Assistance dog charity marks a year since Her Majesty The Queen’s visit
ASSISTANCE dog charity Canine Partners is celebrating a year since Her Majesty The Queen visited their Southern Training Centre near Midhurst, West Sussex.
Canine Partners is a national charity that trains amazing assistance dogs to transform the lives of people with disabilities, boosting their confidence and independence.
The dogs are taught a range of everyday tasks including picking up and fetching items, opening doors and dressing a person. They can even help to load and unload a washing machine and they can fetch help in an emergency.
Her Majesty The Queen visited the centre on Thursday 30 November 2017, where she had the opportunity to meet staff, trustees, volunteers and beneficiaries of the charity.
“My trainer Stephen and I watched through the chalet window as The Queen arrived before she came in to meet us in private,” says Jonathan Fletcher, a 57-year-old partnered with canine partner Georgia.
“Georgia, being Georgia, was cheeky and took one look at The Queen’s handbag before creeping across and putting her nose on it – breaking protocol completely!”
The Queen had the opportunity to meet the charity’s amazing dogs at all stages of training, with the youngest puppy she met, black Labrador Flint, being just 12 weeks old at the time.
To showcase the task work the amazing dogs are trained to do, Her Majesty watched a demonstration by the advanced training teams and was impressed by the dogs’ ability to unload the washing machine and pick up dropped items, asking questions throughout and commenting on their impressive skills.
During her short visit, Her Majesty also had the opportunity to view the accommodation used by partners who are undertaking their onsite training course and beginning their incredible journey with their assistance dogs.
“We talked about what Canine Partners do as a charity and about the tasks Georgia has been trained to do for me,” says Jonathan, who has Spina Bifida.
“It was really nice because I got to see a side of The Queen that not many people get to see, she was very relaxed and it was just like speaking to another dog lover.”
The Queen was presented with gifts from Canine Partners and demonstration dog, Yarna, also handed over a posy of purple flowers.
To find out more about Canine Partners, please visit caninepartners.org.uk.