guide Dog puppy pals were there too. We collected over £1500which Mum said was quite good.

We must have another Kingswells Dog Walk this summer. I heard about the one last year when Parsley was here, so I think we must have one this year. Hope we can do it before I go to the "big" school in Forfar. I'l have to check my diary for a date but it could be August sometime, probably a Sunday afternoon. Mum wonders if we should just go the usual way for the walk or if anyone has any ideas for a different way. It's a fun way to raise some funds for my Guide Dog pals and have a nice time too, specially if the weather is good.

I must go now as it's "walkies" time. Look forward to seeing you all soon. Be sure to speak to me if you see me. I do like meeting you all. I'll miss you all when I do have to leave. Lots of love from Rebecca. ( Posted 11.6.2003)

REBECCA'S DIARY - 23th March 2003

Hi, everyone. Rebeca here again with another few words to let you know how things are going. The big excitement this week was my visit to the Guide Dogs Training Centre at Forfar, with Mum, Dad and Glennis the retired Guide Dog. I think most of you have met Glennis - or Glennie, as we call her. We all went to Forfar to meet Parsley, who was the Guide Dog puppy here before me. I'm sure you all remember Parsley. EWll! He's really grown up and is a super Guide Dog and very handsome. His trainer is very proud of him. He has really done well and has passed all his exams. He will soon be allocated to a blind man who lives in New Deer so maybe we will see Parsley sometimes if he comes to Aberdeen. I had great fun playing with Parsley in the dogs recreation area at the Forfar Centre and even Glennie joined in. It was super fun and Parsley was really up for it even though he is all grown up now and a trained Guide Dog, not a puppy. Mum and Dad went with the trainer to see how well Parsley had learned all his lessons and they did a "blind fold walk" each with him round the Forfar streets. Dad said it was quite something not being able to see and having to rely completely on Parsley to get around. They are very proud of Parsely and how well he's done. Parsley sends his love to all his friends in Kingswells and hopes he will maybe see some of you if he's in Aberdeen with his new owner.

Now! What else is new? I think I told you that I went with Mum to one of the Primary schools in Portlethen where Mum gave a talk to the boys and girls about Guide Dogs and Guide Dog puppies. It was great fun and all the girls and boys were super. Their teachers let them play with me - and with Glennie, too, as she was also there - after Mummhad finished speaking to the girls and boys. I really enjoyed it. Then last week and again this week, I went with Mum and Glennie to Newhills Nursery at Newhills Primary School, where Mum told the girls and boiys about Guide Dogs and puppies. One little girl was scared of me at first, but I soon got her to like me and she got quite confident and could pat me which she was scared to do at first. So those were exciting days too. I do enjoy meeting all the girls and boys.

The weather has been quite good lately so I have been having lots of walks. I'm happy that there is so much for me to do, not to mention visits to the shops in Aberdeen, but when I go to the shops with Mum, I'm really learning what to do, 'cos I need to know that before I go for the big training to the Forfar Centre.

Do try to remember to save the postage stamps for me. You can hand them into the Community Centre or put them in the Guide Dog box for stamps at school.

Just close now, as I was out for a walk to the woods at Cratrhes Castle this afternoon and I'm quite tired. It was good fun there and the sun was shining which made me happy. Take care of yourselves and I'll see you soon, I hope. Do say "Hello" when you see me. Lots of love from Rebecca.

REBECCA'S DIARY - 9th March 2003

Hi, everyone. It's me again, Rebecca, with another diary update, to let you all know what I've been up to, besides mischief (which I'm good at), and what's going on. I've been kept busy going places with Mum, including some good walks. We've been shopping, going to Keep Fit, Church, etc. I like meeting the boys and girls at Sunday School. Mum gave a talk about Guide Dogs and Guide Dog puppies, like me, to the girls and boys at Portlethen Primary school and I got to go too, along with the retired Guide Dog called Glennis who lives with us. I had a super time and loved playing with everyone when it was playtime and the girls and boys enjoyed it too. Mum and Glennis and I were really gobsmacked when the girls and boys presented us with a cheque to help Guide Dogsand specially with the amount which was £1080. And that was just from all the girls and boys in Primary 2. They had a sponsored "No Move, No Speak" sit-in for 15 minutes and raised all that money for Guide Dogs. Wasn't that great? The cheque went right off to Guide Dogs Headquarters in Forfar. The boys and girls are also have the whole school involved in "Shades for a Day" before the end of the Summer Term before the summer holidays start. The idea is that everyone wears their sunglasses to school for a day and pays £1 to get to do so. Half the money raised goes to the Guide Dog Association and the other half goes to school funds. Would you like to do that? If you would, speak to your teachers about it and tell them they can get more information if they phone 0118 983 8228 or log on to shadesforaday.org.uk. Or else they can get information if they speak to Mum. Anyone can join in - offices, shops, businesses, factories. And if anyone wants any Guide Dogs or Guide Dog puppies to come along - me too - let Mum or me know 'cos she can organize it.

I had a great walk today 'cos the weather was nice and really had fun running around and bugging Glennis's life! She's quite old and can't play as much as me. I wanted to go swimming in a burn, but Dad said "No" 'cos the water was too cold.

I do enjoy meeting lots of you before school in the morning. Don't forget to speak to me, even if I am growing a bit. But I'm still little really and just a puppy

Take care, everyone and watch out for the traffic. It can be very dangerous. So can broken glass, so watch out for that too, like I do.

Must go and have a rest now. Walks make puppies like me tired.

Lots of love from Rebecca.

REBECCA'S DIARY - 10th February 2003

Hi, everyone. Rebecca here again. It's ages since I wrote anything for my diary. Very bad of me. In fact, I don't think I have written anything since I wished you all a Happy New Year. Trouble is, the weather slows me down, specially all the snow and ice. Brrr. I don't like the cold. Snow is fun, but it's a pity it has to be so cold. Why can't we have warm snow? That would be better. And another thing: I know that grit and salt have to be put down on the snow and ice so that people can walk and drive safely, but the grit and specially the salt do hurt my paws.and make them sting. So please forgive me for not being in touch sooner.

Another thing about snow and ice: we all have to be careful and watch where we are walking when there's snow and ice about, not just 'cos we might hurt ourselves if we slip and fall but also 'cos we might fall on some of all that broken glass that seems to lie about, specially after weekends and really hurt ourselves badly. So do take care, everyone, when there's snow and ice about. It isn't just that bump you might get if you slip, but if you fall on broken glass it could be so much worse. And just think how sore my paws will be if I land on broken glass. It's not fair that there's so much broken glass about. It just isn't necessary. I'm sure that none of my girls and boys friends drop and break bottles - do you?

I have a sister called Rachel who lives at Portlethen. She is a Guide Dog puppy in training, too. Well! I meet Rachel at training class and we have super fun together. But my Mum and Rachel's Mum tell us we are being very naughty and not paying attention to the training! But having fun is better! At least, we think so.

Do you remember Parsley the Guide Dog puppy who was here before me? He's at the big school at Forfar - like secondary school - and I heard my Mum speaking to his teacher on the phone and from what I heard, Parsley is doing very well and is learning his lessons and passing his exams. So it looks as though Parsley will qualify as a fully trained Guide Dog. He will soon be going into the final training class when he will meet the blind person who he will be the Guide Dog for, but my Mum and I will go to Forfar before that to meet Parsley, so I'll be able to ask him all about the work he has to do and learn, so he can pass his exams. That will be exciting!

And do you remember Teddy, the Guide Dog puppy before Parsley? He was black like me. Well! I have heard that Teddy is going to get an award for saving someone's life and that was something that happened before he was even a fully qualified Guide Dog, which he now is. Wasn't that good?

Well, I had better stop now. The snow seems to have gone, at least for now. Do you think there will be any more? I know you all like the snow and so do I, but it's the cold and frost that I don't like!

Take care, everyone and lots of love from Rebecca. (Posted 10.2.2003)

REBECCA'S DIARY - 6th January 2003

Hi, Everyone. Here I am again. I do hope you all had a super New Year and will have a very Happy 2003. Did you hear the fireworks on Hogmanay? I did, but they don't bother me. But I have lots of doggy pals who are really scared when they hear fireworks. My Mum was reading an article in the latest edition of the Guide Dogs Association Magazine and thought it was very good and the also the petition it speaks about, because it could help dogs and other pets (cats are frightened too). So she thought it would be a good idea if I put the article into my Diary so you can all read it. So here it is. I do hope you will be able to sign the petition:-

"Firework Safety Campaign

Guide Dogs has launched a campaign to tackle nationwide abuse of fireworks. We are asking all our supporters to sign our 'Regulate Fireworks Now' petition, calling for an end to the disruption and distress fireworks cause guide dogs and their owners. Every year, guide dogs are forced to retire early after being traumatised by the irresponsible use of fireworks. We are calling for the licensing of firework retailers and organisers of public fireworks displays; limitation of noise levels; and the specifying of limited dates around which fireworks can be sold. We are also urging MPs to consider introducing private members' legislation to bring these common-sense safety measures into force.Please pledge your support by logging on to our web site at www.guidedogs.org.uk <http://www.guidedogs.org.uk> and signing the petition or by emailing guidedogs@guide dogs.org.uk"

I do hope you can help. Please log on and sign the petition or send an email. It's very important.

I've been awfully serious this time, but I'll try not to be so serious next time!

All my girls and boys pals will be sorry to be going back to school after the holidays, but I'll be very happy to see you all again. Looking forward to seeing you all soon.

Love from Rebecca.

REBECCA'S DIARY - 2nd January 2003

Hi, everyone. Rebecca here again. And a big "Hello" to all my girls and boys pals. It's holiday time, so I don't see so many of you in the mornings. Christmas is over now. I hope you all got lots of nice things from Santa. Santa brought me some good things and also for Glennis the retired Guide Dog and for Mr Holly the cat who lives here too. I enjoyed Christmas and I hope you all did too - and had lots of parties. I also hope that you have been able to save all the stamps from Christmas card envelopes for the Guide Dogs stamp collection. Remember to put them in the collecting box at school when you go back after the holiday or give them to Debbie at the Community Centre. She will give them to my Mum.

Well, time flies and it is now Hogmanay and tomorrow it will be a brand new 2003. So I wish you all a very Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year. Look forward to seeing you all soon. Lots of love from Rebecca. (Posted 2.1.2003)

REBECCA'S DIARY - 16th December 2002

Hello, everyone. Rebecca again. Are you all ready for Christmas? And have you been to any Christmas parties? I've been to three. One was at Ardene House Veterinary Hospital to meet new puppies in the area. We had lots of fun and got lots of doggie treats. The other two parties were Guide Dog puppy parties and one of them was a fancy dress party. Mum dressed me up as the fairy on the Christmas tree with a frilly skirt and hat. I didn't think it was fair because my costume itched and I'm sure I looked silly and everyone laughed at me. So embarrasing. But all the puppies were dressed up, so that didn't make it quite so bad.

Since I last wrote, I've been to my first RSNO music concert in the Music Hall. It was a bit noisy at times, but Mum and Dad thought it was great. I was a good girl and kept quiet and lots of people spoke to me. So that was nice. I believe I'm going to another one this week. It's a Christmas concert.

Remember to be good girls and boys and write a nice letter to Santa to tell him what you would like for Christmas. I'll be writing my one (Mum will help), so I hope I get something nice too. Remember to leave something for Santa on Christmas Eve and some water and maybe a carrot or two for his reindeer.

Have a great time at Christmas. I would like to wish everyone a Very Happy Christmas and a Good New Year. Lots of love to you all from Rebecca.

PS. Remember to save all your Christmas card and parcel stamps for Guide Dogs.

REBECCA'S DIARY - 2nd December 2002

Hello, everyone. Rebecca here again. I believe Christmas is coming soon, with lots of Christmas cards and parcels on their way. So this is just a little reminder to save all the postage stamps you can for me. There is a collecting box in the school, but you can also give them to Debbie or Mike at the Community Centre. Do you know, Guide Dogs made £35,000 last year from all the stamps that were collected, or so Mum says and she knows about these things. So wasn't that good. Lets try to make it more this year.

I've been hearing a lot about Santa Claus lately. I'm just little so I haven't heard about him before, but I hear that he brings presents for good girls and boys. I'm a girl and I try to be good so will he bring something for me? And when does he come? It sounds exciting. If you see me, will you explain it all, please? My Mum has told me some lovely stories about Santa and about Christmas and I hope they are all true. But I'm still not sure about Santa, so if you can explain, I'd be very happy.

I hope to have some more news for you soon, so keep looking. Lots of love from Rebecca.

REBECCA'S DIARY - 21th November 2002

Hi, folks. Hasn't the weather been awful. Not good for puppies like me! I hate the rain and the wind, but Mum says I still have to go out and go shopping with her. When the mornings are dark and wet, I would just like to stay in bed! I bet a lot of my girls and boys friends feel like that, too.

I meet lots of you going to school in the mornings and also at Sunday School. But this week and last, too, I met lots of girls at Rainbows and I did enjoy that. Hope all the girls liked it,too. But I didn't get to do the blindfold walk with you, as I'm too small. But Glennis, the retired Guide Dog, did the blindfold walk with you and enjoyed it. I hope all the Rainbows enjoyed meeting Glennis and me and doing the blindfold walk. And hearing about Guide Dog puppies from my Mum.

I'll write some more soon. Wish the rain would go away. Lots of love from Rebecca.

REBECCA'S DIARY - 17th October 2002

Hello, everyone. Rebecca here again. Well, I'm settling in at Kingswells and enjoying meeting everyone in the morning when I'm out for a walk, specially all the girls and boys going to school. Please don't make yourselves late for school, though. When I say I'm out for a walk, that isn't completely true, 'cos my Mum has to carry me for a lot of the way, as I'm still very small. And I do feel this cold weather a lot. Hasn't it been cold lately. And my fur coat isn't very thick yet. But I'm enjoying life here in Kingswells and I have beeen getting around a bit too, 'cos Mum takes me in the car when she goes shopping and to other places. Did you see my picture in the Press & Journal? I was very proud to have it taken and I was blushing too, but you can't see my blushes in the photo 'cos my face is black.

Can I tell you about something that is happening soon and I'd like you all to come. I'd like to invite everyone to a Christmas Card sale and coffee which my Mum is having at the Community Centre on Saturday, 26 October, from 10.30am onwards. Quite a lot of the cards are doggie ones but there will be other ones too and it's all in aid of Guide Dog funds. So I do hope that you will all be able to come. I'll be there for at least some of the time, so I look forward to seeing you then.

Guy Fawkes Night will be here soon, my Mum says, and that isn't a good time for us dogs - or cats too. So can I ask everyone to please have consideration for all animals at Guy Fawkes time and especially the Guide Dogs. I've heard that many blind people who rely on their Guide Dogs are trapped in their houses for almost a month these days because of the thoughtlessness of others letting off noisy fireworks and scaring the dogs. Mum says that she will take me out to see the fireworks and hear them, to try to get me used to them so I won't be scared, but if only the fireworks were kept just for Guy Fawkes Night, it wouldn't be so bad. So please do remember the animals and keep your fireworks for Guy Fawkes Night. Thanks a lot.

Well, I think that's all for now. Looking forward to seeing you all around the Village and at the Xmas Card sale on 26 October. Lots of love from Rebecca.


REBECCA'S DIARY - 2nd October 2002

Hello everyone. My name is Rebecca and my colour is black. I have just arrived in Kingswells today and it's all very strange and new for me because I have never been away from my doggy Mum before and she is a long way away now, 'cos she lives in the Midlands of England. She is a Black Labrador and my doggy Dad is a Golden Retriever. So here I am. I'm very small and weigh 3.84 lbs. I am 6 1/2 weeks old. If you are wondering why I'm writing a Diary, it is because I met Parsley at the Forfar Training Centre when I was on my way to Aberdeen and he said he had written a Diary and I should do one too so that I could tell all the friends of his and who I hope will be my friends too, all about me and the things I do. He sends his love to everyone and says that he is doing well and working hard at his lessons (at least, that is what HE says, but I'm sure it is true). He has started to wear a real Guide Dog harness and says he quite likes it because it makes him feel important.

Parsley said to remind all the girls and boys to continue collecting stamps for Guide Dogs. The collecting boxes are still in the school and Community Centre. If you can't find them, Parsley says to ask your teachers or Debbie at the Community Centre. And if any school classes or any of the organisations want to hear more about Guide Dogs and puppies and what they do, my new Kingswells Mum can come along and explain everything. But she will have to explain it all to me first, 'cos I'm not too sure about it all yet!

I think I'm going to like it here in Kingswells. There is another dog where I live called Glennie. She seems very stern and strict and is sort of ignoring me at the moment, but my new Mum says it will be OK and that Glennie will be friends once she gets to know me. There is also a cat called Mr Holly (funny name for a boy cat), but he sort of ignores me too. But my new Mum and Dad seem OK and they play with me, even if Glennie and Mr Holly don't.

I wasn't long in Forfar, but I was long enough for Parsley to show me a little bit about how to work the computer. He says I'll get better with practice.

So that's my first day here. I haven't been out for a walk yet, but Mum says she will take me tomorrow morning and every morning if the weather isn't too bad. So I'm looking forward to meeting everyone. Parsley told me all about all his girls and boys pals, so I hope you will all be my friends too. Watch out for me when you are going to school. As I said, I'm very small and I'm black, so you shouldn't miss me. And remember, my name is Rebecca. Hope to see you soon. Love from Rebecca. ( Posted 2.10.2002)

Please keep collecting your stamps, to raise money for a guide dog puppy.


If you can provide assistance or information with any of the above please contact me at: info@kingswells.com A credit will be given to anyone submitting articles and photos used on web site. Claire Burt Web mistress

 
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Parsley's Diary

A few facts:

1. A Guide Dog Puppy is insured for £3500 from the day he is born until he starts working, then it escalates to £35000.

2. £1.30 feeds a puppy for a day - that is what the puppy walker like me gets - and that is the only payment a puppy walker gets. There is no fee or salary.

3. £5 provides a dog grooming kit.

4. £10 supports a working Guide Dog partnership for a day.

5. £25 provides two dog beds.

6. £60 provides a harness, lead, collar and collar bell for a working dog.

7. £100 provides 4 white canes.

8. £250 feeds a Guide Dog for a year.

9. £600 provides training for one visually impaired person to improve their independence and mobility.

10.£1000 co-sponsors a Guide Dog puppy.

11.£2500 co-sponsors a Guide Dog in training.

12.£3650 supports a working Guide Dog partnership for one year - that's the dog and blind owner


 

Site Compiled by Claire Burt Email: info@kingswells.com or write to: Kingswells.com 21 Wellside Avenue, Kingswells, Aberdeen, AB15 8EF