Sandra Parton and Ikea pictured with Budgens store manager Mark Gallagher
Ill-health may have prevented Canine Partner Ikea from completing his training as an assistance dog but his continuing contribution to the work of the charity has continued. Golden Retriever Ikea was only eight months old when he was forced to ‘retire’ because of ill health but he has gone on loyally serving CP ever since.
It was touch and go whether he would survive in those early months as he suffered with a series of illnesses which continue to this day to baffle the vets
Sandra Parton, Canine Partners Puppy operations co ordinator, adopted Ikea when he ‘retired’ and they share their Clanfield home with husband Allen Parton and well known dog, Endal. Ikeas has often featured with Endal in photos but up until now it has always been a case of ‘always the brides maid’.
Despite his long term health problems, ‘Ikea gives his all’ said Sandra, ‘never complaining and always tail wagging’, manning the Canine Partners stands from early morning to late night and taking parts in demonstrations (including Crufts) so that the full working dogs don't have an extra burden of work added to their day.
However all this has recently changed when Ikea attended a photographic studio in Slough, the Partons where having a family photograph taken. On the same day there was a photoshoot for a range of Budgens Pet foods and the Golden Retriever that had been arranged was unable to attend the studio. So reliable and dependable Ikea stepped in to the breech as is the norm and saved the day.
It was just after the new year, when Sandra Parton visited Midhurst's Budgens store and was delighted and so proud to see Ikea's image beaming out from the shelves of pet food section.
Ikea at long last has had his personal moment of fame and glory..it is true then ‘that every dog will have its day!’
To celebrate his achievement a photoshoot was arranged on Wednesday at Budgens Midhurst store and like a seasoned professional Ikea posed perfectly along side bags of food, on which he stars, for the camera man that attended.
‘He was treated like a celebrity while having his picture taken’ said Sandra, ‘everything that was asked of him he cheerfully produced and his tail never stopped wagging throughout!’