Sunday 26 March 2017

Talented guide dog receives award

Gino was named Guide Dog of the Year at a ceremony in London
Gino was named Guide Dog of the Year at a ceremony in London
Judo Paralympian Maxine Ingram has owned guide dog Gino since 2008

A guide dog with a special ability to sense when people are about to fall ill has been given an award for his talents.

Gino, a three-year-old Labrador-retriever cross, alerted a bus driver by barking moments before a passenger suffered a fit and spotted that a diabetic's blood sugar levels were low even though she was unaware, according to the dog's owner.

Judo Paralympian Maxine Ingram accompanied Gino to a ceremony in central London to collect the award after he was named Guide Dog of the Year.

Ms Ingram, 29, from Kidwelly in south west Wales, was born blind and has had Gino since 2008.

Describing the bus incident, she said: "Gino started barking as I went to put his harness on, and wouldn't stop until the driver braked to see what the matter was.

"Then the man started having a fit. Even though the man bashed his head and there was quite a lot of blood and glass, Gino calmed down while I gave first aid.

"He then just continued home as if nothing had happened."

On another occasion, Gino helped Ms Ingram's diabetic sister, Sian Guest, by staring and knocking her bag until she checked her blood sugar levels and found they were very low.

Richard Leaman, chief executive of the Guide Dogs Association, who presented the award on Wednesday, said: "Gino stood out because of his initiative to act above and beyond his training."

Mr Leaman, Woman's Weekly editor Diane Kenwood, associate editor Sue Pilkington and a panel of Woman's Weekly readers chose Gino as the winner.

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