Puppy Raiser Niamh Comber

After losing one of our cats to cancer, I was chatting with a friend, and she mentioned that there was a huge drive ongoing seeking Puppy Raisers. James and I had reached a decision to embrace a dog into our household however, we weren't quite prepared to make a lifelong commitment and we felt that puppy raising would be a perfect start to opening our home to a dog with an approximate one-year commitment and with the bonus of being able to help a family at the end of the puppy raising process!

After the initial 6 weeks, I have to say it’s has been highly gratifying and a humbling experience, I’ve been taught the art of patience, routine and fun. Above all, the love that James and I receive from Nelson is simply unconditional. We are over the moon to be able to give a future Guide Dog a wonderful home for the first 12 months of their career.

The first six weeks of having Nelson have been an adventure like no other. It's been messy, comical, and heartwarming all at once.

We’ve learnt some "Sit, Lie, and Stop" Lessons and thankfully he looooves his crate.

We quickly learned the art of puppy-proofing, but even then, his determination to taste-test everything remains legendary.

Toilet training has been a comedy of errors, sprinkled with occasional triumphs. Just when we thought we'd nailed it after 8 days, he snuck off to a corner and left us a "surprise." But with consistent praise and some delicious treats (not for us, of course), he slowly started to get the hang of it. We celebrate every successful toilet trip like winning the lottery!

On our first trip to the beach, Nelson transformed into a sandy torpedo, charging towards the water with unmatched enthusiasm dragging James behind him!!

Nelson’s bursts of energy are contagious, though, and we’ve happily joined in on the tug-of-war and endless frisbee games. Nelson put on 2kg in a fortnight, and I lost 2kg!! Who needs a gym membership with a puppy around?!

Thankfully travelling in the car is something that Nelson loves! I think he loves it because he knows he’s on the way to work and will earn lots of love and walks by being a good boy. He has also become a celebrity around my office; he works hard with us all morning and then naps for a lot of the afternoon – needless to say, it is afternoon time when most of our actual work gets done these days!!

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