“Alfie has completely given me my independence back. I can go anywhere on my own and know that he will look after me. There have been occasions when, without his support I would have been in real trouble – I know what ever happens he will be with me”.
The words above are from Judith Margolis, a lady who met Alfie, a rescue dog, at Wood Green Animal Shelter.
“In 2002 my life was turned upside down when I was diagnosed with a progressive neurological condition Cerebella Ataxia. This condition slowly affected my coordination, speech, eyesight, swallowing and my muscle tone. By 2006 I was using an electric wheelchair and was forced to take retirement from my job.
When I stopped working I found it was very difficult to have the motivation to go out, even getting dressed was too much trouble some days, so much so that I could spend a week without going outside the house.”
Alfie the Rescue Dog
“Eventually I decided that to try and motivate myself, I would rescue a dog from Wood Green Animal Shelter. We eventually found this little Lhasa Apso puppy that had been abandoned outside the gates. We had experience of the breed, and knew how strong willed they were, but I thought it would give me the motivation I needed to start living again.
Immediately Alfie made a difference to my life!
Alfie was traumatised by his bad start in life, so it was a real challenge to train him and make him trust me. He hated being left alone and would howl when you tried to touch his collar. I very soon found that training a dog when you are sitting down is not easy. Eventually I found Support Dogs and they helped us both.
When I had to give up my beloved job I lost my confidence too but Alfie has given me this back. Alfie is so much more than the tasks he does; he gives me confidence to go anywhere I want and emotional support.
I’ve even started volunteering three days a week at a charity for people with disabilities. I run a course at Macmillan Cancer Care and there are many times people will become upset. Without being told, Alfie runs straight over to give them a cuddle and make them feel better.
Alfie helping me means I can help others.”