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Bowerhill Barkers celebrate fundraising success!

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THE Bowerhill Barkers has given names to three guide dog puppies in training.

The local fundraising group, that was set up in 2018 to raise money for the Guide Dogs charity, raised over £18,000 across three years, which was enough to sponsor three guide dog puppies through their first year in training and give the group naming rights.

The group has described naming the puppies as an “amazing feeling”. However, the poignant moment marks the end of the group’s fundraising efforts.

“Sadly, Bowerhill Barkers needed to fold because my eyesight has become significantly worse and I simply can’t manage all the emails and paperwork involved,” explained Caroline who set up the group in 2018. “The great news is that we managed to name three life-changing pups after raising over £18,000.

“Hazel Matthews named a pup Renee, after her late mother. Renee was the first guide dog pup to be born in 2021 and was the only pup in her litter, which is very unusual.  Most litters have an average of seven pups.

“I named a pup Gloria, after my late mother. Gloria – a cross between a German shepherd and golden retriever – is being raised by a volunteer in Bristol.  My sister Carmen and I went to meet Gloria when she was five-months old. She was so lively and a real character, just like our mother was. It was a really emotional time and felt really special knowing this bouncy, crazy pup was going to be a life-changer one day.

“The third pup was named Milo by Ann Jones, after a beloved pet who had passed over the rainbow bridge. I had the privilege of meeting Milo at The Milk Churn when he was five-months old. He is a really big puppy and will be a huge dog when he finishes growing. He dwarfed Mike [Caroline’s own guide dog] when he met him. Even at eight-weeks old, you could tell he would be huge by the size of his paws!

“Naming a guide dog puppy after a loved one is an amazing feeling and such a worthy, life-changing decision to make. And it’s hard to believe these puppies will grow up to be sensible and clever guide dogs like Mike.

“Mike is now four-years old. He has made a huge difference to my life. I am so confident when he is guiding me and feel I can go anywhere and do anything with him looking after me.”

Caroline and her guide dog, Mike, intend to continue fundraising for the Guide Dogs charity, by supporting the groups in Chippenham and Trowbridge.

Pictured above: Sisters Carmen Middleditch (left) and Caroline (right) with her guide dog Mike, meet guide dog in training, Gloria, who they named after their mother.

Left: Caroline Fielding with guide dog in training Milo, who was named by Bowerhill Barkers member, Ann Jones, in memory of her pet that died.

Above: Guide dog in training Renee, named by the Bowerhill Barkers member, Hazel Matthews, in memory of her mother.

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