A Middleton Cheney couple are enjoying training their 18th puppy for Guide Dogs UK.
David Coultrip, 65, and Anne Howden, 62, are delighted with the progress ten-week-old Summer is making after leaving her siblings to live with the couple, who are volunteer puppy walkers for the charity.
Mr Coultrip and Ms Howden will look after Summer until she is 12-14 months old, teaching her obedience and getting her used to being out in the world.
The pair first started walking puppies when they were working from home but can devote more time to it since they retired four years ago.
Mr Coultrip said: “It’s a big responsibility because it’s destined to do such an important job, but we’re really privileged to be given such a beautiful bright puppy to look after for that time.” The pair say they have often been contacted by blind and partially-sighted owners who end up with the puppies to thank them for their hard work.
Ms Howden added: “It’s great fun, it’s lovely to watch the puppies mature. It’s very rewarding and once the dog leaves us we go back and see it and hear when it’s been matched with an owner.”
Leigh Watt, puppy training supervisor for Guide Dogs UK, said: “If we don’t have puppy walkers we can’t do what we do. It’s a really important part of the whole process.”
To become a puppy walker, or find out more, visit www.guidedogs.org.uk