Photo Call

Hello, again dear readers.

I have said on many occasions just how grateful I am to Guide Dogs for the independence and freedom they have given me through Commando, and how I take any opportunity I can to give something back as it were.

One way in which Commando and I are able to do our part is through attending various photo opportunities. Often these come about as a result of organisations wishing to make donations to Guide dogs. These donations are often documented in one way or another, either through attendance of local press, or the organisation themselves wishing to take pictures of the event to share with the world.

An interesting factor in making myself available for such events is that there’s just no way to know when the call is going to come in, or where we’re going to end up. Over the past year, we’ve found ourselves at the local council office, a cinema and a Building society.

Now, perhaps you’re thinking ‘ok, Commando is a rather handsome devil, but wouldn’t a guide dog puppy or two make for a nicer picture?’ Well, dear readers, I’ll admit to thinking the same thing. But when the call came from the local Mobility Team, asking if Commando and I would be willing to attend a photo call I was more than happy to do so.

When we attended our first photo call last year there was, in fact, a guide dog puppy in attendance as well. I must complement Commando on his self-control at that point, as the young puppy was quite determined to try and get Commando’s attention. But after a quick doggy hello, he showed very little interest in the activities of this young wippa-snapper and turned his attention and charms towards the local reporter. It was at this point when I realised just how helpful having Commando, a fully qualified guide dog, and me a guide dog owner, at the event could be…

The reporter was interested in Commando, of course, but was also interested in hearing about the difference Commando has made to my life since we became a fully-fledged Guide Dogs partnership all the way back in 2012. Of course I’m sure it also helps that Commando is such a handsome devil.

As well as the curiosity of journalists as to the difference a guide dog has made to the life of their human, my attendance at such events also gives me the chance to give a genuine and heartfelt thank you to the people who are either making the donation directly or are presenting it on behalf of customers who have raised funds for Guide Dogs. Since the service receives no government funding it is donations from kind people that helps to ensure that the service continues to be able to provide life-changing guide dogs to those, such as myself, who need them, both now and in the future. So, giving these people the opportunity to speak to a guide dog owner and hear first-hand just what a difference their kindness can make is in my opinion extremely important, and the least that I can do.

Craig and Commando at Leeds Building society

Our most recent photo shoot was at a branch of the Leeds Building society. Who’s customers had managed to raise over £1,800 for Guide Dogs over the course of a year of fundraising. Commando and I had the pleasure of meeting some of the people who were involved in organising this fundraising endeavour, allowing me to thank them personally and Commando simply to do what he does and charm them with his general cuteness. Then came time for the photo, and the holding up of a giant check. Something that to the best of my recollection we haven’t had before.

Fortunately, Commando was willing to take his eyes and nose away from the new surroundings in which we found ourselves long enough to enable some photographs to be taken. Although I think the fact that I had given his bag of treats to our Community Fund Raiser prior to the taking of the pictures proved quite helpful in getting and retaining Commandos attention long enough to get some pictures taken.

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