Staff at a shopping centre had a visit from a VIP – very important pup – who dropped in as a thank you after they helped him to become a guide dog.
Workers and customers at Doncaster’s Lakeside Village raised £5000 to be given the honour of naming the puppy, which they called Treacle, as part of a competition organised by the Guide Dogs charity.
Guide Dog puppy Treacle, a black and tan Golden Retriever and German Shepherd crossbreed, is now five-months-old and has already learned many of the basic obedience commands that will be used when he goes out into the world as a guide dog.
The winning name was given by Eva Sams from Rossington and the youngster was invited to meet him recently where she heard all about his progress.
Cheryl Sadler, centre manager at Lakeside Village, said on the day: “We are thrilled to meet Treacle, he is the fifth Guide dog puppy that we have raised funds for.
“All the work and dedication that the charity Guide Dogs carries out is fantastic.
“It’s great to see all the donations from our customers really do make a difference to people lives.”
Nichola Bonsall, from Guide Dogs, added: “Puppy visits are really special.
“People are able to witness how all the time and effort they have put into fundraising has transferred into the training of the puppy they’ve named.
“It makes it all worthwhile.”
It costs £50,000 to support a guide dog from the birth of the pup to when it retires.
The Guide Dogs charity receives no government funding.
A spokesperson for the organisation said: “Without the generosity of public donations, we would be unable to support the 4, 600 Guide Dog partnerships in the UK.
“Guide Dogs promises to supply every guide dog owner with a dog for as long as they need one.
“Some people may need six or seven dogs in their lifetime.”
For more information about how to fundraise for the charity visit www.guidedogs.org.uk