Guide me O Thy Great Retriever

Monday, 13 March 2017

By Contributed Item
in Local People

An informative talk on the Guide Dog organisation was given by Coun Norah Clarke, at an afternoon tea for charity, held at Court Colman Manor, Pen y Fai, in aid of the Bridgend County Civic Charity Appeal and the Mayor of the County Borough of Bridgend’s charities.

Norah mentioned that the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association (now called Guide Dogs) started back in 1934 and Guide Dogs are the largest breeder and trainer of dogs in the world.

The organisation is supported by 11,000 volunteers throughout Great Britain and would be unable to continue without their help and support.

Puppy walking is only one of the 11,000 volunteering roles and she explained what a puppy walker’s job entails when a puppy is delivered to their home. A puppy has to be trained to only eat its meal to the sound of three blows on a whistle, which also helps with recall when the puppy is out and about running free. The puppy also has to be trained to go to the toilet on command.

The puppy will leave the puppy walker from between 12 to 16 months and will then enter into a training programme, and eventually will train with a guide dog mobility instructor, who will match the dog with a prospective guide dog owner.

The matching of the partnership is very important.

A guide dog will be in service for approximately six to 10 years, when it will be retired, either with its guide dog owner, a friend or relative or to someone who would like a retired dog.

The next charity event is on Saturday, March 25 at the Archbishop McGrath Catholic High School hall: ‘An Evening of Musical Splendour’ at 7pm with Porthcawl Male Chor and local artists.

For further information and to reserve tickets (£5) contact Mari Major on 01656 651491.

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