A number of the assistance dogs we place each year are successor dogs.

Our dogs are usually semi-retired at around 9 years and retired at 11 or 12 years old, and because of the invaluable help they give many people request another dog.

Some keep their retired dog if they are able to, or can arrange for them to be re-homed with family or close friends.

Andy and successor dog Rufus

Andy was a London police officer, whose career ended with a tragic bicycle accident, leaving him with life-changing spinal injuries. But Andy’s life improved with his first assistance dog Henry, who turned out to be a fantastic match and became a faithful companion and willing helper with a variety of tasks around the house for 10 wonderful years.

But the time then came for Henry to retire. Andy says: “I couldn’t bear the thought of not having Henry around, but I knew it wouldn’t have been practical for me to look after two dogs. Henry would have carried on working willingly when he should have retired and that wouldn’t have been fair on him.  The charity were fantastic helping me make informed decisions throughout.”

Henry is now enjoying a wonderful retirement with a close friend of Andy’s and they still meet regularly.

In March 2013 Andy was partnered with his new assistance dog Rufus, a lovely black Labrador. “Rufus is an extremely fast learner and it already feels like he has been with me for years not just months! He’s really good at opening and closing doors, collecting the post and picking up things for me. I’m now looking forward to many years ahead with Rufus by my side giving me independence, confidence and wonderful companionship too.