Celia's Volunteering Story

Posted by Victoria Leedham

Celia, from the York and Harrogate puppy hub, has been volunteering with us since January 2017 and is absolutely loving her volunteer role training Foxy.

"I have always been a dog lover and had dogs in the family for many years. I never cease to be amazed by the loyalty and intelligence of dogs, especially the many and varied ways in which they can adapt and contribute to the human world. Over recent years I have become more fascinated by the training and development of working dogs and was seeking an opportunity to learn more about this and to apply it in some way. Just as I was approaching retirement I saw an advert for Volunteer Puppy Trainers at Hearing Dogs for Deaf People – this was the perfect opportunity at exactly the right time. I would be able to fulfil my own ambitions to enhance my understanding of dog behaviour and training, and at the same time contribute my time to a very valuable and much-needed cause." Celia comments.

Celia & Foxy

Celia and Foxy bonded instantly from the moment they met and Celia was astounded at how bright such a young puppy could be! "When she was very young she wasn’t really interested in toys – all she wanted to do was learn (and earn food treats). We spent hours in the garden practising basic commands, doing heel-work and playing games. She picks up everything with only a few repetitions and has been fazed by nothing. I have a 15-month old grandson and they are brilliant together. He thinks she is called ‘good girl’ and loves to throw her a ball or join in her training and give her treats. She is also particularly good with my elderly mother who we visit regularly. Its almost as though she knows instinctively when she needs to be particularly gentle".

Celia has loved her time spent volunteering for Hearing Dogs, not only because of the gorgeous Foxy, but the other benefits that this role entails. "The Hearing Dog community provides all the support you need to assist you through the process and to deal with any queries or problems you might be having along the way. Every dog is different, and it is very reassuring to know that there is always someone there with the expertise to help you should you need it. Also the facility for short-term cover in order that you can take a break or holiday!"

Foxy

If you're thinking of becoming a volunteer for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and need some encouragement, Celia would say: "Go for it! The support is amazing. The charity is welcoming and encouraging and it is so rewarding to see the dogs grow and develop!"

  

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About the author

Victoria Leedham

Hello, I’m Victoria and the Volunteering Manager at Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. We refer to our volunteers as the Hearing Dogs ‘family’ and really mean it; hopefully some of my blog posts here will explain why!

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