It doesn’t get better than the Isle of Wight does it? All that sunshine and the smell of salty brine and fish as the ferry gently chugs across the inviting blue sea, its flag rustling in the warm breeze. And that’s pretty much what it was like on Wednesday when I visited our army of volunteer puppy parents as they met for their weekly puppy class in Godshill Scout Hall. All of the above applied, plus a choc chip cookie on the voyage over, just to put the icing on the cake. The only fly in the ointment was the early start in order to check in at 7.30am at Portsmouth Harbour, but that’s ok. We ‘sea dogs’ like early starts, after all. Read more
Our dogs are trained to assist with a range of practical tasks such as:
- Opening and closing doors and cupboards
- Retrieving a variety of items
- helping you to get undressed
- pressing buttons and switches
- raising the alarm in an emergency
- unloading washing machines and tumble driers
- much more besides, depending on your individual needs
Our canine partners provide practical day to day assistance with tasks that may be difficult, painful,or impossible to perform. They also provide that special companionship, unconditional love and affection which is so unique to dogs.
Whilst out exercising and playing games in the park, or working in the supermarket and handing over their Partner's purse at the checkout, the extraordinary Canine Partner is a catalyst for conversation, meeting new people and increasing their Partner’s opportunity for social interaction. You stop being "that disabled person in a wheelchair" and start being "the person with the really cool dog" (See Kate and "Byron"'s story).
To boldly go
To care for and manage a Canine Partner involves being responsible for daily exercise, feeding, grooming and playing. Dogs give you a reason to get up in the morning and to get out of the house, exercising. This increased activity can help to maintain muscular strength and joint mobility, particularly when the dog has been specially trained to fit in with a physiotherapy programme......and of course a dog puts a smile on your face too :)
Reducing your need for help from other people
Nobody likes to ask for help from other people - so why should you have to do this just because you use a wheelchair? It's been described to us as "like having your soul and identity chipped away, every time you ask for help". Our Canine Partners stop you from having to ask for help, so your soul and identity are preserved. You may also be able to reduce your reliance on a carer too. That's what independence is all about. That's why we believe so passionately in our Mission.