Stacey and Toffee
At 21 years old, Stacey had her whole future ahead of her. Fiercely independent, she planned to buy a car and move out of her parent’s house to start her adult life. But, 3 months before qualifying as a nurse, she became unwell. With failing kidneys and doctors unable to diagnose what was happening, her sight also failed and quite suddenly Stacey completely lost her central vision. Stacey endured a battle with her illness for 3 months in hospital before she was finally discharged. “I felt all my happiness and bubbliness go away,” Stacey says. “I couldn’t go out by myself.”
Stacey had always begged her mum for a puppy, and as soon as she lost her sight she was determined to get her independence back, so she applied for a guide dog straight away. She met Toffee shortly after her release from hospital. “As soon as he came trotting up my road, I knew he was my dog,” Stacey laughed. “It just felt normal.” On the day her friends graduated as nurses – the day Stacey would have graduated too – she qualified as a guide dog owner and started her new life with Toffee.
Stacey now lives a completely normal life; she works full time, spends her weekends with friends and family, and is busy planning for the future. Despite sometimes navigating unpredictable environments, Stacey knows Toffee will always protect her, even when it gets dark and she feels anxious. “Toffee looks at me to tell me that I can do it. He’s my ray of sunshine,” Stacey told us. Toffee will soon be overcoming his biggest job yet – walking with Stacey down the aisle. After her partner Kierran proposed on a beach in Portugal, Stacey has given Toffee the important role of ring bearer at her upcoming wedding!
Stacey and Toffee’s amazing partnership made them a fantastic choice to star in the Christmas 2019 Sponsor a Puppy TV advert. When she was asked to be involved, Stacey couldn’t contain her excitement. “I couldn’t wait to show the incredible relationship me and Toffee have on TV!” she laughed. “Sponsor a Puppy is such a brilliant way to support Guide Dogs, and hopefully help more people out there with stories like mine”.
Sponsor a puppy and watch them grow into a guide dog like Toffee.