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Assistance Dogs need holidays too

Published On Tuesday 16 August 2016

The "Dogs for Good" organisation supports the community by providing assistance dogs for a variety of needs in the community. These services include; Assistance Dogs - they support adults and children with a range of disabilities and also children with autism; Community Dogs – Dogs for Good train activity and therapy dogs to work with specialist handlers in communities and schools; Family Dogs - the PAWS Family Dog team gives advice and support to help people get the most out of their relationship with their pet dog.

The charity has had particular success with autism assistance dogs, transforming the lives of families, helping a child remain calm and focused in busy places.

In May, Martin and Tracey provided temporary boarding for 10 days to a black Labrador called Jinney, helping her trainer, who was away on leave. Jinney is still undergoing training, so a key element of her stay was to ensure none of the things she had learnt was undone, but supported as part of having some time “off duty”.

It was a challenge, as Martin and Tracey had previously supported the Guide Dogs charity. Their training and implementation follows a different path which results in Guide Dogs being utilised differently to that of an assistance dog. Dogs for Good are there to assist with everyday living including picking up items such as clothing, emptying washing machines and helping with medication, etc.

The time was a positive experience and the charity is grateful for the help of volunteers, as it allows them to maximise assistance to the community. The training of the all-important assistance dogs is a key factor of their work and in this respect, they value the support provided by those who donate to the charity.

Martin, who is an Inclusive Design / Access Consultant, is a member of the National Register of Access Consultants (NRAC), as well as a member of the Access Consultants Association of Australia (ACAA), having worked in Oz for five years. He continues to review and support major schemes in the UK as well as Australia.

Martin and Tracey are looking forward to helping the charity again in the near future. For more information or to volunteer / donate, please visit the website: dogsforgood.org

Associate Tracey Burgess and Jinney

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