A Leicestershire Police employee is today saying goodbye to her trusted guide dog, Rufus, who is retiring after nine years.
Together, Sarah Davison and Rufus, her black Labrador, have been through sad times, happy times and lots of adventures. He has been a fantastic companion and has helped Sarah to build the confidence to do more for herself. Things like popping to the shop for a chocolate bar or learning the layout of the roads have been much easier with Rufus leading the way.
Sarah, an Equality and Health & Safety Administrator for the force said: “Rufus has stopped me from falling off the edge of a platform at a station and led me to a safe place away from noisy trains and rushing people. He has weaved me through market stalls and crowds of people, jumped on buses and trains with me, helped me get to meetings, worked out routes around my new house and several new offices, walked up Snowdon and charmed his way into many peoples affections, both at work and at home. “
Life with Rufus has not always been straight forward. He has taken Sarah on many a detour, but always gets her to her destination in one piece. He has been known to follow his favourite people out of the work canteen, leaving his owner stranded, and he once walked into the Chief Constable’s office unannounced, with a very embarrassed owner following behind. He has also been known to join in during Metafit classes at the gym at Force Headquarters.
Sarah added: “I know that Rufus has really enjoyed his time at work, as he is the only one I know who greets Monday morning with plenty of bouncing and wagging of his tail. He has loved the gym and canteen most of all due to the amount of fuss received from people there and often tries to convince me this is where we should be heading.
“Rufus is going to enjoy his retirement with a friend of mine, so I will still be able to visit him. I really will miss my fantastic and faithful friend but know he deserves a happy retirement by the sea.
“I would like to thank all of my colleagues for making his life as a guide dog brilliant. They have allowed me to work with him as a working guide dog by respecting the guidelines, while giving him plenty of fuss and making him feel like the best dog in the world.”
Chief Constable Simon Cole, who awarded Rufus with an award written in braille in recognition for his outstanding service, said “It has been an absolute pleasure to have Rufus working with us. He has given nine years of faithful and dedicated service to Sarah and we will all miss him. I hope he enjoys every minute of his retirement – he has earned it.”
Sarah’s new guide dog will be a yellow Labrador called Willow who will start her working life on the 27 June.
Source:: Leicestershire Police News