2002 I applied to a UK charity called 'Dogs
for the Disabled' (DFD) to be considered for an assistance
dog. The application process took a little time due to the fact
that these very special dogs are carefully matched to their
prospective new partners and the charity receives a lot of
In August 2003 I had a matching visit with the staff from DFD
and a wonderful yellow Labrador retriever called 'Henry'.
Following that visit I was given a place on a 2 week residential
training course at the charity's HQ in Oxfordshire England.
The course was excellent, as were the facilities provided. The
buildings were purpose built a few years ago and were all very
wheelchair friendly. All the staff at DFD are great and a big
thanks goes out to Duncan and Sue my course instructors, who
made the whole experience fun and one to remember. DFD even
provide trained carers from 6pm to 8am each day if they are
Henry has become a very loyal friend and companion in a very
short space of time. He still amazes me every day with all the
tasks he has been trained to do for me. He can open and close
doors, collects my post and puts my rubbish in the kitchen bin.
He will fetch just about anything on command and knows several
objects by name, this includes 'fetch the phone' in case of any
emergency. He can pick up my crutches and grabbing stick too if
I drop them. He is extremely intelligent and learns new tasks
Below are a pictures from my course and of Henry, just click on
any thumbnail to enlarge it and use your browser's 'BACK' button
to return to this page. At the foot of the page you will find
some useful other links. I never thought I would be able to look
after a Dog because of my disability but Dogs for the disabled
have made that possible for me.
Check out Henry's online
Dog Blog Here