Help us sponsor a Yours Guide Dog puppy

Help us sponsor a Yours Guide Dog puppy
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Here at Yours, we have a special connection with Guide Dogs and the amazing work they do. You’ve seen them showing off their skills at Yours Live, followed their journey from birth to working dog in our visits to the Breeding Centre and Training School, and now we want to make the ultimate commitment – to sponsor a dog for life.

Being partnered with a guide dog means so much to a person who is visually impaired, giving them back their independence at a time when they can be feeling fragile and isolated.

But a huge amount of work goes into preparing a dog for this job. From about seven weeks old they begin puppy walking with a Guide Dogs volunteer, getting them used to everyday situations. At just over a year old they go to training school to learn basic guiding skills.

The third phase of training, out and about with a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor, takes around 12 weeks, before a dog is matched with a potential partner. If partnership training is successful, the guide dog will qualify and work for an average of six years before retiring, at which point they will either continue living with the guide dog owner as a treasured pet, or be placed with another loving family.

This process costs around £50,000 per dog – and that’s where we come in. With your help, we want to raise £50,000 to sponsor a guide dog for life. The first exciting step is to reach £5,000, when you can help us name our puppy!

To start the journey with us, you can donate here, or Guide Dogs on 0870 240 6993, quoting the reference ‘Yours Puppy’.
Alternatively, send a cheque made payable to ‘Guide Dogs’ (write ‘Yours Puppy’ on the back of the cheque) to Freepost Plus RTCG-GHHH-YBUG, Yours Puppy, Guide Dogs, Hillfields, Reading Road, Burghfield Common, Reading, RG7 3YG

What could your donation mean?

  • £10 could pay for an eye check for a training guide dog
  • £15 could buy a lead for a guide dog
  • £20 could pay for one hour’s training at a Guide Dog Training School
  • £50 could buy an Off to School Kit for a puppy moving into their first stage of training with a puppy walker
  • £140 could buy a Starter Kit for a new guide dog owner
  • £300 could buy a Whelping Kit, containing all the essential equipment for successfully bringing our little pup into the world!

 

Mary Warner knows exactly what such a donation means. In 2010, she began a lifetime sponsorship in memory of her husband, David, who had left a gift to Guide Dogs in his Will.

Mary is now the proud sponsor of Breck, a male Golden Retriever, and is over the moon with the rewarding relationship she has with Guide Dogs. “It means so much to me, as it makes me feel as if Breck were one of my own dogs,” she says. “I was told by letter that he had been born, then at about six weeks I got a copy of his birth certificate – and a very cuddly photo, which I adore!

“When he went to his puppy walker, I was invited to meet them in a coffee shop and he behaved impeccably. He then progressed to training school, and I spent a fantastic day seeing him learn skills like sitting at the kerb and waiting for traffic. He was already aware of so much, and I was extremely proud.”

As with every lifetime sponsor, Mary receives regular updates – even getting ‘puppy report cards’ to keep an eye on Breck’s progress!

Mary’s most rewarding moment came when she received a photo of Breck at 20 months in his white harness, showing he had qualified as a guide dog. He has now been with his owner for just over a year and Mary will continue to receive annual updates, right up until she is informed of Breck’s retirement – hopefully in the distant future!

Mary says: “The fact that he is out there doing his job is so wonderful to know. A lifetime sponsorship is a huge commitment, but you have to remember that someone has to put their entire trust in that dog, so it’s worth every penny to get it right. And on a personal note, it has meant everything to me as a lasting memory of my husband.”

Of course, every dog is different and not all complete their guide dog training. If a dog is unsuited to becoming a guide dog, they will be lovingly rehomed or moved to work with another assistance organisation, and sponsorship is transferred to another puppy.

Whatever happens, we can’t wait to follow the progress of our Yours guide dog, and we hope you’ll be with us on every step of this fascinating journey.
The first stage is naming a gorgeous puppy, and we can’t wait! It can mean something really special – Mary chose Breck after the Norfolk Brecklands, where she and her husband loved to go walking.

To be able to name a Yours puppy, we need to reach our first target of £5,000 – and together, we can easily do it!
Little touches have meant a lot to Mary, who says: “Guide Dogs always say thank you. Those two words are very important, and often overlooked.”
We couldn’t agree more, and will be saying a heartfelt ‘thank you’ if you can help us reach our first £5,000 goal!

Don't forget we need your help to reach our goal. To donate click here, or call Guide Dogs on 0870 240 6993, quoting the reference ‘Yours Puppy’.
Alternatively, send a cheque made payable to ‘Guide Dogs’ (write ‘Yours Puppy’ on the back of the cheque) to Freepost Plus RTCG-GHHH-YBUG, Yours Puppy, Guide Dogs, Hillfields, Reading Road, Burghfield Common, Reading, RG7 3YG

For more about Guide Dogs and their work visit www.guidedogs.org.uk