Video: Meet our third Star guide dog!

FELIXSTOWE: Meet a real little star!

For this is Sterling – the third and newest Evening Star guide dog puppy – who is the son of our first dog, Star.

And the new pup’s name has a special meaning in old English – literally, “little star”.

He is due to move to Felixstowe soon to team up with his puppy walker Penny Parker, who will look after him for the next year and provide his basic training, helping him to get used to the big, wide world.

Eventually, he will take up his special role in life – to be the eyes of a visually-impaired person, guiding them around busy town centres, on and off public transport, crossing roads, into theatres and schools and shops, and anywhere they might go or travel.

At the moment, Sterling is just like any other four-week-old pup, a loveable bundle of fun and mischief.

His mum, Star, who was taken by the Guide Dogs for the Blind charity a year ago to become a brood bitch to breed future guide dogs, gave birth to seven pups – Sterling’s siblings being Zoe, Zara, Zimba, Zeus, Zack and Zodiac.

Most Read

Star was paid for thanks to fantastic fundraising and generous donations by Evening Star readers, as was Mrs Parker’s current trainee guide dog Faith and little Sterling.

“Sterling is lovely and I cannot wait to have him here and start his puppy walking,” said Mrs Parker, who has recently returned from a visit to see the pup and Star at their home near Leamington Spa, in Warwickshire.

“He is quite a big boy for a little pup, but he will get plenty of exercise once he starts his training, and is quite camera shy, but we will change that, too!

“I will have both Faith and Sterling for a while, probably about a month, and having a little one with an older pup always helps to boost their confidence.”

Star has proved an excellent mum and is quite calm about her responsibilities. She was mated with a dog called Truman, an eight-year-old retriever, who has exceptional guide dog qualities.

Mrs Parker said the generosity of Evening Star readers in sponsoring three guide dogs was amazing.

“People have been fantastic – we began the appeal by hoping to raise �10,000 for Star’s initial training, and the fund just kept on growing and growing,” she said.

“To have three is just brilliant, and I am thrilled to be looking after a pup from a previous dog, which is a lovely touch.”

Faith is due to leave later this month for the next stage of her guide dog training and Guide Dogs’ officials are pleased with her progress.

“All of Faith’s basic commands have now been perfected and she is now walking well on the lead,” said puppy co-ordinator Donna Mackay.

“She has an inquisitive nature but no real distraction issues and will always return when called – some puppies go through a teenage stage and can rebel but Faith seems pretty laid back.

“She is still a little cautious at times but this is not necessarily a bad thing.

“If there is something that she has not seen before she likes to stop and have a little look and then, given the time to evaulate the situation, she will proceed.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter