Michael and Poppy (Golden Retriever)
Partnered since 2019
“Poppy has reduced my social isolation and increased my self confidence”
I found out about Hounds for Heroes from an article in Motability Magazine which featured Allen Parton. I’ve always been interested in working dogs and wondered if an assistance dog might be able to help me; I have MS and suffer from fatigue, difficulty walking, poor balance and coordination. After conversations with both my occupational Therapist and Physio I decided to pick up the phone and called Hounds to see if having worked for the London Ambulance Service and served with the Territorial Army Reserves, I was eligible. I was!
Poppy helps alleviate my MS by reducing the levels of fatigue I can experience by carrying out daily living tasks for me.
Poppy has given me greater independence, dignity and improved my wellbeing. My self-confidence has improved and I don’t feel so isolated.
Poppy provides companionship and emotional closeness and helps reduce the negative impact of my condition.
Our family life has benefited too; Poppy gives us structure and routine through her regular walks and we meet people whilst out. She is full of fun and loves life. We regularly go out exploring to wheelchair accessible places of interest and visit relatives and friends in different parts of the country.
I now rely less on my wife for help and this has reduced the guilt I used to feel.