Two incredible dogs have changed Angela Cooke’s life.
The South Yorkshire woman describes yellow lab Freya and lurcher-cross Sian as her ‘guardian angels.’
“I honestly don’t know what I would have done without them, I’m in awe of them both,” smiles Angela, who has various health issues caused by diabetic complications, hyper-mobility syndrome and limited vision, owing to laser treatment.
Angela lives in Doncaster with husband Peter, son Daniel, and current support dog Freya.
“I grew up owning animals,” says Angela.
“When I was younger I lived in the countryside where we had everything from dogs and chickens to peacocks and golden pheasants.
“Siân was our pet lurcher-cross; we weren’t sure what she was crossed with but she was beautiful. We had her from 10 weeks old.
“I was at a routine check-up at my doctor’s surgery when I first saw a support dog. I hadn’t heard of the charity Support Dogs, so when I got home I immediately searched for its website. As I scrolled down the list of tasks a support dog could assist with, I thought : ‘I need all of these!’
“I contacted Support Dogs the same day. Siân was accepted on to their training programme at two years old and became my disability assistance dog.
“After seven wonderful years of service, Siân eventually retired from her role two years ago and Support Dogs introduced me to Freya.
Freya was donated to the charity after her family could no longer care for her. When she is not working Freya loves a game of fetch with her favourite ball and would sometimes even choose this over a treat.
“Siân learned to relax in her retirement and had a lovely life as our pet once again until she died of old age just last month.
“Both dogs have given me huge confidence and allowed me to be independent. They not only supported me physically, but emotionally too.
“Before having an assistance dog I hadn’t been into town on my own for four years.”
The Star launched its Pounds For Pups campaign earlier this year. Call 0114 2617800 to donate.
Fancy a decadent afternoon tea in a luxurious setting, surrounded by cute puppies? We at The Star are so excited about our extra special afternoon tea for Sheffield charity Support Dogs, at the fantastic Kenwood Hall Hotel tomorrow.
A spokesman for Kenwood Hall Hotel, in 12 acres of beautiful parkland, on Kenwood Road, Nether Edge, said: “Kenwood Hall is delighted to be hosting such a fabulous event for such a good cause. As a dog friendly hotel with such great space and grounds, it’s perfect for the pups to let out some of their energy.”
The hotel is offering a 25% discount off delicious afternoon tea, making it to every reader for £10.50. Half- £5.25 - will go straight to the charity. Afternoon tea will consist of sandwiches, scones, an assortment of cakes served with a variety of teas and coffees.
We love it when the dogs pop in to show their support to us and the event too. “Kenwood Hall is currently undergoing lots of different refurbishments across the whole hotel, with the most recent being in the Café bar, perfect for a relaxing afternoon tea and in the leisure and spa facilities.”