Canine Partners are on the search for new ‘puppy parents’

Rachel MacDonald with Canine Partner Morley
Rachel MacDonald with Canine Partner Morley

Canine Partners is calling for volunteers to home a puppy and help with their brilliant training process.

The Midhurst based charity is looking for puppy parents in West Sussex to provide their puppies with the love, care and skills they need to get ready for the next stage of their training.

Canine Partners work closely with a variety of dogs providing impressive training to assistance dogs to transform the lives of people with disabilities, boosting their confidence and independence.

A 45-year-old mum of two from Bognor Regis, Rachel MacDonald, is currently looking after her first puppy in training.

Rachel is a puppy parent to a black Labrador named Morley.

Rachel said: “Being a volunteer for Canine Partners is something we talked about doing when life became less crazy and when our two sons were older. But then three years ago life changed.

“We sadly lost my lovely husband Paul and we all felt a bit lost.

“Before he passed away, Paul said to me he felt kids and dogs would work for me and he was so right, dogs are very healing.”

Each and every dog from Canine Partners is taught a wide range of everyday tasks from picking up and fetching items to opening doors and even dressing someone.

Those advanced can even help to load and unload a washing machine and they can fetch help in any kind of emergency.

The puppies who are in training are required to stay at a volunteers home from around eight weeks old till they are then ready to start advanced training.

When the puppies are ready, which tends to be around 12 to 14 months old they begin the advanced training which takes place at the Southern Training Centre near Midhurst or the Midlands Training Centre in Leicestershire.

Rachel added: “The most important thing when being a puppy parent is to give your time to it.”

“We have got so much out of having Morley as he brings a lot of joy and when he is done healing us and making us happy he will go on and help someone living with a disability who needs him.”

The dogs at Canine Partners are each carefully matched to the applicant’s needs and lifestyle, no matter how challenging the lifestyle could be.

To find out more information about becoming a puppy parent for Canine Partners, visit caninepartners.org.uk/get-involved/volunteering/puppy-parents/.

Alternatively call 08456 580 480 or email info@caninepartners.org.uk.