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Friday 1 March 2019

Draw Results


THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to everyone who has made a donation - the total of all the shinydisks raised is a fantabulous:

£1,548.90 inc Gift Aid.

This is superb! I think I might need to retyre again! It will all go towards sponsoring another pupster to be trained to become a lifechanging Guide Dog.

The winners are:
1st David Ralphs
2nd Ann Woolven
3rd Cynthia James
4th Mervyn Cummings
5th Tim & Lindsay Sedge
6th Sue Toller
7th Myra Pritchard
Mummy will be tippetytappetying you each a private message in turn to find out your choice of prizes. So David will get first choice, then Ann will get second choice of the remaining prizes and so on.

Just a reminder of the prizes:
~A hand-drawn, framed portrait of the one and only ME!
~A VIP tour for four people, of the Guide Dogs National Breeding Centre in Leamington Spa.
~2 prizes of a framed photo - your choice from any photo on my blog
~A pair of Oakley mugs and coasters
~2 prizes of cuddly dog toy

How fabulous you all are!! I waggy wuv you all!

If your name appears on the list above, then please do contact us ASAP. Email tc@sola-gratia.org.uk.

Saturday 2 February 2019

Teddy Tales

Well everyone -

My time is done as a working Guide Dog. A new upstart is taking over from me, and Mum has said I must tell you about HIS blog! Harummph!

You will be able to find him at www.teddytales.org.uk.

Thursday 24 January 2019

Final Day!

The day has come! I am now officially hanging up my harness! Well, actually, I haven't worn it today. Today has been all about a freerun! I think I can happily call that a happy day!

I seem to be having a bit of trouble keeping my eyes open after all that exertion so I shall hand over to Mummy in a moment to do a post. I think I may be needed for cuddles! I shall leave you with a little video of my last freerun with Mummy. I will then upload a few photos of me today.

Mummy tells me she has a little something special for tonight's dinner: something called steak and rice and carrots.....Mmmmmmm..... I think I might have a retirement dinner every day!

A selection of photos from my very last day as a working Guide Dog:

This is 'Mummy' hijacking Oaks's page for this very final time in his working career.

Today is the day that I never wanted to come. If only I could wake up in 'Neverland' and find that my boy is a Peter Pan dog! Sadly though, this is the real world and this day has come. As of today, Oakley bows out of an astonishing career as the most life-changing Guide Dog imaginable.

He has not been the stereotypical impeccably behaved, faultless, placid, totally obedient Guide Dog. If I'm honest, I have to admit that he has been a heck of a challenge in many ways. He has most certainly been my baptism of fire into dog ownership! But, over and above all that, he has been simply incredible.

He came into my life and lifted me out of the depths of deep dark depression, he cancelled out all thoughts of 'life is no longer worth living', he wagged his way into the hearts of many people - several of whom were 'I don't do dogs' folk.

Like all Guide Dogs, he restored independence and freedom, but so much more than that: He taught me the pleasure of going for a walk - just because we could; he got me fitter than I have ever been before; he took me places I would never have ventured to; he transformed my life and he saved my life - in oh so many ways!

He has been by my side (literally and figuratively) through so very much of the turbulent ocean of life:

Coming to terms with sight loss.

Moving to a whole new life afloat and all the challenges that involves, including: our daughter's wedding and two graduations, the loss of three parents in quick succession, and the very trying time of moving in to care for one of them before she passed on to glory, the arrival of two grandchildren, some times of illness, many times of trials, lots of travelling....... and on goes the list. Through all of that, Oakley has been there; my little furry rock, my left-hand-boy. He has given me more confidence than I have ever had before. He has introduced me to people that I would never have met and certainly wouldn't have struck up conversation with. He has indeed opened countless conversations that would never have otherwise happened.

He has brought laughter and smiles in times of deep dark troubles. He has brought love and hope where there seemed only despair.

He has touched so very many lives in so very many ways. Through his Facebook blog, he has, hopefully, brought some insight into the life of a guide dog; showing that they work incredibly hard and do an indispensable, fantastic job, but yet they have the very best of life, healthcare, love and above all FUN!

(In answer to many people's questions about the future of the blog - it will be entirely up to Brenda and Malcolm if they do or don't wish to keep it going and I and everybody else have to respect their feelings on this. I shall begin work in earnest as soon as I possibly can to put the blog into book format and will publish that as soon as possible. It will most likely take the format of a diary, but I have also been asked to convert some appropriate bits into children's books. This is a possibility....... Whatever format any of it takes - the proceeds will be making contributions to Guide Dogs!)

Oakley has been the most amazing, fantastic, sensational, adorable, adoring, nutty, funny, goofy, mucky, soggy, (sometimes) naughty, faithful, loving and loved companion, servant, master, life-saver, life-changer to me for the last six and a bit years. He is going to leave a huge hole in my heart that will never be filled. Now it is time for him to move on to his next adventure: a life of fun and relaxation with his doggydaddy Dixon and the lovely Brenda and Malcolm. He totally deserves this wonderful retirement and I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that he is going to be adored and perfectly cared for.

I'm going to miss him so much it hurts, but I know that this is the best possible thing for him. We will meet up again though, once he is settled and I am established in my working partnership with my new Guide. I'm sure that Teddy will be every bit as amazing as Oakley in his working but there will never be another OAKLEY. He will remain forever my first and total life-changing boy!

Wednesday 23 January 2019


Mummy's talkybone has been cockadoodledooing all day! Apparently, everytime it cockadoodledoos it means that another weemail has arrived to tell her that more shinydisks have been donated! I think I am liking this cockadoodledooing thing! It did make my head tilt for the first few times though! That made Mummy's mouth go up at the corners!

It is all good news though - thank you to everyone who has made a cockadoodledoo - the funds are now up to £1,122.35! That is awesome! I have pinned yesterday's post, with the link, to the top of my page so it is easily findable for anyone who wants to join in the fundraising draw.

Mummy's talkybone also dingalinged and she yacketied into it. Apparently it was Aunty Brenda. I heard mention of Friday morning. It seems that is when I will be going off to play with Daddy Dixon - and he is coming to collect me.

In other news - I took Mummy for a leisure walkies on my long flexilead this morning. The ground was all white and crunchy. There were some quacking featherballs sitting on the edge of the towpath. I raced up to them to clear the way for Mummy. Well..... OK...... I did kind of hope I might catch one for a new toy...... I failed! They all quacked off very loudly and sploshed down into the water. Well.... most of them did..... but a few kind of whumped and skidded on the top of the water then sploshed off the edge where it wasn't so flat and hard! Heeheee!

We found a park! That park meant a little freerun! I found loads of grey-fluffy-tailed-skitterjitters. I tried very hard to catch one of those. I'm sure they would make fab toys! But they all skitterjittered really fast and scampered up the trees! Huff! One of them, by doing that, led me to a delicious pile of yumminess at the bottom of a tree. I just about managed to devour it all before Mummy got to me to spoil my fun! She will never know what it was or just how scrummy it tasted! I left the site much cleaner than I found it! Surely that was a good thing??? Mummy didn't seem too chuffed though!

This afternoon, I took Daddy to the postyoffice to supervise dispatch of another calendar. I can confirm that it was dealt with appropriately and is now on its way.

Tuesday 22 January 2019

Big Bash Draw!

It seems it is customary to have something called a 'Retirement Do'. I am rather hoping this might involve a big freerun and lots of super scrummy yummies! I shall wait and see.

However, I am not going out without a final big bash at this shinydisks raising thingy! I want to make sure I can sponsor another puppy to be trained to follow in my pawprints!

Soooooo........ Today I will launch the

The prizes will be:
~A hand-drawn, framed portrait of the one and only ME!
~A VIP tour for two people, of the Guide Dogs National Breeding Centre in Leamington Spa.
~A framed photo - your choice from any photo on my blog
~A pair of Oakley mugs and coasters
~2 prizes of cuddly dog toy

To enter - simply go to:


and make a donation. When you do this, after selecting/entering the amount of your donation, just enter your name into the box indicated*

We will then allocate one 'virtual ticket' for every £5 donated between now and midnight on 28 February 2019. After this, we will use an online ticket picker to randomly pick winners.

First drawn will get first choice of the prizes

Second drawn will get next choice of the remaining prizes and so on....

Also, we still have a (very few) calendars left - anyone who buys one of these before the draw deadline will also be entered into the draw in the same way. Go to www.guidedogoakley.org.uk/shop.html

Winners will be announced on this blog on 1 March 2019, after which Mummy will send you a Private Message to request your choice of prize and your address to send it to.

*your name is essential for contact should you be a winner. If you prefer to remain publicly anonymous, then don't tick the box below giving consent to your name appearing on the site

Monday 21 January 2019

Big News!

Well! Where do I begin?

Big news today - and I'm really not sure what to think about it all!

Before I start on that though, I have to tell you all that I have been well and truly megafussed by oodles of deliciously tickly front paws of brown and yellow girlie-minihumans! This evening, we set out on a double bus ride that took us to the building we went to a while ago to meet these brown and yellow people. This time though it was to be presented with a little flappy rectangle that apparently is worth lots of shinydisks. The girlies have all been doing things like sponsored silences (very difficult to do apparently!) and cake sales (wish I could have been there to help 'test' the wares!) and so have raised a very grand £100 towards my Name a Puppy fundraising! And I got paid in carrots, treats and bellyrubs, plus some super fun playing fetch with them all! Not a bad evening's work!

Thank you mega much Brownies!

Now - the big news:
We had visitors. Guide Dogs Mobility Instructor Jenna came, with two canine colleagues. I got all excited. I thought it was going to be fun. I was wrong! Well.... OK.... I did get to have a bit of a play with them both.....before I got imprisoned in Jenna's car! Well..... OK.... I did have the company of Golden Retriever Lilly in there! But....but....but....the other Golden Retriever, Teddy, got to go on a floatyboaty cruise with Mummy and Daddy. Imposter! He .... he.... he..... took my place! I suspect he had a bit of a go at my big bone too..... and my cuddly bunny had a very suspicious smell when I got back aboard later on!

Mummy says that I will definitely be officially retiring at the end of this week. That means I will be going to live with my Daddy Dixon and Aunty Brenda and Uncle Malcolm. Teddy will apparently be taking over my job. It seems he got his water-legs today.

I think I quite like this retirement idea - it seems that it means no more work, but lots more freeruns and leisure fun - with Daddy Dixon. What's not to like about that? I'm not too sure what I think about a young upstart taking over my care of Mummy though. He had better do a good job of it!

4 photos:
Me with Mummy and all the Brownies - getting presented with a giant version of the cheque for the fundraising they have done.
Somewhere in the middle of that ring of brownies is an upside down me - getting some rather delightful bellyrubs.
Getting a big juicy carrot from Susan - the bighuman who looks after the brownies.
Teddy the young upstart Golden Retriever on the back deck with Mummy and Daddy.

Sunday 20 January 2019

Frothy Cloth Attack!

Church - carpet snooze, humanpals, waggy greetings. Towpath freerun then street workywalkies to get there, then the reverse back again.
Freerun - towpath, weemails, sniffings, mud, mud and more mud.
Swim - Brrrrrrr! So not for long.
Big shake - Daddy needed that shower!
More mud.
Home - frothy cloth attack. Hufff!

Apparently Mummy didn't appreciate my eau-du-ickymud!