An Angus girl’s prayers were answered when she discovered she was the proud owner of a Guide Dog which had been withdrawn from training.
Katie Robertson, 12, from Carnoustie fell in love with Sky, a 22-month-old white Labrador, when she saw pictures of her on the charity’s social media site before meeting her three weeks ago.
Yesterday, all her dreams came true when her family and Guide Dogs staff gave her the surprise of her life.
During what she thought was a visit to help feed the puppies at the Forfar training school, Katie was met by Nicola Anderson, re-homing officer and Liz Angus, Sky’s trainer, who handed the dog over to her to keep.
The Burnside Primary School pupil, who suffers from chronic pain in her knee and hand, has been a supporter of Guide Dogs since her class visited the centre a year and a half ago.
This year she baked cakes with her teacher and ran a raffle which raised £381 for Guide Dogs, and it was when she visited the centre three weeks ago to hand over the money she came face to face with her dream pup.
Katie’s mum Jane explained: “She has a big picture of Sky above her bed and has been praying every night for weeks to get her.
“We noticed the difference with Katie when she is with dogs, it is a distraction, and knew we had to get one.
“We put in an application to re-home a Guide Dog, Katie knew that as we had a house inspection, but she had no idea she was getting Sky.
“When we found out Sky had been withdrawn, it was fate. This will change her life.”
A delighted Katie added: “Every night I have been praying I could get Sky. I can’t believe it, she is the best dog ever. She’s a happy, playful, spirited dog.
“My prayers have been answered, all my dreams have come true.”
After handing Sky over to Katie, trainer Liz said: “This is the best ending, it’s the best Christmas present you could give anybody.”
Nicola added: “Our dogs are bred and trained to work as guide dogs and we’re delighted 75% of them are successful.
“Some dogs are withdrawn from training, which can be for a number of reasons, either health or behaviour related.
“While these dogs may not be suited to guiding, they make perfect pets and we’re so happy Sky will now enjoy life as part of the Robertson family.
“We are always looking for people to provide loving homes for our dogs who are withdrawn from training or have reached retirement age. To find out more, visit www.guidedogs.org.uk/rehoming.”