SHE’S a one-in-a-hundred puppy that will spend her life helping others.
Celebration was in the air at the Canine Partners puppy training centre in Bedford as they mark their 10th anniversary and welcomed their 100th puppy.
Little Pixie was born in September to Faith, a Canine Partner brood bitch that was also trained at the centre two years ago.
Now the special youngster is about to start an important journey that will see her learn how to carry out a range of everyday tasks so she can bring a new lease of life to a disabled person.
She will learn basic obedience before heading into advanced training when she will be taught how to open doors, press buttons and even help dress and undress a person, load and unload a washing machine and pick up items at a supermarket.
Once she has completed her training she will be matched with a disabled person so she can boost their confidence and independence by providing practical and emotional support.
Pixie is currently being looked after by retired teachers Nerissa and Roger Gould from Wilstead in Bedfordshire who are helping with her initial training with support from Canine Partners’ satellite trainer Lorraine Lotan – the same team that trained Faith.
Grandad-of-four and dad-of-three Roger said: “When we heard we could look after one of Faith’s puppies we couldn’t resist.
“Volunteering with Canine Partners is more fun than having your own dog as you’re doing things like training and being with other people.”
Pixie is the sixth puppy that the couple have looked after in this way.
While Pixie is with them she will be given early training, when she will practice walking on a lead, interacting and playing with humans and other animals and have her first experiences in a range of situations including on busses and trains and at the shops.
Mr and Mrs Gould were among more than 50 guests who attended a party to mark the occasion, organised by Canine Partners’ Bedford fundraising committee which has raised more than £207,000 for the charity since it was set up in 2010.
Mum-of-two Lorraine, 44, who is also celebrating 10 years training puppies for Canine Partners at her Happy Dog Training Centre in Bedford Road, Clapham, said: “It’s amazing. I know we were close to having our 100th puppy but I hadn’t realised it was Pixie.
“Pixie is such a lovely puppy and training her is extra special because Faith was here as well.
“To celebrate 10 years and 100 dogs is just amazing. I’m overwhelmed. I hadn’t dreamed that this would happen.
“It’s fantastic to work with such a lovely group of volunteers who are like a big family.”
Pixie has six siblings who are also preparing to begin their training to become amazing assistance dogs with Canine Partners.
For more information about Canine Partners including opportunities to look after one of the charity’s brood bitches that give birth to our amazing puppies, or to become a puppy parent call 08456 580 480 or visit caninepartners.org.uk.