When I first qualified with Guide Dog Oakley, I was determined to Name a Puppy to help raise awareness of this wonderful charity that literally saved my life. There is no way I could enjoy our life on the boat without a Guide Dog. The two years in-between dogs proved just how difficult it would be for me.
Once we moved aboard, my plan was to do a sponsored walk along the Kennet & Avon Canal from Bath to Reading – near the Head Quarters of Guide Dogs themselves! Therefore, we did a sponsored walk along the Kennet & Avon in July and October 2015 (delayed following the death of Tim’s Dad). To date we have raised in excess of £15,000.
We named our first puppy “Raymond” after Tim’s Dad. The second fund named a puppy “Chrissie” after my Mum, who died in August 2016. Our third fund named a puppy “Margaret” after Tim’s Mum, who died on 7 October 2016.
We have now running our fourth fund to Name a Puppy. At the moment, the plan is to name him or her “Sola” after our boat. This was the original plan for the first fund!
Naturally, like many other charities, donations have suffered during the Coronavirus pandemic. A lot of the usual fund-raising activities have not been allowed to happen. Hopefully, as we start to ease our way out of restrictions, this situation will improve.
A Guide Dog costs around £60,000 during its working life. All the organisation asks is for owners to pay 50p to make the contract legal. All expenses – food, vets, etc are all paid for by Guide Dogs as their philosophy is that no-one should be denied a Guide Dog for financial reasons.