With Sheila by her side, life's now possible for Zoe

Zoe & Sheila

At a time when the world should’ve been opening up for 16-year-old Zoe, all she could see were the walls closing in on her. Now, having Sheila’s support not only makes everyday life possible for Zoe, it’s also bringing unexpected freedoms.

In her teens, Zoe was diagnosed with a degenerative condition that meant at given moment she could faint, have a panic attack or dislocate one of her limbs. Sometimes all three.

Gradually, I moved from crutches into a wheelchair and lost sight of ‘me’. Things became very dark…

When Zoe met her “wonderdog” Sheila, perfectly matched in personality and needs, doors began to open for her. Quite literally. With Sheila’s help, Zoe could attend lectures more easily. She could meet her friends. She get around without feeling constantly exhausted and powerless.

Sheila’s enabled me to be more myself. With her help, I’m looking forward to a more independent future.
Zoe

TRUE PARTNERSHIP: Sheila’s there for Zoe no matter what. All she asks for in return is to be loved, fed and given plenty of walks and time to nap.

One day, after blacking out at the top of my stairlift, Zoe woke up halfway down the stairs.

Sheila fetched my phone, helped me slide to the bottom then curled around my feet until help arrived. This terrifying experience was made less so because of her and I can't thank her, or the people who trained her, enough.
I used to wear oversized, functional clothes because anything else was impossible for me to put on in a wheelchair. But now, because Sheila can help me get dressed, I can wear dresses that fit and suit me.

Being able to connect with the outside world has brought Zoe even more freedom and confidence — and the chance to make more friends. Thanks to Sheila, Zoe’s also been able to complete her degree in archeology and is now pursuing a career in teaching the subject she's passionate about.

Without Sheila, I couldn’t be outside on my own. It’s so lovely to enjoy the world again, and to be out without needing a ‘responsible adult’. Sheila’s enabled me to be more myself. With her help, I’m looking forward to a more independent future.
Dogs like Sheila open doors, they connect people, they keep families together, they help make life possible in so many ways. A gift this winter will enable more people to benefit from our dogs.

Support our winter appeal to enable more people to make life possible