Many people have asked me on the Net why did I choose s55wilma as my email address, well Wilma above, guides me whereever I wish to go. She is excellent at her job and is an example of the great work the British Guide Dog for the Blind Association, (GDBA) do by training such wonderful and remarkable dogs.
People always seem to forget the people who train guide dogs, such as puppy walkers who shape and develop a puppy into becoming a future guide dog. They can spend almost a year helping to train a young dog. After that period they have to hand the aspiring young guide dog back to the association., after which the dog is trained with a fully qualified guide dog trainer who will work with the dog and judge if it is suitable to become a guide dog.
Many dogs are rejected from being a guide because of one reason or another. The dogs which we have, have got to have something special in them to become a fully qualified guide. so it certainly takes a lot of work from puppy walkers and kennel staff who look after them 24 hours a day.
Last but not least, the person who prepares Wilma for working with a blind or deafblind person; this person spends months and months gently teaching a prospective guide dog what will be asked from them in the future. These people have incredible patience and stamina to do this year after year. Without these people, and the devotion they give, we the blind or deafblind would never be able to have these remarkable partners as our companions when we are out and about. They give us our independence and mobility. So thank you very much.
We ask so much from our guiding companions, but what do they ask for in return? Just to be cared for, and loved, not very much to ask for in life. Many other guide dog owners feel the same way as I do.
I cannot thank the Guide Dog Association enough for allowing me to have Wilma, and I know all guide dog owners like myself get very attached to their guiding companions.
I chose Wilma as my email address because I know she guides me wherever I go, so why not on the World Wide Web as well? That's why I had s55wilma as my e-mail address. The s55 part is my qualification number.
The picture above was taken on the day we qualified from the centre. Usually it will take three to four weeks for a person to be trained with their new guide dog. There will be many home visits that will continue until our guide dog retires.
Wilma is a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Labrador. She was born on the 13th May 1992 and qualified as a guide dog on the 7th December 1993. She is white in colour.
When Wilma is off harness and at home she is just like any other dog who will get up to some tricky little tricks. One of them is that she loves apples, and if anyone is eating one God help them if she doesn't get the core of it! She gets a full apple every night and she doesn't let you forget about that, I can assure you of that.
Believe it or not, I have bought a domain name for Wilma.
I know I am asking myself if I am starting to go a little mad but I still
think that I am still the same I hope?
Wilma' web site is at: http://www.wilma.co.uk
If you would like more information about the Guide Dog
Association. here is their web page address:
Guide Dogs for the Blind Association: http://www.gdba.org.uk
Also on the (GDBA) site you can download the Forward Magazine
which has excellent articles about the Association and its members.