As you may know I am an active member of the Leicestershire Supporters Group of “Dogs for the Disabled”, and a registered speaker for the charity. The group raises local awareness as well as much needed funds.
On 13 April 2014, I will be running the Virgin London Marathon in aid of Dogs for the Disabled, and I have set myself the challenge of raising at least £2000 for this great charity.
Dogs for the Disabled are a small charity that does not rely on a large national budget. All help, however small really makes a difference to their ability to change the lives of many people for the better.
Dogs For The Disabled is a pioneering charity that trains assistance dogs for children and adults with physical disabilities, and families with a child with autism.
Through practical tasks the dogs offer freedom and independence, but in addition an assistance dog becomes a reason to go out, giving a new found confidence that opens doors to fresh opportunities including friendships, hobbies, education and even careers. The partnerships created between people with disabilities and dogs are life changing.
Below my friend Lizzie's has allowed me share her story and what having an assistance dog means for her:
I have Osteogenesis Imperfecta (Brittle Bones). Before I had a dog, I'd fracture quite a few ribs when I bent down to pick things up - Frodo picks things up for me, thus preventing quite so many painful rib fractures. Frodo gives me a reason to get out of bed in the morning - I have to feed, toilet, groom & exercise him. Without a dog, I'd probably lie in bed all day, wallowing in self-pity.
Without Bella, I probably wouldn't've got my degree. She gave me & nudge in the right direction when the coursework was piling up, & helped me to believe in myself. She was probably the most popular member of staff when we worked at LCIL.
After I had to have Bella PTS, I didn't think I'd be able to love, or bond with, another dog ago. But, if I didn't have another dog, what did I have to live for?
I met Frodo on Valentine's Day 2008. After a successful trial weekend, we started our training together on March 10 2008. Before I had Frodo, I'd never been on a train on my own, or stayed in a hotel on my own. That has all changed. We take regular trips to Banbury, have been to conferences in Loughborough, Crufts at the NEC, Discover Dogs in London, been to the Paralympics & seen Pink at the O2.
Frodo enables me to live independently - if I have an accident, he can raise the alarm. He's also my primary carer.
Read more of Lizzie's blogs at http://www.dogsforthedisabled.org/author/lizzie/
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity. So it’s the most efficient way to donate – saving time and cutting costs for the charity.