Suffolk: Birthday celebrations for guide dog trainee Sterling

EVENING Star guide-dog-in-training Sterling has celebrated an important milestone – his first birthday.

The puppy, whose breeding and initial training has been paid for by the generous donations and fundraising of readers, businesses and local organisations, will soon be on his way to the next stage of his development.

He is set to leave next month for training school, where he will be honed into a first class guide dog, able to act as the eyes of a blind or partially-sighted person, helping them gain independence and giving them more freedom.

Cake and toys were among the gifts as Sterling celebrated at home with puppy walker Penny Parker.

“He’s had a really busy year and we will miss him when he moves on, but I am sure he will do really well in the next stage of his training,” said Mrs Parker.

Sarah Davies, name a puppy co-ordinator for Guide Dogs, said Sterling had done well with learning his basic commands, was happy being groomed, checked, waiting for food and wore his puppy coat happily.

He is fit and healthy, with a good appetite, sleeps well and has all his adult teeth.

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“He has had an amazing first year and the next big step will be formal training,” she said.

?To contribute to the guide dogs appeal, send cheques made payable to Guide Dogs to Richard Cornwell, Evening Star, 172 Hamilton Road, Felixstowe, IP11 7DU.