Yorkie, my dog and my eyes


I got my Guide Dog Yorkie on Monday 7th of June, 2010, the day after doing a blind drive challenge for Guide Dogs for the Blind.

He was a golden Labrador, he turned 2 in September the year I got him.
He had previously had another owner for a short time before he came to me.
The first couple of weeks whilst he settled in he chewed a lot of paper and other things he could get his paws on.

I remember him being very quick and pulling me down the street. They told me from the start that he had some problems with his digestion so he was on Eukanuba intestinal, which luckily guide dogs paid for.

I had to go through 3 weeks of training before he could guide me properly.
I had to learn how to feed him, food in his bowl with some water, then I had to eat a piece of food in front of him, then he got his food, as the pack leader (me!) always eats first.

Yorkie and Olli

I had to learn all the commands – sit, stand, up sit, leave, good boy, find the way, find the door, find the crossing etc. He has such a good memory and remembered all of the places and routes we went on.

I felt very confident with Yorkie guiding me as he used to miss obstacles like bollards, A-Boards and people and always sat when we got to a crossing.

He was my eyes for 8 years and I realise now why it costs so much for each dog, from start to finish it’s about £75,000 which is why so much fundraising is done because GDBA gets no government funding.

By Oliver Stevenson

Postscript: sadly Olli died suddenly 05/09/2020. We continue to treasure and be inspired by the positive and motivational contributions he made to this site.

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