An amazing display of how trained dogs can help those with disabilities was given to Paisley’s MSP last week. Canine Partners is a charity which provides specially trained assistance dogs to those that need a bit of help in getting about and doing some things around the house. The dogs are partnered with people to provide greater independence and quality of life to those that need a wee bit of help.
Speaking on the demonstration George said:
‘To say I was impressed with the display from the dogs of Canine Partners is an understatement. I was amazed to see the dogs listen and react to commands, pick up objects that had been dropped, even taking jackets, gloves and socks off from their human partners.
‘The dogs are initially trained by Puppy Parents. These individuals raise the dogs and train them in all the activities that they need to help their future disabled partners. This includes things like opening doors – even emptying clothes from the washing machine.
‘When fully trained and partnered, the dogs also provide companionship and social interaction for some people that may not have many opportunities to get out and about.
‘The confidence that these dogs can provide is tremendous. I was given lots of examples where people who hadn’t had the confidence or the opportunity to get out and about, who were given a boost to get them out meeting people again.
‘Canine Partners is a great idea, for trainers, the dogs and the eventual beneficiaries of the dogs. It was a real pleasure seeing the dogs enjoying themselves by providing help and support’.
Bryony White trains the Puppy Parents to train the dogs in Renfrewshire for Canine Partners. Speaking after George’s visit she said:
‘I was more than happy to demonstrate to George what Canine Partners can offer to our community. There are over a million wheelchair users in the UK with very different and individual needs and trained assistance dogs can be a real help. I train the Puppy Parents for the charity, making sure that the dogs get the necessary training to be a useful partner for someone with disabilities. These dogs make such a difference to peoples lives and it is a real pleasure in seeing them develop from pups to being fully trained.
‘We believe that these dogs should be available to more people. To do that we need to ensure that we have enough volunteers to take on the young dogs and train them before they move on to their disabled partners. If anyone is interested in becoming a Puppy Parent they can contact me by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 07826 695210. If you have the spare time and commitment I’m sure that you will find training these dogs amazingly rewarding’.
You can find out more about Canine Partners by visiting the website http://www.caninepartners.org.uk.