Dog lovers had the chance to meet some of the region’s cutest and cleverest pups at a special party.
There was puppy love all round as residents attended the event with assistance dog charity Canine Partners at Happy Dog Training in Bedford Road, Clapham.
The event was held as the charity begins a huge recruitment drive for more volunteer puppy parents, who take assistance dogs in training into their homes until they are 12 to 14-months-old.
The new volunteers will help the growing charity train even more dogs as it works to meet the rising demand.
The volunteers provide early socialisation, taking the puppy into different environments and introducing it to different people, objects and animals so that it is confident and happy in any situation it may encounter when it begins working with a disabled person.
They also help with basic obedience and skills training, with support from one of the charity’s experienced puppy trainers.
Among the charity’s current volunteers is Carol Lloyd, who has been a puppy parent for 10 years and is currently looking after her 13th puppy, nine-month-old Milo.
The 56-year-old school cleaner from Wootton said: “I would recommend being a puppy parent. It’s a really nice way of having a dog. It’s fantastic seeing the difference a dog makes to someone’s life.
“In Bedford we have a fantastic support group so you’re never on your own and we have a fantastic satellite trainer in Lorraine.”
Canine Partners’ Bedford puppy trainer Lorraine Lotan said: “Our puppy party was a great success.
“We had loads of fun and met lots of new people who were interested in becoming a puppy parent and supporting our charity as part of our fantastic Bedford team.
“Training the pups is very rewarding. We have weekly training sessions and I regularly see the pups individually to help and support the puppy parents.
“Knowing the dogs we have trained will go on to change someone’s life and bring them so much joy and happiness is a fantastic feeling.”
There’s still time to sign up and become a volunteer puppy parent for Canine Partners.
Puppy parents receive full ongoing support, both at their homes and at puppy training classes. Food, equipment, vet bills and temporary holiday care is provided.
For more information call 01730 716017 or visit caninepartners.org.uk/puppyparties