Video: New Star guide dog Faith arrives for Christmas

Faith has come in time for Christmas!A tiny, adorable bundle of fun, she is currently just like any other pup - but when she grows up, her future will be very different.

FELIXSTOWE: Faith has come in time for Christmas!

A tiny, adorable bundle of fun, she is currently just like any other pup - but when she grows up, her future will be very different.

This is seven-week-old Faith - our second Evening Star-sponsored guide dog.

Her breeding and initial training has already been paid for, thanks to fundraising by our readers, who raised not just the amount needed for our first pup Star but for a second and a third dog, too.

Star has gone off to become a brood bitch and be mum to many more potential guide dogs, while little Faith is at the start of her career and will one day become either a mum or a fully-fledged guide dog, the eyes of a blind or visually-impaired person.

A retriever-labrador cross, the pale pint-sized pup weighed just 500 grammes when born to parents Molly and Edward on October 8.

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She is the fifth pup that puppy walker Penny Parker has looked after.

“At the moment we are having lots of sleepless nights - she is up every three hours wanting to play and making enough noise which leaves me little choice! - and a few little mishaps around the house, but that's all very normal,” said Mrs Parker, of Western Avenue, Old Felixstowe.

“She is a lot smaller than Star was at the same age and a lot quieter and very nervy.

“Everything's very new to her at the moment but she is settling in well.”

Being smaller also causes a few other problems - she can easily wriggle through stair gates and barriers which Star could not.

“She does a little shimmy and she is straight through so I am going to have to make some adjustments until she grows a bit bigger,” said Mrs Parker.

Faith has a big friend to keep her in check though and make sure she behaves - retired trainee guide dog Umber, who is very calm and tolerant with the cute youngster.

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


Although the Evening Star's appeal was a huge success, Guide Dogs for the Blind constantly needs money for its work.

If you are fundraising for the charity, get in touch with Richard Cornwell at the Felixstowe Newsdesk on 01394 284109 so we can help you publicise your event.

To donate, please send cheques - made payable to the Guide Dogs - to Richard Cornwell, Evening Star, 172 Hamilton Road, Felixstowe, IP11 7DU.

FASTFACTS: Trainee guide dogs

Faith is one of 1,000 guide dog puppies the association will breed this year, mostly labrador/retriever crosses.

Over the next 12 months, she will be exposed to as many different experiences as possible.

She will be taken to busy town centres, noisy crowds, across roads, school corridors and playgrounds, theatres, shops - anywhere a blind person might need to go.

She will go on bus and train trips to ensure she is comfortable with public transport.

Penny will also teach her to walk ahead on the leash - not “to heel” - as a guide dog does, and obey simple commands such as “sit”, “down”, “stay” and “come”.

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