MILLY’S STORY WITH GUIDE DOG LIBBY
We have been proud sponsors of Libby since she was a guide dog puppy. We were very moved to hear not only how well she has progressed, but that she is now spending her life helping Milly to lead as normal a life as she can.
Here’s what Milly had to say:
“Hello, I’m Milly, the proud new owner of the gorgeous Libby!
I was born with a genetic condition causing my sight to gradually worsen over time. At the age of eight my sight deteriorated drastically, and I’ve been using a white cane to get around ever since. Today I only have some central vision remaining in my left eye, which makes getting around by myself very difficult, so my specialist opticians suggested we get in contact with Guide Dogs. This is when Libby came into my life and after one day together, I couldn’t imagine life without her.
Libby has such an affectionate nature and likes to rest her chin on our laps when she wants a cuddle. I knew right away that she was going to be a brilliant companion as well as a guide dog.
I was introduced to Libby by her trainer, Jemma, and we clicked instantly. Jemma’s role is to carry out partnership training during our first few weeks together, to make sure our partnership is a success. There was so much to learn and as I was used to navigating obstacles myself, it took time for me to relax and allow Libby to navigate them for me instead. It was also quite challenging remembering the commands to give her, but now, after a few months of learning to understand each other, it all feels very natural and we make a great team.
I train with Disability Sport Wales and I’m a British Junior Champion in Discus and Shot Put, so Libby comes with me for my training sessions. It’s such a strange coincidence that I am a sports person and Libby was named after Libby Clegg the Paralympic sprinter!
During the week, Libby and I get the bus together to school. She knows where my form classroom is and has her own bed where she can relax, I love. For a teenager the white cane was never very stylish, but now everyone wants to meet Libby and get to know our story. Thanks to my brilliant Teaching Assistant, the other students know not to distract her whilst she is working, making it easier for us to get around campus. Libby is very focused when guiding, but when her harness comes off she is super playful!
Libby has given me an incredible sense of freedom and my confidence has soared. I can now go to the gym by myself and feel confident when catching the bus and train on my own. I no longer need to rely on others to get out and about which is a great feeling.
Next year I am off to college and Libby will be coming with me. I am very excited but nervous to be moving away from home, as I won’t know anyone at first. Knowing I’ve got my best friend, Libby, by my side will make such a difference to me.
Thank you so much for sponsoring Libby and giving me my independence.”