For 17 years while husband Ricky was at work, Linda hadn’t been able to go out on her own in her wheelchair and had lost her independence. She’d have to call her husband to ask him to get things from the shops and when he did return he’d have to pick up things she’d dropped.

Giving independence

Linda can hardly believe how her life has changed since the arrival of beautiful Labrador Obi. “Nowadays I can go out with Obi by my side, confident that he’ll look after me. I can ask Ricky what he thinks we need and go to the shop myself. I’ve even been Christmas shopping on my own for the first time in 17 years which was wonderful,” she says.

Sam and Heather

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Having hypermobility and multiple rheumatological disorders, making her prone to falls and cause dislocation, strains and sprains of the joints. “Obi is amazing.  He picks up anything I drop, fetches the phone or the TV remote, opens doors, collects the post and helps empty the washing machine.”

Improving wellbeing

Just as important, assistance dog Obi is a wonderful companion to Linda and gives her a reason to go out. They go out for regular walks, meeting other people with dogs in the park and the woods, hugely contributing to Linda’s well-being.

Obi’s presence means a lot to Linda and Ricky, but also to her wider family too. Obi came along on a recent camping holiday and Linda was able to take her five year old grandson to the park alone for the first time. “That was really special and meant so much to me,” says Linda.