‘Ruff and ready’ would-be guide dogs are put through their paces
Guide dog puppies have been put through their paces by members of the SAS
These ‘ruff and ready’ would-be guide dogs were put through their paces - with the help of Britain's best special forces officers. Ollie Ollerton from 'SAS: Who Dares Wins' put the latest round of doggy recruits through their paces near the Guide Dogs National Centre in Leamington Spa.
The former UK special forces solider said: "I’m here to see if they’ve got what it takes. “It’s not for the faint-hearted, and this boot camp will prove if any of the recruits are barking up the wrong tree.”
Rising through the ranks
The fun trial run was set up to raise awareness of Guide Dogs' Sponsor a Puppy campaign and included Fern, a new sponsor puppy who is just starting her journey to becoming a guide dog.
Alongside Fern in the ranks were her two sisters Anne and Charley, and four brothers Yoro, Utah, Ben and Frankie. The new draft performed to the best of their abilities as they slalomed their way through an obstacle course.
They were encouraged by Ollie to scale barriers, navigate around cones, and travel through a tunnel as part of their fun run – all with varying degrees of success. He rallied the troops and kept discipline among the six-week-old yellow Labrador puppies, which capped off a fine performance with a sprint finish, all under the watchful eye of their mum, Sylvia.
There was room for improvement from the new sign-ups, with a few struggling to keep their focus on the task in hand as Ollie was mobbed by the pups, who turned on their sergeant and began licking his face.
Becoming a true leader
Ollie said: “I’m very passionate about the work they [Guide Dogs] do and it’s my job and my mission to get much-needed donations to the charity. One of the ways you can help is by sponsoring a guide dog puppy. I’ve been sponsoring a puppy for probably the last three years and it’s one of the most amazing things you can do.”
Tim Stafford, director of canine affairs for Guide Dogs, said: "We’re proud of our new recruits, and we know their mum Sylvia and dad Hartmann will be too. It's absolutely fantastic that Ollie came out to meet some of our puppies and put them through their paces.
“I'm not sure the pups will be putting their SAS training to use as guide dogs, but they had a fantastic time nevertheless. The Sponsor a Puppy campaign funds other new recruits, letting them rise through the ranks to give them a shot of becoming a true leader themselves.”