Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hearing Dogs For The Deaf star at fun day

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Clever canines who can do anything from answer the door or telephone to alert owners to a fire were the main attraction at a fun day this week.

A pair of cute pups, one already a Hearing Dog for the Deaf and one in training, went along to a fundraising event, organised by Lifestyle team It Takes Two.

Team mates Bethany Ladlow, 12, and Kezleigh Evans, 12, dressed up as dogs themselves to get into the spirit and dedicated an entire day to helping raise money to train more assistance dogs.

Christine Barnett, who has experienced hearing problems since childhood and is now almost completely deaf, took her dog Saxon along.

"He's wonderful, he can answer the telephone and the door, respond to the smoke alarm and if I was in a shop and there was a fire he could alert people outside to the fact I was there.

"And if I'm walking along and someone behind me calls me he will stop to let me know.

"If I'm crossing the road and don't hear a car coming he will stop then as well."

With tasks like answering the phone or door, dogs obviously do not greet the caller themselves.

Instead, the go to their owner, gently touch them, the owner asks 'what is it?' and the dog leads them to the sound.

The Lifestylers who organised the fun day handed over a cheque for £600 to Hearing Dogs and are working hard, although they are not eligible for a prize because Bethany scooped the top award last year, with previous group Scunny Bunnies.

"I don't mind about the prize, it's for a good cause– they use rescue dogs as well, I have two rescue Dalmatians myself and I like the fact they give them good homes," said Bethany.

Kezleigh said: "I don't mind that we can't win a prize, as long as we help someone out and the money goes to a good cause."