New pup for charity owners

IPSWICH: This loveable pup was at death's door just a few weeks ago.

IPSWICH: This loveable pup was at death's door just a few weeks ago.

But today Chester the Charioteer O'Brien-Ellington is enjoying life in a loving home - where he will soon be giving a helping paw to his new owner.

When he is six months old, Chester will be trained as an assistance dog to wheelchair-bound Claire O'Brien-Ellington.

Last month, The Evening Star revealed how Mrs O'Brien-Ellington was preparing to say an emotional farewell to her previous assistance dog, Jake, who was suffering from a degenerative condition.


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Sadly, Jake has since been put down after eight years' faithful service, performing miraculous tasks such as picking items off shop shelves and putting a card into a cash machine.

Mrs O'Brien-Ellington, of Blackfriars Court in Foundation Street, Ipswich, hopes Chester will one day match his predecessor's skills - but admits it may take some time yet.

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“He has got the idea of getting clothes out of the washing machine,” said the 33-year-old. “But he has the habit of taking things like my underwear and my husband's socks and not giving them back!

“The potty training has been 'fun', believe me. He's had a number of little accidents! But we are starting to socialise him and he loves to ride on my electric wheelchair.

“It is going to be very, very busy over the next few weeks. We haven't had much sleep yet.”

Mrs O'Brien-Ellington heard about Chester after he was rescued by volunteers from German Shepherd Dog Rescue, who hand-reared him from just a few days old.

His pregnant mother had been abandoned in York city centre shortly before giving birth and was too ill to care for him.

Chester, a German Shepherd-Collie cross, was united with Mrs O'Brien-Ellington and husband, Simon, 40, last Saturday.

Mrs O'Brien-Ellington, who has a spinal condition, said: “We were so excited. Chester jumped up at Simon and peed on him!

“Chester's foster mum (a black labrador) looked at me as if to say 'you're not touching him', but I told her she was a brilliant mum and gave her a kiss. She then let Chester come towards me.”

In a few months, Mr and Mrs O'Brien-Ellington will start training Chester as an assistance dog with the help of Dog Aid trainer Dave Marter.

If you would like to sponsor Chester's training or donate to Dog Aid, please call Mrs O'Brien-Ellington on 07786 062656.

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