Star to be perfect guide dog mum

TRAINEE guide dog Star is today embarking on her new role - and will become mum to lots of other dogs who will help blind and visually-impaired people.

TRAINEE guide dog Star is today embarking on her new role - and will become mum to lots of other dogs who will help blind and visually-impaired people.

The one-year-old is definitely to become a brood bitch, officials at the Guide Dogs charity have decided.

She successfully passed all her tests and is this week having a trial seven days with a potential new family.

Evening Star readers and Guide Dog supporters have raised more than �22,000 in the past 12 months to pay for Star's breeding and initial training - and the extra will be used to pay for a second puppy, likely to be called Hope.

Puppy walker Penny Parker, who looked after Star for her first year, said: “Some dogs go off to become guide dogs and others become brood bitches or stud dogs because of their own high-quality breeding.

“Star could have gone either way because she passed all the tests for both guide dogs and brood bitch.

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“Now she will live with a family and be mated once a year.

“We will be keeping in touch to see how she does. They try to match her up with a similar family to where she has been living and this week she is having a trial with one family and we understand she is very happy.”

The family have to live within 40 miles of the charity's breeding centre at Tollgate near Leamington Spa, Warwickshire.

After mating, she will give birth to her litters at her new home. The puppies then spend their first six weeks there with support and advice from centre staff.

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.