We all know that a dog can be our ‘best friend’ – but, for some of us, they can be more than that! For those with physical disabilities, highly-trained assistance dogs can provide practical help with everyday tasks and give their owners increased independence, confidence and self-esteem.
To learn more about assistance dogs, we invited Canine Partners (caninepartners.org.uk) to come and talk to us about their work training the dogs and to show us some of their wonderful animals in action.
We watched amazed as we saw how the dogs could help with everyday tasks, such as opening and closing cupboard doors, loading and unloading the washing machine, picking up all manner of dropped items, pressing buttons and switches and fetching help in an emergency. They can even assist people with getting dressed and undressed and remove a card from an ATM!
Just to give a flavour of what’s possible, here is a little video of ‘Grainger’ helping with the washing.
Also in attendance was Beauty, a therapy dog whose owner is Julie Woolerson – one of our longest serving PLACE members. Beauty works with Julie in conjunction with Therapy Dogs Nationwide.
And here are a few more memorable moments from our canine encounter.