Peggy the pup has a bright future as a support dog

Although at the moment she’s just a playful eight-month-old pup, Peggy, a  fox-red labrador will soon go on to become a life-transforming support dog,

By Julie Marshall
Wednesday, 22nd December 2021, 5:11 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd December 2021, 5:12 pm
Peggy the labrador pup will soon start her training to be a support dog

Once she has completed her training she will help a child with autism or an adult with epilepsy or another serious medical condition to lead a safer, more independent life.

Peggy is being trained by Sheffield-based national charity Support Dogs and is currently looked after by dog-loving volunteer puppy socialisers Zoe Helm and Daniel Lewis, who live in Allerton Bywater near Castleford.

“Peggy is doing really well with her training, and absolutely loves learning new tasks,” said Zoe.

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Property investor Zoe has always been a huge dog lover, and she and partner Dan already had their own pet dog Dylan, a Border/Lakeland terrier cross, when they decided to get a second one.

Rather than get another pet they discovered Support Dogs was looking for puppy socialisers – volunteers who care for its puppies until they are old enough to start their proper training at ‘ the charity’s training centre in Brightside at the age of 15 months.

As part of her early basic training, Peggy has visited IKEA, various shops, stores and supermarkets, and joins Zoe and Dan in the pub, learning how to behave in public.

She also attends puppy classes and workshops where she has been taught how to nudge, pull, touch and retrieve items.

“I’m going to be heartbroken when she leaves, but that’s the way it goes,” says Zoe. “When I watch the videos or read the stories of how these dogs change people’s lives it made me think: ‘how amazing she is going to be and that I have been a part of changing someone’s life.’”

The charity is looking for more people to become volunteer puppy socialisers. Find out more by visiting https://www.supportdogs.org.uk/volunteering-with-our-dogs