Meet Harper Grace

Went to meet Harper Grace yesterday, an 8 year old Beauceronne, with a view to fostering her on behalf of a Norwegian friend who runs a Blind Dog’s rescue charity. Here she is meeting our Jules who, as she is totally blind, she followed around for a time. But she is not averse to galloping across the compound on her own, narrowly missing a tree at one point swerving at the last second and receiving a light glancing blow on the shoulder. But how did she know ??
Lots to think about over the next few days regarding her safety at our place and whether, after a little training, she will follow us round offlead in forest and field. A good sign, she returned to my call and whistle each time, but I won’t always be there.


Well done David, I hope all goes well :clap: :angel:

That’s very kind David. I hope it works out.

Thank you, but as I said, lots to consider. I need to know if she will learn quickly how to get in and out of the house and navigate the garden. There are 3 ponds for instance, only one is easily accessible but if she fell in smelling water and going for a drink, she could do alot of damage getting out, but it is not deep. The deepest one that I use for swimming is fenced off, she might otherwise have real difficulty getting out of that, but we have to pass it on a narrow path to get to the wood.

Then there is the question of how she would be on her own with Fran. Jules always travels with me, locally she could come too if she wanted but if, when lockdown is lifted, I have to do a day run delivering a dog, she would have the run of the garden and house, but would she get stressed?

And one other thing that many people would not even consider and nothing to do with blindness. Is she speyed? I will have to check, but if not, a real nono. I once fostered an entire Boxer who, on being repulsed when she came into season by my large, gentle but castrated Lurcher, savagely attacked him to the extent that he was 2 hours on the operating table being put back together again. He was lucky to survive, there was so much blood that I had difficulty keeping my feet in the kitchen when I got home, and we later traced it all round the garden where he had desperately tried to get away.

But the idea is growing on me. :slightly_smiling_face:

BTW, the founder of the charity devoted to blind dogs is Norwegian and a wonderful lady, but she is obsessed with Agatha Christie and all her own dogs bear the names of characters from the books. The first time I met her was 9 years ago when delivering a beautiful Retriever to her. His name was Captain Hastings, and he is still there all these years later. :slightly_smiling_face:

I am not an avid reader of hers, so does anyone know where this one’s name comes from?

Harper Collins was Christie’s publisher. Grace Wilson is a character in the film version of Poirot story "The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan.
The only Harper Grace I can find was not Christie related, but a contestant on Season 16 of American Idol!

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David, I like the beginning and end of your post, but not the horror in the middle :open_mouth:
Bon Courage.

I like the first connection, indeed I had realised about the Harper Collins bit, but your second thought about Grace Wilson is interesting. I will ask Borghild.

I think we might let American Idol lie. :wink:

BTW, I have remembered the second dog I delivered to her a year later, his name was Hercule. :laughing: And I think he is still there too.

@Lily, in a way it was even worse but I abbreviated it. The pester was on a castrated Terrier, Taz, we were looking after too and it was him who was not interested. For some reason Eva , the Boxer, attacked Lurch (gentlest, weakest?) not Taz and Taz’s pack instinct kicked in and he joined the attack.

I suppose the moral of the story is ‘never mess with a dominant female of child bearing age’. :roll_eyes: :confused:


I was thinking along the same lines :face_with_hand_over_mouth: and Ruth Ellis came to mind.

Well, mystery solved, exceptionally nothing to do with Christie:

I want to tell you why I named her Harper Grace.
Her name was Hepsey when she was in the refuge.
5 years ago I lost my closest friend. It was devastating. When my friend Sandra died her daughter in law expected her first child, Sandra’s first gran child. The baby was born on the day 5 months after Sandra died and she was named Harper Grace after Sandra’s suggestion.
When I was negotiating with the refuge to get Hepsey out I decided to name her Harper Grace if I ever got her out. I did that to honour my best friend who would have loved her to bits.

However I am relaying back to Borghild your investigation that has revealed a connection anyway. :slightly_smiling_face:

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A bundle of nerves this evening. I am collecting Harper Grace tomorrow and keep running through all the things I set myself to do to make the place safe for her. All sharp edges in the garden that she might run into, she does run, are covered by old tyres, and the edge of the terrace next to the steps down from it has been protected by more tyres (I never let the garage keep them, and they bless me for it), but that is a temporary measure, they look ugly and out of place and she will soon learn to avoid the drop.

I think we’re ready. Jules and I will collect her in the morning, and then go to the vets for both of them to be weighed. I need to do that for Jules to make sure I am feeding him correctly and is thus the reason for the attestation. The large waiting room is strictly one at a time and we will be straight in and straight out without coming near to anyone, but masked nevertheless, and only the door handle to touch. Hand wash in the car at the ready before we set off back home.

Just wondering how to wash her now, she is rather grimy and I doubt it has ever been done, but I don’t know how she will react. I washed my Rottie, Boss, on his first day and he just stood there to allow me to hose him and work up a lather without objection. Just hoping for a continuation of the warm sunshine for a bit longer.

Good luck David. And well done for thinking this through. I’m sure she will be fine - 6th sense will help her.

That’s what I am banking on, as mentioned above, I saw her running straight towards a stout tree and she swerved at the very last second. Really it was that close and I think she connected with her shoulder but did not falter.