Festival for top dogs devoted to owners

Guide dogs will be showcasing their skills in Blackpool on Sunday
Guide dogs will be showcasing their skills in Blackpool on Sunday
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The work of dogs who are devoted to helping their owners live normal lives will be celebrated at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens on Sunday.

Guide dogs and assistance dogs will be showcasing their skills as the resort holds the first event of its kind enabling the public to see at first hand the training and discipline involved.

The Festival of Working and Assistance Dogs, which takes place in the Empress Ballroom, has been organised by the Guide Dogs charity, supported by Blackpool BID (business improvement district) and the council.

Highlights will include displays by guide dog Inca, hearing dog Ember and canine partner Fay, and 15 huskies from Saints Sled Rescue.

Brenda Wildish, of Guide Dog Fylde Coast Events Team, said: “The public will be able to meet and interact with dogs and representatives, and gain information and understanding about all the assistance dog charities.

“Exhibitors and demonstrators are coming from across the country for this unique event.

“The arena events include demonstrations of puppy and advanced guide dog training, a day in the life of an assistance dog, sled dogs, dancing dogs, the dog and duck show and more.”

There will also be a fundraising blindfold challenge whereby participants are sponsored to undertake everyday tasks wearing a blindfold.

Entry to the festival, open from 11am to 4pm is free. Assistance dog are welcome, but pet dogs cannot be admitted.