Jamie has a new gift for Christmas
Jamie Sutherland, the first 17 year old ever to benefit from an assistance dog has a new partner thanks to charity Dogs for the Disabled following the retirement of his faithful companion, Kandy.
In 1994, Jamie, was knocked off his bike by a car when he was just fourteen, received massive head injuries. In one moment life had changed forever, leaving the teenager’s life unrecognisable. Jamie’s dream of joining the army had evaporated, now in a wheelchair, he was left struggling to come to terms with his future.
Kandy an assistance dog trained by Dogs for the Disabled became a life-line and Jamie’s inspiration for living after the accident. The pair became inseparable and received many awards including Man’s Best Friend at the Wag and Bone Show in 2003.
Now twelve, Kandy retired earlier this year but still lives with Jamie and his parents and is enjoying life at a slightly slower pace. Her successor is a black Labrador named Tyler, only two years old he is enthusiastic and always willing to help. When the pair started training just over a month ago, Jamie couldn’t believe how quickly they bonded together.
Jamie said: ‘I knew finding a dog to replace Kandy would be a hard act to follow; after all, they would be taking over from a superstar! Tyler has stepped into her shoes perfectly – he’s so patient and I’m sure he’s going to be just as big a superstar.’
‘I’m sure that Tyler will be a new and exciting chapter in my life and I’m looking forward to the adventures that we have ahead of us.’
Today, Dogs for the Disabled trains assistance dogs for both disabled children and adults, offering a chance of independence often for the first time in their lives.
For more information visit www.dogsforthedisabled.org.