As cute as he is, Fudge isn’t here to be cuddled. He is training 9am-5pm Monday to Friday at Sheffield Support Dogs to help change one woman’s life for the better.
His trainer, Amy Twamley, has taught the border terrier cross pug to automatically bring a phone to his disabled owner every time it rings - even if it is hidden, lost, or out of any normal terrier’s reach.
Other skills he will pick up during his 18-week initial Disability Assistance Dog training programme include opening and closing doors, picking up objects, raising the alarm, dressing and undressing, and loading and unloading the washing machine.
Eight dogs from this charity are already helping people in Sheffield with around 70 in total in the UK.
In addition to Disability Assistance dogs, the charity trains dogs to help the development of autistic children and dogs that can sense and warn epileptic owners up to 50 minutes before they have a seizure.
Amy said one of the best things about assistance dogs is ‘the independence that they give’ to clients.
Danny Anderson, fundraising manager, added: “It’s not just the client that the dog is helping. The impact on the lives of the families of the person in need has been absolutely huge.”
If all goes well and Fudge passes the rigorous training process he will ‘graduate’ in November 2017.
Judith, a wheelchair-bound woman from Cambridge, will then take Fudge into her home to assist her for the next eight years until he retires.
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