Thanks to your generosity, we’ve been able to sponsor a young guide dog during the first vital months of his training.
While it doesn’t seem like five minutes since Yours puppy Keller would fit in the palm of one hand, he’s now a strapping six-month old, with an inquisitive and playful nature. We were delighted when Keller and his puppy walker Violet came to visit the Yours office – and from the licks he gave us, it seemed the feeling was mutual!
“He’s very boisterous, and he loves his food,” said his puppy walker Violet, who Keller will live with for around a year, before going on to further training. “My grandchildren love him!”
“In dog years he’s basically a toddler, so he’s coping really well with such a busy day,” says Clare Hellery, Legacy Campaign Manager. “It’s wonderful watching his journey from a lovely bundle of fur to a grown dog who will transform someone’s life. “The partnership between Guide Dogs and Yours was such a natural one, as readers really have an understanding of what a difference these dogs make to people’s lives.”
Since he was born in January, we’ve kept you posted on his progress each step of the way, and learnt a lot ourselves. Rhiannon Newson, senior project manager at Yours, undertook a run on behalf of Guide Dogs, raising more than £500. “The information in the magazine really raised my awareness of the charity, and how vital their work is, so I decided to raise some money,” she says. “I first met Keller when he had yet to start his training,” says feature writer Lizzy Dening. “I feel so proud seeing him in his smart blue training jacket. He’s grown up so much.”
Of course, he still has a long way to go until he’s fully trained. The transformation from playful pup to working guide dog is only possible through public donations and legacies, as the guide dog service receives no Government funding. Two out of every three guide dogs exist thanks to gifts made in Wills, and there’s no doubt that enabling a person who is blind or partially sighted to live an independent life is an incredible legacy to leave behind.
Meet your local guide dogs!
If you would like to meet a working guide dog and speak to the people who make it all possible, then a Reception Day could be for you. These give supporters a unique opportunity to hear stories first-hand from a puppy walker and a local guide dog owner, and of course get to say hello to some of our dogs! Reception Days will be run all across the UK in 2015, and Guide Dogs will write to you to invite you to your nearest event.
Visit Guide Dogs' website for more information on where you can attend a Reception Day.