CAROL the guide dog puppy has met her celebrity namesake.
The trainee guide dog met BBC Breakfast weather presenter Carol Kirkwood when she dropped into the guide dog charity’s HQ near Leamington.
The nine-week-old puppy was named after the weather presenter to make up for a major television blooper caused by the puppy’s mum.
‘Puppy Carol’ is the daughter of Flash, a trainee guide dog who pulled presenter Carol to the ground on live television as she reported from the 2021 Chelsea Flower Show. The clip was an international viral sensation and became one of BBC News’ most-watched videos of the whole year.
Naughty Labrador Flash was just eight months old at the time and has since grown into a calm and beautifully natured young dog. Guide Dogs decided to breed from Flash rather than partner her as a working guide dog, so she instead can produce life-changing guide dogs of the future.
To make amends for Flash’s overexcitement, Guide Dogs has now named one of Flash’s first puppies after Carol. The litter of nine was born on May 28. And the three boys and six girls have now arrived at Guide Dogs’ National Centre near Leamington, where Carol was able to meet puppy Carol for the first time and be reunited with Flash.
Carol said: “To hold tiny Carol in my arms more than makes up for her mum’s behaviour. It’s so special to think that some years from now, guide dog Carol will be out and about, giving independence to a blind or partially sighted person and luckily she’s small enough not to pull me over…yet.”
Guide Dogs spokesperson Tracey Berridge added: “Carol was a great sport when Flash sent her flying. Guide dog puppies are just like any other puppy, lively and sometimes mischievous. We’re so thankful for our amazing volunteers who look after our young dogs before they become life-changers for people with sight loss.
“We need more volunteers as puppy raisers or fosterers to help give our pups the best start, so if you could help take care of an adorable guide dog pup like puppy Carol, get in touch with Guide Dogs at www.guidedogs.org.uk/volunteering.”