A day in the life of a guide dog | TeamDogs

A day in the life of a guide dog

Discover what Labrador Sean gets up to from morning till night

Nia Dalton

Posted 2 months ago

Ever wondered what a guide dog gets up to in a day? Francesca and Sean give us a sneak peak into their daily life, from morning till night.

In December 2017, Guide Dogs UK matched Francesca with Labrador cross Golden Retriever Sean, and both their lives changed forever.

“Before I met Sean, I was just surviving,” Francesca said. “I was 20 years old and my sight was deteriorating. I felt anxious to leave the house and I lost my confidence to travel.

“Sean made every single day easier to navigate. He really helped my confidence and independence.

“Now, I can go out and do all the things a 25-year-old would do. Sean helps me to thrive.”

Francesca describes five-year-old Sean as “enthusiastic, very clever, sensitive and protective”.

“He is comical and makes me laugh all the time.”

Between being funny, here is what guide dog Sean gets up to in a typical day:

7:30am: Wake up

“The first thing Sean does on a morning is go outside in the garden. Then he has his breakfast.”

8:30am: Travel to work

“We leave the house and get a taxi into the office. Whilst I’m sitting in a meeting, I’ll take his harness off and people are allowed to pet him. Sometimes I’ll keep him occupied with toys and treats, like carrots or dental sticks.”

11:00am: Travel to an event

“If I need to travel to a work event, Sean will help navigate me around the train station. He guides me along the platform and onto the train.

“When we are travelling around town, Sean is trained to walk centrally along the pavement, stop at kerbs and steps, and find doors and crossings. He assesses if it’s safe for both of us to cross the road.

“If we need to go to the eye hospital, he will find me a chair to sit on in the waiting room.”

3:00pm: Supermarket shop

“Sean is taught to use his initiative in familiar surroundings. He leads me to the shelves in our local supermarket and recognises items I frequently buy.”

5:30pm: Teatime

“Sean is always ready to eat his tea when we get home. Afterwards, I take him for a walk.”

6:00pm: Playtime 

“Sean loves roaming fields, playing in water and socialising with other dogs. My mum has a guide dog and they love meeting up. It’s really important for him to interact.”

9:30pm: Bedtime 

“I send Sean upstairs and give him a frozen Kong for his supper. Then he settles in bed for the night and I can hear him dreaming.”

Guide Dogs UK provides life-changing support for the blind and partially sighted. 

Sean was given his name by Guide Dog UK’s Name a Puppy scheme, which gives anyone the opportunity to give a guide dog puppy their name.

You can sign up to name a puppy like Sean now.

Read more: How my puppy saved me from lockdown loneliness.

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