GUIDE dog Stevie has embarked on his training thanks to NFU Mutual staff.
The Stratford-based insurance firm has raised over £250,000 for Guide Dogs – £50,000 of which is needed to fund Stevie alone.
The remaining funds – raised through everything from cake sales to quiz nights – will pay to care for and train 25 puppies during the first year of their lives.
Staff member Steven Abbott recently accompanied the one year-old German shepherd cross Stevie and his trainer along one of his training routes around Leamington.
Steven said: “It was a really proud moment to see Stevie guiding his trainer with such care and confidence around everyday obstacles on the pavements, and how he identified road crossings.
“We first met Stevie when he was a fluffy little puppy, and he has grown into a wonderful dog. It was brilliant to have the opportunity to watch him in training; it really brought to life our how our fundraising will make a difference.”
Stevie, who was described by trainers as bright and willing, will continue his early training for another four weeks before he is transferred to Southampton for advanced training and to be matched with his guide dog owner.
* THOSE experiencing sight loss have the chance to discover more about Guide Dogs.
The charity is holding a free information day in Leamington explaining about its services and including the chance to see the kennels and hear from a guide dog owner.
The event will be held on Tuesday April 25 between 10am and 3.30pm at the training school on Warwick New Road.
Call 0118 983 8882 or email [email protected] to find out more.