“We’re three generations of guide dog puppy breeders – it’s the best job in the world.”

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Cheryl Morgan, 49, from Stafford, was inspired to become a guide dog pup raiser by her mum Barbara, 76, and her granddaughter Ellie, 18, also followed in her footsteps – they say it’s the ‘best job in the world’ .

girl and puppy
Ellie is the third generation in her family to enroll

A dog’s first year is like a baby’s – super precious and exciting.

It is an important time for guide dog puppies to properly socialize and train them so they can grow up assisting blind or partially sighted owners.

Barbara, Cheryl and Ellie are three generations of ladies who play an important role in this process.

They all volunteer as guide dog puppies and say it’s the “best job in the world.”

Cheryl Morgan, 49, from Stafford, spoke to The Mirror about what it’s like to raise a puppy and how her mother started the family tradition.







Barbara started the family tradition
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Picture:

Cheryl Morgan)







Cheryl and Ellie grew up with puppies
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Picture:

Cheryl Morgan)

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When Cheryl was in elementary school, her mother Barbara Connor, 76, saw a poster in Bolton advertising a puppy walker and decided to sign up.

“We had a busy and noisy household, so it was perfect,” Cheryl said.

To date, Barbara has had four guide dog puppies and Cheryl has also had four of her own.

“About five years ago, my daughter was nagging about a dog. We had cats and a rabbit, and I knew having a dog would be a big responsibility,” Cheryl said.

“Then it just clicked and I realized I could go puppy raising instead.”







They share a passion for the charity’s work
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Picture:

Cheryl Morgan)

Cheryl works as a freelance private English tutor to pay her bills and wanted to do something “of value” in her free time.

She tried out guide dog boarding for a few nights and, like her mother, fell in love with the role she was so fulfilling of becoming a puppy hound.

Her first dog was a retriever Labrador named Kemp, who later worked as a guide dog in Ireland.

“His owner is still sending me updates and pictures now,” Cheryl said.

Next was a black lab named Sparky who became a breeding dog for the charity and the third was a black lab named Cait who had a naughty streak and retired as a regular pet.

The family currently has seven-month-old golden retriever Aura, who could one day become a breeder.







Aura is the newest addition to her household
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Cheryl Morgan)







She goes everywhere with Cheryl and Ellie
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Cheryl Morgan)

“Ellie was absolutely infatuated with the first puppy we had. She’s done a lot to help around the house, like playing with and grooming the puppies,” Cheryl said.

It came as no surprise when Ellie turned 18 and decided to follow in her mother and grandmother’s footsteps.

“We’re raising Aura twice now and I’m really proud of Ellie for that. We both agree it’s the best job in the world,” Cheryl said.

The charity provides food and support and pays vet bills, although Cheryl says she can’t help but spend her own money to pamper the puppies.







Cait was 14 months when she arrived
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Picture:

Cheryl Morgan)







Kemp was the family’s first puppy
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Picture:

Cheryl Morgan)

“It’s all volunteering, but you get so much out of it. Knowing what they’re doing makes it totally worth it,” says Cheryl.

“It’s horrible to say goodbye. You’re so clingy – you shouldn’t be, but you are – and you’ll always miss her.

“Then when you see pictures of them working, it’s worth every single tear.”

Cheryl explains that there are so many amazing moments when raising a puppy.

“It’s all the little things — like raising a child — when they finally remember or put their jacket on well,” she said.







Cheryl says the hardest part is saying goodbye
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Picture:

Cheryl Morgan)







You have the puppy for the first 12-16 months
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Picture:

Cheryl Morgan)

With a guide dog puppy, it’s all about getting used to the world around them and learning to fit into your routine.

Cheryl takes her pups to doctor, dentist, and hospital appointments, and they accompany them to grocery stores and even to concerts.

She added: “We do a lot of playtime and positive reinforcement training. You know when the jacket is on it’s time to calm down.”

If you want to become a Guide Dog Puppy Nursery like Cheryl, Barbara and Ellie, you can visit us Guide Dogs Website to find out more.

Do you have a dog story for sale? Email nia.dalton@reachplc.com.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/we-three-generations-guide-dog-27161142 "We're three generations of guide dog puppy breeders - it's the best job in the world."

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