A GENTLE giant from Blackboys proves that when it comes to man’s best friend, a faithful dog collars the honour.
Chloe, three, is Hazel Carter’s second Newfoundland. Her first, Connie hit the Sussex Express headlines back in 2006 by providing four helping paws for her owner who had been left virtually bed-bound by a back injury. Her climb to tail-wagging stardom included interviews by Chris Evans and appearances on British, continental and American TV news shows.
After Connie sadly died, animal behaviour expert Hazel, 73, acquired Chloe who has now mastered even more amazing skills than her predecessor.
Hazel suffers from polymyalgic rheumatism and needs physical help with lots of everyday tasks.
Now Chloe fetches the dustpan and brush, unloads the washing machine, takes out clothes and places them in the drier and – most astonishing of all – fetches her bucket full of dry feed, brings it to Hazel, allows her to put it in a bowl, then puts the bucket back where she found it.
Hazel added: “If I put a pan on the stove she knows we’re going to have potatoes, so she goes and fetches the potatoes. When I’m in the garden she’ll go and get pots, gloves and find the tools. She loves doing all of this and behaves just like a normal dog too, gambolling and playing in the fields.”
She hopes people will realise more or less any breed of dog can respond to training.
“It stops them getting bored. We have big cuddles too. I couldn’t be without her.”
To add to Chloe’s skills, Hazel is teaching her to switch the vacuum cleaner on and off.”
“She’s a dog in a million. It goes to show if dogs have problems it’s often down to owners. Dogs love to work and co-operate and they can prove a wonderful support to anyone with physical needs.”