My Canine Carer

2 years ago, a black Labrador Retriever, bounded into my life. Never did I think that four paws could change my life in such a dramatic way, but (super) Spencer was the start of my newfound independence.

In 2008, I suddenly went from being an active ballet dancer to having complex health issues and needing round-the-clock care. When my family struggled to cope with my care needs, we decided to get agency carers in which allowed my parents to continue working. I’ve always been fiercely independent and when I saw an advert for Canine Partners, I decided to apply for an assistance dog. 2 years later, I was matched with Spencer and after an intensive training course, we welcomed him to our home

Some of the tasks Spencer helps me with include fetching items like my medication bag and water, alerting people in the house if I’m unwell, bringing the phone to me when it rings, helping me get undressed, and even helping to change my bed!  Another useful task he picked up but wasn’t taught by Canine Partner’s, is alerting me when my blood pressure is low - that’s how in tune he is with my body!

Spencer has been especially useful during the lockdown. Usually, I have both my family, agency carers, and Spencer to help me. However, due to my risk, I have stopped my agency carers for now but Spencer is still able to help out with daily tasks which have been vital to both my independence and wellbeing. Having a smiley dog wake you up every morning to help you get ready couldn’t be a better start to your day!

There is no doubt this pup has changed both mine and my family's life significantly. It’s amazing what these dogs can do and I don’t know where I would be without Super Spencer; four life-changing paws.

Kate (and Spencer) xx

Follow Spencer with weekly videos - @spencerandkate
Follow Me - @katestanforth

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