An adorable Dogs for Good puppy sponsored by the Rotary Club of Leighton Linslade is about to have a starring role in a brand new ITV series entitled Puppy Secrets: The first six months.
The programme will be broadcast on two consecutive Wednesdays - October 19 and 26. The first features gorgeous Golden Retriever/Labrador cross Neave who lives with Linslade puppy socialiser Annie Rourke.
Neave is destined to become a life-changing assistance dog. One day she will have an invaluable role either supporting an adult or child with a disability or a child with autism.
It will cost the charity £12,000 to support and train her from birth to fully trained assistance dog and £20,000 to fund her whole working life.
The programme follows the the litter of precious pups from just a day old, charting their development week by week, until the momentous day Neave moves to her new home with Annie in Lomond Drive.
The charity’s breeding programme is explained, together with the vital care, health checks and assessments undertaken to ensure the pups have the best possible chance to succeed as assistance dogs.
Annie, 53, appears in the programme with her daughter Hannah.
She says it’s awesome what the dogs can achieve, once they’ve completed their formal training: “They really do change people’s lives.
“Children who have autism, who are non-verbal, start talking to the dog, then to an adult or child. They communicate through the dog and start communicating generally. It’s heartwarming to see.
“So although it’s difficult giving up the puppy you’ve loved since it was about seven weeks old, you know it’s going to go on to do amazing things.”
> Dogs for Good urgently need more puppy socialisers. If you have a secure garden and can commit to caring for a puppy in your home from 16 to 18 months and won’t be away from the pup for more than four hours a day, the charity would like to hear from you.
Although no experience is necessary, you have to fulfil various other criteria such as access to a car and regular contact with children and other animals.
> More information at www.dogsforgood.org