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(Updated 1/6/01)

Home at last: Eurotunnel reunites guide dog and owner

AN AMERICAN guide dog has been re-united with his visually impaired owner after spending six months “in transit” in France.

On Wednesday May 9th Lisa Squirrel travelled with Eurotunnel from her new home in the UK to Calais to collect Largo, the guide dog she calls “her eyes”. She and her husband were separated from Largo when they moved from the States to Richmond, Surrey last year.

Largo spent six months with a “foster” family, a guide dog trainer in Toulouse, France, in order to qualify to enter Britain under the Pet Travel Scheme. The rules require a dog or cat to undergo a blood test in a MAFF-approved laboratory to confirm that it has satisfactory protection against rabies. A six-month “incubation” period in a qualifying country then has to elapse before the animal can enter the UK.

The alternative to the stay in France would have been for Largo to go into quarantine in the UK, a prospect Mrs Squirrel could not face. Mrs Squirrel can now look forward to resuming a more independent life in her new country with the help of her invaluable companion Largo.