In that post I highlighted my daughter's sinister plan :-
"... she seemed most interested in the section that explained that not all
puppies make the grade but then they are re-homed. I had visions of her
following the puppy around during his training and dangling dog biscuits
in front of him so he would screw up his training and need to be
re-homed. Her home being the obvious destination!"
Well maybe I shouldn't have tempted fate. We received a letter from Guide Dogs. (The letter is dated March 2010, which shows how far I've fallen behind with some things!). Here's a small section of the letter.
"Well, what a journey it's been! When Miss Burns first met him, Marco was just a small puppy, still unsure on his paws and learning to find his way in the world.
Guide dog trainees are constantly undergoing assessment, so that any issue can be addressed quickly and additional training can be arranged. There are a number of character traits which, although they may be normal behaviour for pet dogs, in a guide dog it would potentially pose a safety risk for its owner. Things such as chasing cats, pulling on the lead and food scavenging are just a few of these. Although Marco was progressing really well in all other aspects of his training, he is, like so many dogs, food obsessed. Which means that everything else takes second place if there is food nearby and this, of course, would be unsafe for his guide dog owner. Sadly, this meant that Marco had to be withdrawn from the guide dog training programme.
We are very disappointed that Marco was not able to make the grade but hope you will understand that nothing short of perfection is acceptable and our primary consideration is the safety of our guide dog owners and the welfare of our dogs. Marco has now been rehomed with a loving family and is settling in well with his new life as a pet dog. We will be sending Miss Burns their final pupdate which shows Marco with his new family shortly."
Something about this still makes me chuckle. I have a strong suspicion that Marco may have witnessed some of the hard working life of a Guide Dog and decided he would chase down food at every oppportunity! Nice try, Marco, and I hope you have a loving home in your near future.
Of course, his name-sake is an entirely different animal - dependable, hard-working and so forth so I would never suggest that his eating habits might get in the way one day!
Oh, and just because Marco didn't quite make the grade, the important business of training Guide Dogs never ends, so here, for example is another young pup looking for a sponsor. His name is Garth.
If you're interested, the Guide Dogs website explains how.