Ray Kelly, who is running the Dublin City Marathon in aid of Irish Guide Dogs, with his daughter Maeve and dog Dixie pic: Arthur Kinahan
The help that having an assistance dog has given to his daughter, and having seen the work that goes into training an assistance dog, prompted one Knockbridge father to do his bit for Irish Guide Dogs.
“I decided to do the marathon in aid of the Irish Guide Dogs on behalf of our family,” Ray Kelly explained to the Democrat, “as we wanted to show our thanks to the charity as our daughter Maeve received her assistance dog Dixie last year.”
“After spending over a week in the training Centre in Cork with Dixie in Cork last year, I got to see first hand how much work is undertaken by the charity in terms of training the guide dogs/assistance dogs and their owners, all of which is provided at no cost to recipients.
“Knowing how much it has cost to train Dixie we wanted to try and raise some funds for the charity.
Highlighting the difference an assistance dog has made to Maeve's life, Raymond said that, “Dixie gives Maeve a sense of independence and freedom when we head out and she makes everyday outings easier for both Maeve & ourselves.
“Maeve instantly took to being attached to Dixie and she loves nothing more than heading off on walks with her.
“Dixie provides great comfort to Maeve and this helps Maeve deal with situations that she may find stressful. Not only that Dixie has become a wonderful friend for both Maeve & our son Darragh (also diagnosed with Autism),” Raymomd added.