A Life Transformed

Lynn and guide dog NickiSince qualifying with her first guide dog at the age of 44, life has never been the same for Lynn Marsden from Liverpool.

Lynn lost her sight due to an acquired brain injury and as a result, also suffers from memory loss. For years Lynn thought that she was unable to apply for a guide dog until she began volunteering for the Guide Dogs Liverpool Team three years ago.

Lynn’s volunteering involved cleaning out the dog runs and grooming the dogs, which Lynn thoroughly enjoyed. Lynn then began to wonder whether perhaps she could have a guide dog of her own.

Lynn began the assessment process whilst continuing her volunteer work, all the time learning important skills that would stand her in good stead as a guide dog owner.

From being a teenager, Lynn had used a long cane to get out and about, whilst being accompanied by a support worker as Lynn sometimes struggles to remember which way to turn or which road she needs to cross.
Earlier this year, Lynn was matched with her first guide dog, Nicki.  Although Lynn lives in supported accommodation, Lynn looks after all of Nicki’s care needs; feeding, toileting, grooming etc. which has given Lynn a real sense of responsibility, which she has fully embraced.

Lynn now works Nicki instead of using her cane while her support staff stay back to ensure that Lynn choses the right turning on her many routes out and about. Lynn is able to lead-walk Nicki around the block independently whilst using her long cane, giving her an amazing sense of doing something for herself.

Lynn and her Trainer, Tina are hopeful that Lynn and Nicki’s partnership will continue to blossom and that given time, Lynn may be able to go to the local shops independently, something that Lynn has never done.

The bond between the pair has really transformed Lynn’s life, giving her independence, confidence and a faithful companion.

Watch an interview with Lynn.