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Support Dogs Save Lives

by Burns Team Writer


Judith was a lecturer at the Open University until she developed a progressive neurological condition called Cerebellar Ataxia. She had to take an early retirement and by 2006 was in a wheelchair. This had a huge effect on Judith’s independence and in turn her confidence.

That is until she adopted Alfie the Lhasa Apso, a support dog trained by one of our sponsors, Support Dogs. Alfie had a huge effect on Judith, giving her back the confidence that she once had, whilst finding himself a loving forever home.

Unfortunately, Alfie started going blind and had to retire from his role as Judith’s support dog. That would never split this great partnership though and Alfie became Judith’s much-loved pet.

Support Dogs needed to find Judith a dog that she could work with as well as Alfie. This is where Fudge comes in to save the day. Fudge, a 14-month old Border Terrier x Pug, was selected by the rescue centre as a highly intelligent and motivated dog that would be best suited to a working home.

“Fudge is completely different from Alfie,” says Judith. “He’s far more enthusiastic, is very good outdoors and has fantastic recall. He brings me my slippers, helps with undressing, opens doors and picks things up. He is also a wonderful pain killer; at night he sits on my legs and his warmth and pressure helps so much with my leg pain that I have been able to come off one of my painkillers. They were making my head fuzzy and it’s great to think clearly again.

“He is the most loving, adorable dog I have ever had. He sits on my lap all the time and loves to be stroked. I’ve had lots of dogs in the past but never had one quite like Fudge.”

Alfie and Fudge now live in perfect harmony although to begin with Alfie wasn’t too keen on Fudge. Now they have come to co-exist happily, Alfie is able to relax in his retirement whilst Fudge works hard to assist Judith in her day to day routine.

With the use of a specially adapted car and the support of Fudge, Judith is able to live a very active life and takes part in many volunteering roles. Support Dogs, Alfie and Fudge have each made a huge impact on Judith’s life and enable her to go anywhere and live life to the fullest.

We are proud to sponsor Support Dogs as they find people in need their very own Alfie and Fudge.