Adverts: 0161 709 4576 - Editorial: 0161 709 4571
Mail Order: 0161 709 4578 - Subs: 0161 709 4575 - Webteam: 0161 709 4567
Merlin works his Magic on Guide Dog puppy

ON TUESDAY March 19th, animated children’s television star Merlin the Magical Puppy was brought to life by a special guide dog puppy who one day will make a blind or partially sighted person’s wish come true.

The guide dog puppy, also named Merlin, will be entering a magical and enchanting world, similar to that of his animated namesake, as he embarks upon the training which will lead him on a journey to become the eyes of a visually impaired person.

Merlin came face to face with a scale model of the CITV animated character at the Guide Dogs’ breeding centre in Warwickshire, where the pup was given his very own magical red collar.

Entertainment Rights Plc, the makers of Merlin, are supporting the six-week old black Labrador to celebrate the release of Merlin’s first video, The Lost Bone and Other Tails, and will meet the costs of his training and life as a guide dog.

Merlin the Guide Dog pup meets his magical namesake.

Martin Clunes, the voice talent behind Merlin, was regrettably unable to attend the handover due to his current acting commitments, however he has sent his very best wishes and has said, “sponsoring a guide dog for life is a brilliant idea. I wish I could have been with Merlin on his special day but plan to visit him soon to see how he is getting on. I know he is going to be a magical guide dog”.

Dawn French, the voice of Kizzie in the show, is delighted at this new partnership and commented, “Now Merlin really is a magical puppy; as a guide dog he will grant wishes by bringing independence, companionship and joy into a blind person’s life”.

Robin Hutchinson, Head of Communications and Fundraising for Guide Dogs, said: “This is a perfect partnership between Guide Dogs and Merlin the Magical Puppy. Merlin has the ability to make wishes come true and in many ways that is exactly what guide dogs do, by bringing greater freedom and independence to the lives of blind and partially sighted people”.

Mike Heap, Chief Executive of Entertainment Rights, commented: “We are delighted to be able to use Merlin’s growing fan base to help encourage support for such a worthwhile cause as Guide Dogs and feel there is a great synergy between the two puppies.”

Merlin will spend a few days at the Guide Dogs breeding centre before going to live with a volunteer puppy walker, who will care for him until he is between 12 and 14 months old.

Merlin will then return to one of the Guide Dogs’ training centres to start his formal training, which will take between six and eight months, culminating in about three weeks’ intensive work with his new owner.