Elderly woman calls for help walking canine companion

Winifred with Dulcie

Winifred with Dulcie

First published in News Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

AN ELDERLY disabled woman is asking kind hearted residents to help her walk her dog after the charity which provides volunteers drew a blank on finding new recruits.

Winifred Gare from Marlow, who suffers from MS, has been receiving help from the Cinnamon Trust for over three years to exercise her 10-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier Dulcie.

The 70-year-old, who lives alone, is no longer able to take her beloved pet for walks due to her progressive condition.

The charity, which provides help to elderly or terminally ill people so they can continue to live with their animal companions, is now urgently seeking residents to come forward and give a few hours a week.

And Winifred has echoed the call for new volunteers, praising Marlovians for the generosity they have shown in the past.

She said: "I’ve had help from the charity for a few years, but for one reason or another people move away or had to stop doing it so at the moment I don’t have any volunteers.

"Dulcie is super natured but despite being 10 she’s still quite strong. She loves going for a walk and gets so excited when she gets to go out. But safely I cannot hold her and I can’t walk very great distances anymore.

"I wouldn’t dream of giving her up, I love her company and in her own way she loves mine - we’re companions really.

"It would be tremendous if someone came forward. It makes me happy to see the dog happy. And Marlow is a wonderful town and everyone has always been very supportive.

"It’s a wonderful small charity, if necessary they would take her in and look after her for life, and it not just dogs they help."

The Cinnamon Trust is the only specialist national charity for the terminally ill and people in their later years and their companion animals.

As well as providing day-to-day help, the trust will also step in to give animals new homes as a last resort.

Charity spokesman Sally Collins said: "A large number of elderly or ill pet owners become very worried about their ability to care for their pets, and feel that their only option is to rehome them, this is where our national network of dedicated volunteers step in to offer support enabling them to stay together.

"We’ll walk the dog for a housebound owner, we’ll foster pets when owners need hospital care, we’ll fetch the cat food, even clean out the bird cage or litter trays.

"We are always seeking new volunteers even if you can only spare an hour a week we would love to hear from you."

To volunteer, call 01736 758707 during office hours or via email volunteer@cinnamon.org.uk

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