Take a look at Kevin, a very good dog.
Kevin is a three-year-old golden Labrador who provides all kinds of support to his owner, 54-year-old Wendy Martin.
Wendy developed spinal disc generation in her teens. The condition causes her chronic pain and she uses a wheelchair to get around.
She’d had help from her partner for years, but the couple split in 2013, leaving mum-of-four Wendy struggling to cope.
After her support dog Oscar retired, she met Kevin through Support Dogs in April last year.
Kevin, as we mentioned, is pretty special. He’s been trained do lift clothes in and out of the washing machine, open doors, active Wendy’s panic alarm, take off her socks, and help put her coat on.
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Wendy says there was a connection the first time they met.
‘The first day I met Kevin, he came running in, jumped on the sofa and put his head in my lap,’ she said.
‘It was love at first sight. He had such a caring, lovely look at me.
‘Lots of people go to stroke him when they meet him, which he likes.
‘Even when they do, he’ll carry on looking at me to make sure I’m fine.
‘If he had his way he’d be on my lap. He curls up on my legs when I’m on the sofa and then gets on the bed with me when I go to sleep.
Most animals are creatures of habit. It will be important to develop a consistent schedule to follow with your new pet. Potty breaks at regular intervals, feeding at the same time(s) every day, playtime, walks – everything needs to be scheduled. At first, this can seem overwhelming but soon enough, you and your new pet will be on the same schedule.
‘He’s almost as good as having a hot water bottle.’
Kevin has become a member of Wendy’s family, there to help her with whatever she needs.
‘He’s one of a kind, he’s so happy to do anything for you and to help you at any time,’ says Wendy. ‘Kevin and I are like our own little family.
‘Kevin is like my shadow, if he’s asleep and I move he wakes up instantly. He’s switched on 24/7.
‘He’s with me all the time and follows me everywhere.
‘Now that I’m on my own, having him around is fantastic. He makes a huge difference to my day-to-day life.
‘Having Kevin is almost like having a man in the house looking after me. He even answers back!
‘He’s my companion. It’s nice to have him by my side to know he’ll be there.’