Guide dog Star could em-bark on new role

TRAINEE guide dog Star will find out in just six weeks' time what her future role will be.

TRAINEE guide dog Star will find out in just six weeks' time what her future role will be.

She will either head off for the next stage of her training as a guide dog to become the eyes of a blind or visually-impaired person or become a super-mum, spending her time producing many more potential guide dogs.

Puppy walker Penny Parker, who has been looking after Star for her first year, said: “She has passed all her tests so far and it is looking as if she will become a brood bitch, though no final decision has been made.

“On August 18 and 19 she will go up to London for x-rays and then come back to us.

“If the x-ray results are OK she will go off to the guide dogs breeding centre at Tollgate near Leamington Spa on September 2 for two weeks of assessments and if all goes well she will stay there.

“So on September 2 we will be saying goodbye forever to Star - though if for some reason she fails any of the assessments she will come back for a short while and be spayed before going off to become a guide dog.

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“It's going to be a very sad time.”

To become a brood bitch, a dog has to be physically perfect. Star has already passed tests for temperament and ability and comes from good breeding stock.

The bitches are mated about once a year at the centre and give birth to their litters in the brood bitch holder's home. The puppies spend their first six weeks there with support and advice from centre staff.

The Evening Star appeal to pay for Star has so far topped �22,000 and is now set to fund the training of two more puppies.

To donate to the appeal, please send cheques - made payable to the Guide Dogs - to Richard Cornwell, Evening Star, 172 Hamilton Road, Felixstowe, IP11 7DU.

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