Three generations of Guide Dog mums to spend Mother's Day together - The Leamington Observer

Three generations of Guide Dog mums to spend Mother's Day together

Leamington Editorial 9th Mar, 2024   0

THREE generations of guide dog mums who live under one roof are looking forward to spending their first Mother’s Day together.

Labradors Connie, her daughter Sophie and her granddaughter Coco have the special job of bringing future guide dogs into the world, and have been reunited just in time for Mother’s Day.

The three dogs are looked after by Guide Dogs’ volunteer Linda Atkins, from Stratford.

Linda, who is a breeding dog volunteer, first gave a home to guide dog mum Connie back in 2012.

Connie, a yellow Labrador, had four litters of life-changing guide dog pups for the sight loss charity before retiring at the age of six.

Linda loved the experience so much, that she decided to also give a home to Connie’s daughter, Sophie, a black Labrador, who came from her last litter.

With Sophie having three litters of pups before retiring earlier this year, Linda was given the opportunity to home Sophie’s daughter, Coco, also a black Labrador, and she moved in with her mother and grandmother on January 31.

Linda said: “I was a puppy raiser for Guide Dogs back in 2009, where you have a puppy living with you for a year before they move out to start their training.

“I decided I wanted a dog from the charity that could live with me permanently, and that’s when we decided to give a home to guide dog mum Connie.

“She had her first litter in 2013, a couple of weeks before Christmas. The first two weeks were quite easy, and she loved her puppies and loved being a mum. My husband, Julian, is very good at being an assistant midwife and helping with the cleaning up.”

Breeding Dog Volunteers look after guide dog mums until they retire, at around six years of age. After this, they are given the option to keep the mum they have cared for as a pet dog.

Linda added: “Connie, Sophie and Coco all get on really well together. Coco is respectful of her grandmother and enjoys playing with her mother.

“It’s wonderful when you have a guide dog litter at home as it makes people’s day when they come and visit.

“On Mother’s Day, the girls will all go for their normal morning walk and free run and will then return home where we’ll have Sunday dinner with my daughter and her three children.”

Guide Dogs is holding a Spring Guide Dog Mum Volunteer Taster Day at its National Centre in Leamington on Sunday March 17.

For more information about volunteering contact volunteering coordinator Verity O’Donnell via [email protected] or call 0800 781 1444.

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