Gemma tells us about assistance dog ‘Marco’, raised and trained by Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind.
‘We were matched to Marco in March 2017. Applying for an assistance dog was the best decision I ever made. I have a son who is on the autism spectrum and also has a learning disability.Marco has helped our family in so many ways, from busy airports, to crossing roads and best of all to my son gaining independence. He would get very stressed and anxious when travelling to the UK but since Marco came along my son is so much more relaxed and it helps me be less stressed too. When people see my son with his dog they no longer stare or make rude comments as they can see his hidden disability. We’ve been to playgrounds, the cinema and even visited Santa which is something I could never even attempt before we got Marco. I cannot thank Marco enough for what he has done for my family and I will be forever grateful to him. He is the sweetest, kindest and most beautiful dog in the world’. Adel, puppy in training, is now 9 months old. She has been busy out and about with her puppy raiser Anne Mulligan. In late August, on a beautiful sunny day, they visited Tully Nurseries, Co Dublin. In September along with Tom O’Neill and his Guide Dog ‘Qeb’ they returned to Skerries Community College to present a trophy to Johnny, Ellen and Daniel who accepted it on behalf of all the students who raised €1,223.55 for Guide Dogs.Next they travelled to Ashbourne to visit Specsavers and Chez Emily Chocolate Boutique. Both locations have our Tap to Donate €3 machine. Specsavers Ashbourne have raised €258 and Chez Emily €326. Specsavers, Balbriggan raised €1,050 from customers who have tapped and donated. Thank you everyone. Look out for our Christmas cards and calendar in Balbriggan and Skerries shops and stores, or you can contact us by phone/text: 085 7663107. Email: GuideDogsBalbriggan@gmail.com