Guide dog pup walker gets a new trainee
A Calderdale puppy walker has a new recruit after her old guide dog has graduated and been accepted for a special job.
Zest, a black labrador, who was living with her puppy walker Jackie Handley in Sowerby Bridge, has decided to become a guide dog mum.
Only the best dogs take on this very special role and Zest passed all of her tests with flying colours.
She has now left Jackie and moved into her new home where she will have her first litter of puppies who will become the guide dogs of the future.
This is not the end of puppy walking for Jackie though.
She now has Demi, a golden retriever who is ten months old and is the 4th puppy that Jackie has walked for Guide Dogs.
Jackie explained “Since I was a child I wanted to puppy walk for Guide Dogs.
“But it wasn’t until I stopped working that I felt I had the time and commitment that it needed.
“Like Zest, Demi is very calm and responsive and I can take her anywhere.”
The aim of puppy walking is to introduce a puppy to all aspects of everyday life such as cars and buses to make sure the dog has all the traits it needs to be a good guide dog.
Volunteer co-ordinator Ruth Wood said: ‘Puppy walking is a vital part of a guide dog’s early life.
“Although done on a voluntary basis, it takes a lot of time, commitment and love from puppy walkers and their family.”
For more information, visit www.guidedogs.org.uk/puppywalking.