Training guide dogs for the blind and the value of these special animals to their owners.
'Youngline' reporter Mary Dinan visits dog breeder Margaret Ducker who supplies puppies to foster homes. A puppy walking scheme run by Claire Brasil at the Irish Guide Dogs Association places the pups in a family home.
One of the most valuable jobs that any animal can do, becoming a guide dog to a blind person.
From early on, the puppies learn to adapt to other animals and children and the everyday noises they will encounter in their working lives. A puppy is brought to the home of Mrs Flack to take part in the training scheme. The pup will stay with the Flack family for a short period with the children knowing that the dog will leave them again.
The Irish Guide Dogs Association was based in a temporary location until 1980 when it bought a derelict site in Ballincollig on the outskirts of Cork city. In 1981, the newly renovated centre was opened. This is where the year old pups begin their training as guide dogs.
Mary Dinan chats to some of the new dog owners about their first encounters with their guide dogs. One of these new owners, Elaine O'Neill who has met her dog Goldie a couple of times now, envisages that her life with Goldie will be much more relaxed, especially from a travel point of view.
Another new owner Joe Bollard meets his dog Adam for the first time and they are left to get acquainted. Joe was initially sceptical about using a guide dog but has since come round to the idea. This is his second dog and says the best move of his life was getting a guide dog.
The dogs are also put through their paces in pavement and kerb training with one of the assistant trainers Owen Slattery in both the suburbs and busy city centre streets.
Tom Langan, Public Relations Officer with the Irish Guide Dogs Association, and his dog Bianco, show Mary Dinan an experienced guide dog at work on Patrick Street in Cork.
This episode of 'Youngline' was broadcast on 14 December 1982. The reporter is Mary Dinan.