Pupils get view of a dog's life

DON'T drop chewing gum and food on the pavements - because it could distract pups training to be guide dogs.That was the message given to school children as they learned about the vital work carried out by the dogs in being the eyes of a blind or visually-impaired person.

DON'T drop chewing gum and food on the pavements - because it could distract pups training to be guide dogs.

That was the message given to school children as they learned about the vital work carried out by the dogs in being the eyes of a blind or visually-impaired person.

The children at Kingsfleet Primary in Felixstowe were also told about the work done to make the outside world easier for blind people to cope with, including tactile flooring in dangerous places, dropped kerbs, and special switches on pelican crossings to help them know when the traffic lights are red and it is safe to cross.

Guide dog puppy Star - the focus of the Evening Star's appeal to pay for her breeding and training - visited the school in Ferry Road along with her puppy walker Penny Parker, and Richard Lampard and his guide dog Ivan.

Mrs Parker said: “It was a lovely morning and a wonderful opportunity to talk to the children about how the guide dogs are trained and give them an idea of what it is like to be outside in the world, visually-impaired or blind and rely on your guide dog to take you wherever you need to go.

“We told them one of the biggest things they could do to help was not to drop food or chewing gum - trainee dogs spend so much time being distracted by things they spot on the ground.

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“They were fascinated and really enjoyed the assembly.”

The children were blindfolded and talked through an obstacle course, often bumping into items and going off course - and were thrilled when Ivan then led Mr Lampard through the same course faultlessly, steering him clear of all obstructions.

Has your family been helped by the Guide Dogs - tell us your stories about this amazing charity: write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

The fundraising for the vital work of Guide Dogs continues - as we aim to raise as much as possible for the charity's work.

We want the whole community to get involved and if you are organising a fundraising event for the appeal, then we want to hear so we can give it maximum publicity and help boost the amount raised.

So let us know what you are up to - get in touch with Richard Cornwell at the Felixstowe Newsdesk on 01394 284109 or the Ipswich Newsdesk on 01473 324788.

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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