A group of King’s Park youngsters came face-toface with a friendly guide dog recently.
The boys, who are members of the Pathfinders, were delighted to meet other Pathfinders - a German Shepherd which has been trained as a guide dog.
The King’s Park group was founded 50 years ago, were pleased to meet Anne Royle, who brought along her dog, Spook.
The boys learned about the canine organisation, after the group’s founder Anne discovered there was a long waiting list for a new German Shepherd guide once her old one had retired. She felt that a waiting time for mobility of up to three years was a very long time and decided to do something to help ease the situation.
Initially, to make sure there was a demand for German Shepherd guides, Anne completed four different surveys of the blind community throughout the United Kingdom. These surveys came back as a resounding yes for more German Shepherds.
Since that time Anne has registered Pathfinder Dogs as a charity.
Anne and her group of volunteers can be seen on street collections throughout Scotland as well as speaking to community groups and companies about blindness and dogs as a whole.
Pathfinder Dogs qualified their first two working dogs in 2010.
A spokesman said: “We plan to recruit at least two puppies each year to enable us to continue and grow until we complete the construction of our training village.
“We will be entering into our own breeding programme once we have our training village built and the facilities on our grounds to take care
Experience Anne Royle gives a Pathfinder the chance to experience what it’s like to be blind
Assistance Anne Royle shows how her German Shepherd Spook helps her