Sunday, 8 July 2012

Fascinating and Inspiring – the work of Guide Dogs for the Blind

When my dearly beloved Mum was alive, in the latter years of her life she suffered with Glaucoma and Macular Degeneration. This resulted in her being registered partially sighted.  She was very stoical and never complained.  One year for her birthday I purchased a sponsorship pack for a guide dog puppy called Timber which she enjoyed – especially receiving the updates on Timber’s progress which I used to read to her.

Sometime later I got in touch with the National Breeding Centre at Leamington Spa and arranged for a visit for both my Mum and myself.  Due to Mum having previously had a stroke, Mum was in a wheelchair, so I enquired if the training centre was fully accessible, which of course it was.  So we set off for this visit – I remember Mum saying to me “I hope they don’t expect me to bring a dog home with me”.  At the time I thought this was rather sweet.  I didn’t explain to her that is definitely not how it happens!

We met lots of dogs and enjoyed our tour.  This July 2012 the Guide Dogs Breeding Centre in Leamington Spa plans to open its doors to the public in Mid July.  Visitors to the centre will learn more about the NBC’s work.  To find out more, email or phone 08453727432.

Continuing my support of this inspiring organisation I was invited to take my crafts to their Fun Day last summer at Leamington Spa.  It was a beautiful day and I don’t think I have met so many well behaved dogs together all in the same place!  Visitors also brought their dogs and it was lovely to see all the different breeds.  I set up my Craft Stall and had lots of browsers who were very complimentary about my items and I sold a few things too!
I regularly receive “Forward “ - The official Guide Dogs magazine.  There are fascinating and inspiring stories contained in the magazine of how dogs are changing people’s lives. It is so very heart warming.  I was particularly struck by one story of how dogs can be duel trained.  One guide dog is also a seizure alert dog.  This is particularly valuable to a blind person who also suffers with epilepsy.  In the article it says that it is not known exactly how the dogs detect the seizure but there are minute physiological changes in the person, invisible to the human eye.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and if you would like further information please visit their website:  I also hope you have enjoyed looking at the beautiful crafted items for my dog themed post which are available from the Folksy sellers – just click on the photo and it will take you directly to their shop.

One final thought: “Guide dogs has been transforming lives for more than 80 years”.  They always need help in continuing their work so why not have a think about what you can do to support them.  I know I am going too!


From Top to Bottom: PipDesigns, Of Life and Lemons, Purple Giraffe Gifts, Cute Little Keepsakes, Buttercup Boutique, Girl of the Sixties, FeltByLiza, Whimsy Woo Designs.


  1. Great blog and such good work by the Guidedogs charity!

    Thank you for featuring my Kindle case.


  2. Edwina, very much enjoyed reading this blog. And what a lovely gift for your mother, a sponsorship pack for a guide dog puppy in training. I often see two particular women local to where I live and they do part of the guide dog training. I love seeing them at work. I always want to go up and give the dog a big hug, but of course I never interupt!

    I'd love to go to the breeding centre in July but I'm nowhere near L/Spa. What great work they do. I was also interested to read about 'dual training'. Oh dogs are indeed special creatures. And indeed they are so well behaved. Just shows what the right training can achieve. But of course Labs (the usual guide dog breed) are quite placid at the best of times.

    Thanks for including my Labrador in the lovely selection of Folksy sellers items. I'm honoured.

    Liza )))

  3. Thanks for following my blog, Edwina which has brought me to yours. Lovely guide dog post, really enjoyed reading it. A beautiful gift for your mum, I imagine she was delighted. I've got a chowchow, no use as a guide dog at all because the breed is single-minded, not to say stubborn. But because they look like walking teddies I had ideas of training him to go cheer people up in homes, hospitals etc. But his temperament isn't suitable. A shame. Dogs can and do such great jobs. :) Will have a look at your Folksy shop next ;)

  4. Fab post and lovely doggy items! So interesting to hear about the seizure alert dogs too. My friend's dad has used guide dogs for years and they have greatly enhanced his life.

    Debbie x

  5. Hi Edwina.
    Just wanted to let you know that I've nominated you for the versatile blogger award. You can find out more about it on my blog

  6. Hi Edwina
    Love this post especially like 'The more I see of men, the more I like dogs'