The registered charity, which provides assistance dogs for people with physical disabilities, is specifically looking for people who can take a puppy into their home from the age of eight weeks until they are 12 to 14 months old, before they go on to help those with a variety of disabilities.
Puppy parents will need to be available to attend regular training classes at Godshill Scout Hut on Wednesday mornings, and teach the pup basic obedience and core tasks every day. Puppy food, toys, equipment, training, reasonable travel expenses and all veterinary costs are covered by the Charity.
Canine Partners is holding an Information Day on 24th November at St Mary’s Church Hall in Brading between 10:00 and 13:00. Everyone is welcome to come along and see a demonstration, listen to a talk from CEO Andy Cook about the Charity and ask questions.
Volunteer Loraine Beever, 55, of Cowes, who is training her third Canine Partners puppy Jagger, said:
“Everyone at group has been really welcoming and friendly. My husband Richard and I didn’t know anyone when we first moved to the island four years ago but now we go on walks and to cafes to socialise the puppies together. It’s a good way of getting to know lots of different people around the town as everyone is always interested in how the assistance pup is doing and the progress they are making.
“It’s a very rewarding job as you know what you are doing is going to change someone’s life for the better. When I saw my first dog Eton graduate with his partner I was really proud and felt very privileged to be a part of his journey. Now Richard and I are training our third puppy.
“Having had anxiety and depression myself training the puppies has helped me as it has given me something else to focus on rather than myself.”
This rewarding role is the first stage of an assistance dog’s life, before it progresses to advanced training and then is matched to a person with a physical disability. The canine partner will then carry out tasks for their disabled owners such as opening and closing doors, unloading the washing machine, picking up dropped items, pressing buttons and switches and getting help in an emergency.
Assistance dog trainer Deborah Flux is looking for volunteer puppy parents to help her train more puppies across the Isle of Wight.
“I really enjoy training the puppies and helping the puppy parents, it can be emotional at times when the pups leave to be assessed, but we all know what a difference they will make to someone’s life. It is lovely being able to help train and watch the puppies grow and develop their own personalities and they always make us laugh. Canine Partners is more a way of life than just a job.”