Andy was a London police officer, whose 14 year career ended with a tragic bicycle accident, leaving him with life-changing spinal injuries.
Andy explains how his life changed in a single day. “I had a relatively low speed fall from my mountain bike, with horrendous consequences. I broke my neck. In an instant I went from being fully able-bodied to being completely paralysed from the neck down. “
But Andy’s life improved beyond recognition when he was matched and trained with his Henry, his first assistance dog and they had a great 10 year partnership together.
When Henry retired, Andy was matched with Rufus who carried on where Henry left off. Supported by his dog, Andy can go out when he likes and for a drink at the pub, something most people take for granted.
“With Rufus to help, I don’t need an evening care visit because he’s able to help me get undressed, pulling off my support stockings and my trousers. He can also open and close doors, collect the post and pick up anything I drop.”
“I’m able to go to bed at the time I want, not when a care assistant comes, which could be far too early. It also saves me an awful lot of money in care bills. Plus the fact I can go over to the pub for a pint if I fancy it, rather than waiting at home for a care visit.”
“I love the social side of looking after Rufus. I’m used to people helping to care for me but it’s good for me to look after Rufus’s needs and welfare.”
“Rufus gives me confidence to live on my own. My parents, who live some distance away, say they’re happy and confident I can live alone with Rufus to look after me.”
“Already it feels like Rufus has been with me for years! He’s really good at opening and closing doors, collecting the post and picking up things for me. He certainly is a most capable successor to Henry. I’ve taught him to put rubbish in the bin and carry things to and from the car too”.
“I’m looking forward to many years ahead with Rufus by my side giving me independence, confidence and wonderful companionship too.”