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Wednesday, 21 November 2012
Dickens the guide dog puppy has visited Bolton School Girls’ Division, much to the delight of the pupils who raised £2,500 to sponsor his training. The six month old cross breed, half Golden Retriever and half black Labrador, was in playful mood as he entertained pupils that had dressed in Dickensian clothing to celebrate his visit. The guide dog’s name had been inspired by Dickens Day, which was held earlier in the year at the School, when 739 pupils set a new Guinness World Record by wearing Dickensian dress in celebration of the bicentenary of Dickens’ birth.
This is the second guide dog that the Girls' Division has sponsored, Rolo is now a working guide dog in Hull and was the first puppy that was sponsored back in 2010. The School is now eagerly raising further funds in order to sponsor a third puppy dog, which no other school in the North-West has thus far done.
As part of their sponsorship of Dickens the guide dog, the girls will follow their puppy during its first year as a guide dog in training. They have received a birth certificate and will continue to receive progress reports on training as well as photographs from birth right through to a quality framed photograph of their dog in harness ready to go on to further training at 12-14 months. Dickens was accompanied by The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association's (GDBA) Diane Moore and by his walker, Cath Myall, who said: "We are delighted that the girls have been able to sponsor a second guide dog. The 'socialisation' part of Dickens’ training is about to begin, which involves familiarising him with shops, restaurants, lifts, buses and other everyday occurrences."
The GDBA breeds and trains over 1,200 puppies a year and the money raised by the girls helps to support this as the service receives no government funding. It costs over £5000 to breed and puppy-walk each guide dog puppy and this is just the beginning - in total it costs over £40,000 to breed, train and support a single guide dog partnership.
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