Nollaig gets a very special name!

Oliver IMG_0766Young Oliver Lynch from Ballincollig, and his siblings Caoimhe and Reuben, met some very special pups recently when they spent some time with the latest litter born into the Dogs for the Disabled family. As Eoin English in The Examiner wrote, “Lockdown fundraising hero Oliver Lynch hopes the puppy he has just named for an assistance dog charity will give the gift of independence to another child next year. Inspirational Oliver, aged eight, from Ballincollig, has cerebral palsy and epilepsy and walked 100-metres a day with his walking frame from March to July, raising an incredible €37,000 for three charities that help him — Enable Ireland, Dogs for the Disabled, and the CUH Charity. He’s among dozens of people on Dogs for the Disabled’s waiting list. Charity CEO Jennifer Dowler said the charity was so impressed with his efforts that they invited him to name one of their newest arrivals. Oliver, his twin brother Reuben, their sister, Caoimhe, and parents, Alison and Kevin, made a visit pre Christmas when restrictions allowed to meet Dogs for Disabled dog, Jasmine, who is part of the charity’s ethical breeding programme, and her new litter of gorgeous golden retriever puppies, and Oliver named one Nollaig. “We had a few names on our list but the one we all agreed on was Nollaig,” Kevin said. “We thought it was fitting given the time of year and how this puppy, when she grows up and undergoes training, will hopefully give the gift of independence to another child.” Irish Dogs for the Disabled, founded in 2007, breeds and trains specially selected dogs to carry out a range of practical tasks to help disabled children and adults to achieve greater independence. It breeds about 40 pups a year, and trains about 25 partnerships annually. It costs about €15,000 to produce each fully trained assistance dog but the charity places dogs with its clients for free. Ms Dowler said Oliver represents all the children on their waiting list. “We know lots of Olivers up and down the country,” she said. “His strength of character, his determination during his fundraising challenge, showed the side of the children we work with that society doesn’t always see. “It was so inspirational to see him raise money to help other children like him and we are so proud of him.” Nollaig and the other puppies will be placed with volunteer foster families when they are 12-weeks-old. When they’re 18-months-old, they will undergo six months of formal training. The charity will then assess each dog’s progress, skills and personality, to match them with people on their waiting list. Oliver, who has been waiting for an assistance dog for several years, hopes to be partnered with his very own assistance dog late next year.” To find our more about Dogs for the Disabled you can visit them online at www.dogsfordisabled.ie

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