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Children and Young People

Debbiepye220There is no minimum age for guide dog ownership. Guide Dogs Cymru offers guide dog services to children and young people. Here are the two youngest guide dog owners in Wales:

Life is sweet for 16-year-old Swansea girl Debbie Pye after she became one of the youngest guide dog owners in Wales.

Debbie, who has been profoundly deaf since birth, was 14 when she lost her sight suddenly, due to a condition called Ushers Syndrome.

At first, she used a long cane to aid mobility, but finds a guide dog is far better for her needs. “The cane did not pick up everything,” she said. “Tarka has given me more confidence, plus she’s a friend. I can talk to her and play with her.”

Hannah220A-level student Hannah Stevenson, 16, is a familiar sight on board the school bus with her black Labrador retriever cross, Oscar.

The dog takes his commands in Welsh, goes to lessons and assembly, and is the English teacher's "favourite pupil".

Hannah's mother, Jackie, said: "Oscar has made a huge difference. Hannah was Miss Independent and used to go out, but with Oscar it's more pleasant. He is no good if you are in a rush, because people want to stop and talk to you!"



The minimum age for ownership was removed, and this year we hope to create a further 20 guide dog partnership with children and young people under the age of 18.