Students learn of life of working dog

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East Keswick resident Gillian Moorehouse visited The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL) to inform Eddison House members of the life of her working Labrador Wilson.

The House sponsor a dog called Haley, which is currently being trained as an assistance dog for the disabled, and welcomed Gillian, her husband Geoff and Wilson.

Gillian said: “Wilson gives me more confidence.

“People notice Wilson first and this takes the pressure off me. I am never alone as Wilson is my constant companion.”

It takes between 18 and 24 months and costs £10,000 to train one dog fully but when they are trained they can be life changing as Gill Moorehouse explained.

Amongst the many ways Wilson helps Gill are pressing buttons on pedestrian crossings, opening doors, going to the bank and fetching the post.

He is given a treat for each deed and very quickly learnt that he gets more treats if he brings the letters individually to his owner, rather than all in one go.

Like all Dogs for the Disabled, Wilson was trained wearing a fluorescent yellow coat.

He knows when he is wearing his coat that he is on duty and so will not eat, drink, or go to the toilet. When his coat is off, Wilson becomes a normal fun-loving Labrador.

Eddison House runs fund-raising activities, as well as contributing a regular monthly sum to the charity Dogs for the Disabled.

Sam Yates Head of Eddison House at GSAL said: “It was a real highlight of the term to have them visit us”

In addition to coincide with the visit, the school made a collection for Dogs for the Disabled, as part of their programme weekly charity collections, and raised over £400 for this worthy charity.