10 things to know about Bamber, my husband's Guide Dog
Bamber is a 6 year old German Shepherd. He was matched with Chris in October 2017 when he was around 18 months old.
1. Sometimes he's my study buddy
He's very much Chris' dog. For the first 12 months, he didn't want to know me but gradually warmed to me! Now, occasionally, he will come up to my study and lie under my desk.
2. He doesn't like getting his feet wet
If it's raining, I'll open the back door, he'll look out and decide he doesn't need to go out after all. He won't walk through puddles - which is great as it means he never takes Chris through puddles either.
3. He's a foodie
He's on a strict diet of special food. 300g per day. But he loves food and we have to be really careful that there is nothing within reach. We never leave food in the kitchen on the table or worktop. He has, sometimes, been quicker than us and done a 'drive by'. He stole a sandwich from an unsuspecting little boy, and some food from a little girl on a train.
4. He has a fan club
Wherever we go, Bamber is the star of the show. He has something of a fan club now, people who know him who always want to see him when we go somewhere. People love Bamber and he loves the attention!
5. He knows when it's dinner time
Breakfast can be at different times. But dinner is always at 16:30. Bamber knows when it's time. He's more vocal now than he was and he 'tells' us when it's his dinner time.
6. He's very clever
As a working dog he does amazing things. He recognises bins, post boxes, road crossings, elevators and knows routes.
7. When he's not working, he's a normal dog
He never seems to have much spatial awareness when he's not working. He will sit in the way when you're trying to get past. He sometimes falls over his own feet.
8. He's a big dog and a big softie
Whenever someone knocks at the door, Bamber will start to bark. He's saying, I want to say hello. It can be a bit intimidating when a big GSD is barking at you. Once he's had some attention and brought a toy, he's fine.
9. Bamber's Dad is called Elvis
Bamber's Dad was a seeing eye dog in America.
10. He's rare
Only 7% of UK Guide Dogs are German Shepherds.