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A visit from five four-legged friends to the READ offices marked the official kick-off to our 2018-2019 fundraising for Guide Dogs.
Oscar, Vinci, Nelson, Dory and Alfie came along with volunteers from the Aberdeen Guide Dogs Fundraising Group, who joined us for a Lunch & Learn to tell us all about the charity and the fantastic work it does to support the dogs’ and their owners, all the way from starting training as tiny puppies, through to becoming working guide dogs.
During the first year of training in the care of a puppy walker, each dog starts out learning basic commands. So by the time they join the Guide Dog Training School in Forfar for an intensive 12-week programme, they already know how to sit, stop at kerbs, stop at the top and bottom of stairs, and have good recall for learning regular routes that they’ll walk with their eventual owner.
We also learned about other vital roles dogs can play. We met Alfie the assistance dog, who is an invaluable help to his owner with practical tasks like retrieving keys and phones, removing socks, and even taking laundry out of the washing machine.
The lifetime cost of a guide dog is approximately £55,000 and Guide Dogs are currently responsible for around 8,000 dogs. The entire team at READ is getting behind our fundraising efforts – we’ve held a step count challenge, a cycle challenge, bake sales, car washes and some of team READ will be running the Edinburgh Marathon in 2019.