VOLUNTEERS are needed to offer the best start in life for assistance dogs.
The Midhurst based charity, Canine Partners is looking for puppy parents in West Sussex to provide their puppies with the love, care and skills they need to get ready for the next stage of their training.
Rachel MacDonald, pictured above, a 45-year-old mum of two from Bognor Regis, is currently a puppy parent with her first puppy-in-training, black Labrador Morley.
“Being a volunteer for Canine Partners is something we talked about doing when life became less crazy and when our two sons were older but then three years ago life changed,” says Rachel.
“We sadly lost my lovely husband Paul and we all felt a bit lost. Before he passed away, Paul said to me he felt kids and dogs would work for me and he was so right, dogs are very healing.”
Canine Partners trains amazing assistance dogs to transform the lives of people with disabilities, boosting their confidence and independence.
The dogs are taught a range of everyday tasks including picking up and fetching items, opening doors and dressing a person. They can even help to load and unload a washing machine and they can fetch help in an emergency.
Puppies-in-training live in the volunteer’s home from around eight-weeks-old until they are ready to start advanced training when they are between 12 and 14 months.
Canine Partners’ expert trainers are on hand to support puppy parents, as training involves home visits, one-to-ones, town visits and puppy classes in order to socialise the puppy and get them used to all situations they may need to be in as a fully trained canine partner.
To become a puppy parent in one of Canine Partners’ 13 puppy satellites across the country including West Sussex, you need to be aged 18 or over, not work full time and be willing to make a long term commitment.
“If you’re thinking about being a puppy parent I say go for it but keep in mind the great thing that is going to come out at the end of it,” says Rachel.
To find out more about becoming a puppy parent for Canine Partners, please visit: caninepartners.org.uk or email: firstname.lastname@example.org