My pet dog Millie has been a big part of my life for the last 10 years. She was instrumental in getting me back on my feet when I was really down, after the first eye surgery in 2008 when I was convinced that I would never leave the house again.
With Millie getting older and having increasing health problems, I decided to ask to adopt a retired or withdrawn
guide dog. I was persuaded to take a working guide dog.
In September last year, I heard from Guide Dogs about a possible match. We had to be sure that Colin and I would get along, Millie and Colin get along and that he is ok around my grandchildren. We passed with flying colours and so Colin came to live with me on 15th October.
Colin is very bright and has a brilliant memory. We go to a place once and he knows the way the next time, even if it is weeks or months later. He loves to work, his tail is always wagging.
Guide dogs are trained to stop at every kerb or step down; it is then my job to say when to cross the road. Since I often miss kerbs or steps down, it is wonderful that he stops each time for me. When Colin is not in his harness, he is just like a pet dog, a much loved family member.
On 19 January, we had a big adventure as we went to Leeds/Bradford Airport, where Jet2 put a plane ready with engines running for us to experience boarding. Colin managed beautifully, laid down and went to sleep inside the plane. We didn't take off though, what a pity!
Colin was 2 years old on 23 January and is expected to work until around 9 - 10 years before retiring. I am hoping for a long and good partnership with Colin as my guide dog.