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Sunday, September 11, 2005


Here are some more great doggie tails from the Guide Dogs UK Awards…

A GUIDE dog has won an award for transforming the life of a blind teenager Stuart Beveridge, 19, never went out on his own because he was terrified of getting lost. But all that changed when he got Eamon last summer.

Stuart said: "I used to have a cane, but I never had the confidence to go out. I was frightened of getting lost. I depended on my parents to take me around. "Since I got the dog, there is a huge difference. Now I'm hardly ever in. "I know that I am not alone and there is someone looking out for me. "Everything I couldn't do before, I can do now. I can go places with my friends” I was able to work my way around the shops, the bakers and the high school. I'm going to college next Thursday to study business management, so I'm learning the routes all round the college." Stuart, of Lochgelly, Fife, added: "I couldn't do without Eamon now."

Yesterday, Labrador retriever cross Eamon was named the Life Changing Guide Dog of the Year at the Kennel Club in London. Stuart, who has been blind since birth, said he and Eamon are a great team. He added: "It took a wee bit of time for us to get used to each other, but every partnership does." Stuart's only problem now is dealing with two-year-old Eamon's many admirers. He added: "You have a lot of people saying he's cute and there are a lot of people who just cannot resist him. He loves attention, so he is in his element."

Other exceptional guide dogs were honoured at the ceremony yesterday. A Labrador who pulled his blind owner from the path of an out-of-control car was named Heroic Guide Dog of the Year. Arthur Griffiths told how his dog Timber saved him when a car crashed as he walked along a pavement in Crewe, Cheshire. As the car spun towards them, Timber pulled Arthur to safety. He said: "Timber is my hero and undoubtedly saved my life."

The Guide Dog of the Year title was awarded to Vaughn, for his "outstanding loyalty and devotion" to owner Susan Jones, of Warrington, Cheshire. Ms Jones, who is visually impaired and is occasionally struck deaf, said: "I rely on my hearing to orientate myself and to lose it suddenly can be very frightening.” But I know that Vaughn is here to help and guide me in the right direction."

The Exceptional Work award went to golden retriever Vale. She has to remember numerous routes because owner Nicola Cockburn, 27, of Llandudno, Wales, works in a touring theatre company.

Great tales from great tails!


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