Dog training

Puppy Forced To Give Up Guide Dog Training Due To Poor Health Finds Another Way To Save Lives

A golden retriever who was forced to give up guide dog training as a puppy still found his own way to save lives.

Franklin, who is now two years old, was unable to become a service dog after being diagnosed with elbow dysplasia, a condition in which elbows develop abnormally as a puppy grows.

He has yet found a new way to set himself apart by becoming a dog blood donor and his two donations to the Pet Blood Bank UK at Valley Vets in Cardiff could save the lives of seven other dogs.

Claire Hiles, a volunteer with Guide Dogs Cymru, who relocated Franklin when he was retired from training, said she “couldn’t be prouder.”

Read more: “My guide dog prevents me from fighting against hallucinations”

Claire said: “This was her second time at the clinic. On this occasion, he comfortably donated 521g of his blood, which could be used as early as 24 hours after the donation or at any time in the following six weeks.



Franklin, two, with guide dog trainer Charlotte James, who was very sorry to see him drop out of training after being diagnosed with elbow dysplasia

“This time I was able to be with him while he made a donation.

“I couldn’t be prouder of my happy, sweet boy and his special gift to the recipients and their families.”

Claire praises the Valley Vets team who looked after Franklin, giving him lots of fuss and treats to help create a positive environment.

She said: “Before entering I looked out the window and saw him with his front legs on the table, his ears swollen with excitement and his tail wagging.”

Claire explained that dogs don’t always donate blood on their first or second visit to the blood bank as they get used to the surroundings and the noise of the clippers.



Franklin, golden retriever, as a puppy before having to retire from guide dog training with elbow dysplasia
Franklin, golden retriever, as a puppy before having to retire from guide dog training with elbow dysplasia

However, with Franklin’s experience training guide dogs, he had the right characteristics to be examined, lie down and have a needle inserted while a team of volunteers, including a veterinarian, took the blood. .

Marcus Roberts, Director of Operations at Guide Dogs Cymru, said: “We were sad when Franklin had to be taken out of early training through no fault of his own as he had made good progress even learning how to keep a blind owner or visually impaired. safe in public transport.

“But we know guide dogs change lives and, despite his career change, Franklin is carrying on that tradition in his own way.”

Claire added, “His happy, loving and gentle nature knows no bounds, and he has no idea how special he is.”

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