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Retired Guide Dog Oatie Goes Walkies

April 8, 2010

A guide dog from Southcote who had to retire after going blind in one eye is now lending a paw as the chosen face of a sponsored dog walk.

Loveable Oatie is fronting the go walkies campaign launched by Burghfield-based charity Guide Dogs on Thursday last week.

The eight-year-old was Tim Guttridge’s second guide dog but retired two years ago after his sight deteriorated and Mr Guttridge noticed he was being steered too far to the right.

But Oatie still lives with Tim, his wife Elaine and Mr Guttridge’s current guide dog Chloe.

His 52-year-old owner said: “Oatie was a brilliant guide dog, he even tried to keep going when he was losing his sight.

“It was really sad when he had to retire but I am just glad he could stay with us. He is such a lovely dog, really laid back and great to have around.

“We will definitely take him to some go walkies for Guide Dogs events.”

The Labrador cross golden retriever is leading his fellow canines by example and even has his own fundraising website www.virginmoneygiving.com/gowalkies and has so far raised £75 for the charity.

Grandfather-of-two Mr Guttridge added: “It sounds easy to say this but having a guide dog really does change your life.

“It’s not just the mobility and independence they give you, it’s the friends they help you make and the way they get people talking to you.

“They become so much more than just your eyes.”

A go walkies event is being held at Prospect Park in Tilehurst, on Saturday, May 15.

Anyone with or without a dog can get involved in the events by sponsoring a dog you know or even borrowing a friend’s dog to bring along.

All money raised will help Guide Dogs create more dog partnerships in the next 10 years.

Visit www.gowalkies.org.uk for information.

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