Our Practice helps Guide Dogs charity

  • North Street Dental Clinic helps Guide Dogs charity

  • Puppy walking socialisation at our clinic

  • We’re all fans of guide dog Dudley

There’s no need to be stressed, be calm, sit down and wait a little while – our dentist will be with you shortly, and our staff are really friendly.

They are words that could apply to any patient on a first visit to North Street Dental and Implant Clinic – especially if they are young and excitable.

One of our latest youngsters to come through the doors – the extremely lovable Dudley – needed all those reassurances as he showed a perfect set of brilliant white teeth as he introduced himself to our practice manager Becky. Dazzling white, his gnashers were in fabulous condition. No scale and polish needed here.

Oh, sorry, forgot to mention the delightful Dudley is a gorgeous retriever/Labrador cross and he dropped in as part of his training regime to become a guide dog for the blind.

Guide dogs need to be orientated in all kinds of environments, and we feel incredibly privileged to have helped Dudley understand a little bit more about going to the dentist. As a fully trained working dog, he’ll be doing that with his new owner when he’s a little older, we are sure.

A sponsored named dog, Dudley benefits from funds raised by former Dudley mayor Margaret Aston, who name Guide Dogs as one of her charities.

Practice helps Guide Dogs charity

Dudley the Guide Dog visits North Street Dental

Almost two million people in the UK are living with sight loss

Puppy walking is a crucial part of the charity Guide Dogs’ work. Engaged on a voluntary basis, those who take these dogs into their homes help produce some remarkable animals.

Puppy walkers are vital to the socialisation and education of guide dogs. At about six weeks of age, puppies start their early training, remaining with these volunteers for about a year.

One of these invaluable helpers is our patient Roy and with wife Susan, asked our permission to bring Dudley along to an appointment.

“Dudley was a real show-stopper when we turned up in his trainer jacket, but he did very well, sat down and waited under a chair while Roy went for a consultation,” said Sue.

Sue explained the dogs are specially bred at the Guide Dogs National Breeding Centre in Warwickshire to bring out the best attributes of both breeds for the work they are trained to do.

Puppy walking aims to produce a puppy that is socially well behaved, friendly and responsive to the handler. It is also essential that the puppy is at ease in all environments, including dental practices.

We have all seen the TV ads which remind us that every hour another person in the UK goes blind. Almost two million people in the UK are living with sight loss. By 2050, there could be nearly four million.

Becoming a Guide Dogs puppy walker

North Street Dental and Implant Clinic is committed to making our services available to those with disabilities, and that includes those with visual impairment issues.

For us, it’s all about keeping dental care accessible to everyone, and it’s heartening to know that Dudley will be doing his bit in the not too distant future.

For those interested in helping the Guide Dogs charity by becoming a puppy walker, there a few things to consider.

  • A puppy needs to be welcomed into the home, and its development and future role understood by all the family. It should be reared with a blend of affection, control and supervision similar to that given to a young child.
  • You must be at least 18 years of age to be responsible for the puppy. While any children at home can enjoy lending a hand, it is vital that any puppy training, e.g. lead work, is carried out by only a responsible person. Those who are 16 to 18 may walk the puppy with supervision.
  • Feeding, training and generally caring for a puppy’s daily needs is time-consuming and particularly when very young they cannot be left on their own for extended periods. Our general guideline is up to 3 hours maximum in the early days, building up from 20 minutes initially.
  • The puppy will need exposure to busy town conditions, traffic, shops and crowds regularly. It will also need to be familiarised with car travel and public transport. Would you be able to provide a puppy with this range of experience?
  • You need to have a suitable area in your home to accommodate the puppy with easy access to a hard surfaced or gravel toileting area.

Want to know more? Visit guidedogs.org.uk

Dudley the guide dog