I’m really excited that Hetty has agreed to be my guest today. She is an award-winning dog doing very special work. I’m sure you’ll enjoy hearing about her and the work she does. Put your paws together and give her a warm Clowie’s Corner welcome!
Clowie: Thank you for being my guest today, Hetty. Would you like to tell us about yourself?
Hetty: I am a black Golden Retriever cross Labrador Retriever aged 3.5 years. I was bred by Guide Dogs and puppy walked in Scotland before moving to Sheffield for my advanced training.
C: I’ve seen puppies in training and I was very impressed. The puppy walkers do a great job of socialising and preparing the puppies. Why were you chosen?
Hetty: I was selected for my high initiative, intelligence & super turbo work drive!
I met my mum when I was 17 months old whilst I was completing my Guide Dog training with Guide Dogs and starting my seizure alert training with Support Dogs. I trained with her for six weeks and qualified as a Guide Dog when I was 21 months old.
C: That’s impressive! You continued training after that?
Hetty: I completed my seizure alert training at 26 months and became the UK’s first dually trained Guiding Seizure Alert Dog. I give my mum 42 minutes warning of a major seizure and 15 minutes warning of a minor seizure.
C: That’s amazing! How do you warn her?
Hetty: To alert to a minor seizure I repeatedly rest my head on her knee, if it’s a major seizure I head rest initially to get her attention and then I touch her with my front paws.
C: It must be very helpful for her to have a warning.
Hetty: Yes, and I can alert to mum’s allergic reactions, I can guide her safely in even the busiest of areas, like rush hour in London, and I also do task work such as taking off her socks and loading and unloading the washing machine, picking up dropped items, fetching named items, fetching her medicine, etc.
C: Wow! I can see why you received the Guardian Angel Award! Would you tell us about your family?
Hetty: I live with my mum Tony, dad Dan, my two girlies, Mum’s retired dog Arthur whose nickname is Goldilocks because he’s gold and loves porridge! Big girlie has a Springer cross Lab called Merlin, he is an Autism Assistance dog and is a little hooligan when not working. We have two cats, James and Mr Tiddles, three chickens, Doris, Hilda and Eggy and a rescue ferret called Boris!
C: That’s quite an assortment of animals, with some great names!
Here are some photographs that Hetty has shared with us, some at work and some at play. Click on any of them to see a larger version.
Hetty: We live in a small village surrounded by fields full of bunnies & squirrels!
C: That sounds nice. Do you have a favourite game?
Hetty: I love all toys, especially softies, I enjoy swimming & running around the countryside as fast as I possibly can. I love sticks although mum doesn’t let me play with them she lets me take my safestix with me in runs!
C: I enjoy doing all of those things. I can see from the photographs you’ve shared with us that you know how to have fun when you’re not working. Do you have a favourite book?
Hetty: My favourite books are anything by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler. I listen to these curled up in little girlie’s bed at story time, they are great!
C: That sounds like a lovely way to relax! Thank you so much for being my guest today, Hetty.
You can follow Hetty on Twitter – @Hetty_BG
See you next Wednesday!