A four-legged friend at last

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A BLIND pensioner who has been waiting more than two years for a guide dog has finally got her wish.

Alma Swarbrick told The Gazette three months ago how she was a prisoner in her own home after suffering a fall which was followed by the death of her golden retriever Zanti in 2008.

Guide dog bosses said her requirements had to be reassessed as the accident affected her balance and she was told she would need a different type of dog.

But two years later and Mrs Swarbrick, who has been blind since she was five, was still without this vital lifeline.

However, this week the 75-year-old was united with Ross, a black flat coated retriever, and she couldn’t be more delighted.


Mrs Swarbrick, of Oxenholme Avenue, Cleveleys said: “I cannot tell you how happy I am, I feel like I have my eyes back, I’m on top of the world.

“Having a dog gives me the confidence to go out and do things on my own, it’s like having a pair of eyes. I have had five dogs over 40 years and they’re beautiful companions who I just cannot live without.

“When I had my fall my balance was affected and I have had a lot of help from the Guide Dog for the Blind Association but I just wanted a dog.

Mrs Swarbrick, who lost her sight after an accident during bombing in wartime Liverpool, said she was ‘beside herself’ stuck at home.

She said: “I just had to sit and wait for volunteers or members of my family to come and take me out.

“Now I can go out on my own, I have my independence back which is so important to me, just in time for the summer too.

“And Ross is beautiful, he is friendly, a great companion, I am so happy and just want to thank The Gazette for all of their help.”