I know I’m not supposed to but can I stroke your dog?


Iggy is developing into a real social butterfly. Because she behaves so well in every situation, we’ve grown to trust her almost implicitly. We’ve trained her to keep calm at all times and her nose is always on the job. We take her everywhere with us and when she stays over at Lindsey’s, they’re out around Manchester together all the time. Iggy always attracts so much attention and sometimes we think she knows she’s cute.

One of the most common questions I’m asked is “Can I stroke your dog?” When we’re out training at the shops, on the bus or in the library, people are so affectionate towards Iggy and are keen to chat about the Guide Dogs’ Puppy Walking Scheme. Her ears are admittedly the softest things we’ve ever felt, and her eyes just make you melt.

Puppy Walkers are trained to politely tell people not to give the dog any attention while they’re training and most people at least ask first before ruffling her ears. However, I know Iggy isn’t fazed at all by the attention; she doesn’t get excited and can get back into training as soon as the fuss is over. So usually, I’m happy for people to get their Iggy-fix and have a good stroke. When I’m chatting to people about her, Iggy just lays down (as you see her doing in the Blue Peter studio) and waits patiently for her next instruction.

So, next time you see a Puppy Walker, make sure you ask them first before stroking the puppy in training because, although all Guide Dogs are special, some puppies enjoy the attention a little too much.


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