Hear what our puppy parents have to say about what life is like taking care of our assistance dogs in training.
Becoming a puppy parent has been a rewarding experience for all of our family. Being given the opportunity to take in a puppy and devote time to help it develop it into a well trained dog that will go on to assist someone in need feels such an honour. As a family who had never before had a dog it was the perfect way to experience the trials and tribulations of a puppy’s start in life under the guidance of the Hounds for Heroes support team.
John, Bobbie and Hollie:
Fun, challenging and so worthwhile. It is so good to see our puppy growing in his confidence and skills every day. We have never had a dog and were worried how we would cope but it has been a fantastic experience and we get all the help and advice we need from the team at Hounds for Heroes. We will be so proud when he moves on to a partner.
I didn’t realise when I became a puppy parent just how much our life would be changed by this amazing charity! Our puppy has brought us such a lot of fun, laughter, joy and love. The support and knowledge from the charity has ensured that I can be the best puppy parent for our puppy.
“After I had been retired for 2 years I decided I would like to do some voluntary work to give me a new interest.
I had my own dog who was two years old but felt I needed something else to fill my day. I was watching the local news and Allen Parton from Hounds for Heroes was being interviewed. The charity was new and he said that they were looking for puppy parents. The puppy parents would look after the puppies from 8 weeks old until about 14 months after which time they would go onto advance training. I was very excited as I love working with dogs and I could do it in my own home.
I contacted the charity first thing in the morning and was invited to sit in and participate in the weekly training sessions. All the six puppies looked so cute and I was completely smitten.
My first puppy was a Labrador called Red 4. He was named after the Red Arrows pilot who was tragically killed during an air display. No 4 was his position on the display team.
We spent a very happy year together attending weekly puppy classes. Not only did we have fun, there was a camaraderie between all the puppy parents. We were quite competitive and extremely proud, when our puppy responded to commands and was the best behaved in class. Of course, there were off days.
When it was time for him to move on I was heartbroken and it was hard for the first few weeks. I did meet his new partner and the bond between the two was amazing and I knew then he was settled and happy.
Shortly after Red left, a new puppy arrived, a black Labrador called Ace. I will not deny that the first couple of weeks are hard. As with any puppy, they need to be house trained and cannot be left, and it usually takes time for them to settle to a new environment. Once the initial period is over it’s lovely to introduce them to different situations and general socialising.
Once again, it was time for him to move on and for Reme Fox Red female Labrador to move in. She was a treat to look after and was going to be my last but somehow once she had moved on I felt a void in my life so it was not long before my 4th puppy arrived – another black Labrador called Yeoman who is still in training.
All 3 of my previous dogs have been successfully placed which is reward enough knowing they are helping someone who will benefit from their training and companionship.
I certainly do not regret becoming a puppy parent even though it is always hard saying goodbye.
Who can resist a puppy? So many people want to say hello. You never feel lonely with a dog as you get to meet a lot of people.
The great comfort is that all the puppies form a long and lasting bond with their new Partner.”