ITV This Morning
This Morning's original guide dog puppy Clover starts her new life with guide dog owner Sharon
Clover the original superstar in training has started her new life as a guide dog and partner to her blind owner, Sharon Stockman.
At just 10-weeks old, guide dog puppy Clover melted the nation’s hearts when she became This Morning’s resident ‘puppy with a purpose’ in September 2015.
Clover’s first year on the show was part of her early puppy training. As well as commuting, crowds, cuddles and cameras, Clover had a taste of the celebrity lifestyle. She stole the show on the National Television Awards red carpet, walked Corrie’s cobbles and rubbed shoulders with This Morning’s celebrity guests.
In July 2016 Clover had to say goodbye to her volunteer family and the glitz and glamour of live TV as she started training for her very important future at Guide Dogs training school.
Fast forward nine months and Clover’s training is now complete! She’s learnt all the skills she needs to guide someone with sight loss so they can live as independently as they want to.
Clover and Sharon: A perfect match
Clover is matched with mum of five, Sharon, who lost her sight suddenly aged 17 to a condition called Stills Disease.
Sharon has always been very driven and refused to let her disability define her at such a young age. She says: “I had to re-learn how to live and do things differently, but I was a young woman and I wanted a life.”
Sharon, who has had two guide dog before, raised her five sons in her early twenties and built a successful career helping London councils improve services for children.
For her busy London life, Sharon needed a guide dog who loves to work and isn’t distracted by busy streets or train stations. Clover is her perfect match.
Clover’s early experiences as a puppy at the ITV studios made her the confident and motivated dog she is today. She’s unfazed by the world around her, even Canary Wharf at rush hour.
Sharon says: “Clover settled into our family really quickly and she’s such a joy to be around. She’s so sharp and focused when we’re out and we already feel like a team. She’s going to make such a huge difference to my life.”
Clover’s journey from puppy to guide dog is all funded by the charity Guide Dogs. The cost of training and looking after a guide dog partnership is £55,000 from birth to retirement. This is all possible because of generous donations from Guide Dogs supporters.