There’s hardly an eyebrow raised, or even the merest turn of a head as an eight year old yellow Labrador Retriever bounds up to the Post Office counter with a benefit book in his mouth, very focused on his weekly mission.
A sense of deja vu prevails as the lab gently puts his front paws up on to the counter and carefully places the book into the sunken counter-well in front of the post office clerk. The usual friendly banter takes place and then the book with the money is given back to the dog, who in one swift and accurate action takes both into his mouth and then delivers them with pinpoint accuracy to his human partner’s lap. An almost everyday occurrence in Clanfield’s Village Post Office, but still an amazing sight.
Endal is the name of this Labrador, Allen Parton his human partner. Allen, a Royal Navy Gulf war veteran, suffered a head injury in the 1991 war which left him with severe physical and mental trauma, wheelchair bound and with short and long term memory problems. Endal, who hardly needs an introduction these days, is his loyal helping hound, who has been enabling Allen every day for the last 8 years.
The amazing way in which Endal enables Allen in his daily life has not been missed by the staff at the post office and they unanimously decided to try and support Canine Partners in their efforts to enable more disabled people like Allen. So they have set about buying leads, collars and toys to kit out the charity’s new intakes of puppies as they start their training as raw recruits at 6 weeks old, eventually graduating some 17 months later.
The puppies come into training in teams with names starting with the letter of that particular intake, currently the Y team are the latest recruits.
Lou Smith, PO manager, said: ‘We wanted to feel we were doing something that really mattered and would make such a difference. We are all too aware that equipment costs can really mount up for any organisation such as Canine Partners. This way we can add week by week to the donation. We were so amazed at how quickly our efforts eventually mounted up. Hopefully one day we’ll see some puppies out and about and have a great feeling of pride knowing that we have played our part and they are sporting leads and collars given by us’
Sandra Parton, Canine Partners‚ Puppy operations manager said ‘All our puppy parents love to take home their new fluffy bundles with a puppy pack with new equipment in it. We currently take in 32 puppies a year and their first starter pack can cost quite a bit. This generous gift will go a long way to reduce these overheads’.
Anyone who is interested in becoming a puppy parent or would like to help Canine Partners can contact the charity either by ringing 0845 6580480 or by visiting the website at www.caninepartners.co.uk for further information.