Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland Elvis fan club sponsors blind charity pup Presley

 

By Kate Buck

Elvis Presley may have sung 'you ain't nothin' but a hound dog', but his four-legged namesake really has people all shook up - and everyone who has met this trainee guide dog can't help falling in love with him.

Presley, a one-year-old Labrador pup, has been named and sponsored by the Official Elvis Presley Fan Club of Northern Ireland (OEPFCNI).

The little Lab is now heading off to Scotland to start his specialised training as a guide dog - just weeks after the 40th anniversary of The King's death.

The fan club is sponsoring Presley to help with the massive £56,000 it costs to put a pooch through guide dog training.

The four-legged trainee is making the journey to Forfar to begin his induction into the world of an assistance dog which, over the next four months, will see him learn basic guiding skills such as stopping at kerbs and avoiding obstacles.

He will then be moved onto the advanced level of training before being paired with a person with sight loss.

With his charming nature and loveable character, his companionship is sure to be cherished by his new owner.

Janet Baxter, vice-president at the NI fan club, added: "As an official fan club, part of our remit is to raise money for charity to continue Elvis' legacy as he was famously such a generous person.

"We were thrilled to meet Presley at one of our club nights and I think it's safe to say there wasn't one person who didn't fall in love with him. Everyone involved in the entire process of raising, training, placing and fundraising for Guide Dogs NI does a fantastic job and we are delighted to have played a small part in it."

Little Presley has spent the past few months being looked after by 'puppy walkers' and has definitely been top of the pups for everyone involved.

Kath Munro, puppy training supervisor at Guide Dogs NI, said: "Presley progressed well through his puppy walking stage of training.

"He's a handsome, cheeky lad who shows real potential for the job.

"We wish him well as he moves on to his early training and a huge well done to his puppy walkers for all their hard work and dedication over the past year."

Elvis himself would no doubt have fallen in love with the young hound, as he gifted two Great Danes called Snoopy and Brutus to his then-wife, Priscilla Presley, in the early Sixties.

Snoopy even appeared beside Elvis on the silver screen, in the 1968 movie, Live a Little, Love a Little.

Guide Dogs is a charity and relies almost solely on public donations.

For information on how you can name and support a four-legged life-changer, visit www.guidedogs.org.uk/nameapuppy

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