Enchanted Forest pup, Cosmos, graduates from puppy training ahead of International Guide Dog Day

The guide dog puppy, Cosmos, named by The Enchanted Forest Community Trust, has now successfully completed their puppy socialisation training with Guide Dogs just in time to join in the world-wide celebrations for International Guide Dog Day on Wednesday 27th April.

Cosmos, a female golden retriever, was born on 21 January 2020, alongside her four other canine siblings named Flossie, Wendy, Harley and Hazel. Placed with a puppy raiser in Perthshire during the pandemic, she learned the socialisation skills she’d need to train as a future guide dog, before leaving her puppy raiser to begin early training at Forfar.

Guide Dogs received a donation of £5,000 from funds raised by The Enchanted Forest’s 2019 show, Cosmos, and the pup was formally named after that year’s event. She is the first puppy in the history of Guide Dogs to be called Cosmos.

Every hour of every day, someone in the UK goes blind. When someone loses their sight, Guide Dogs is there to make sure they don’t lose their freedom as well and their guide dog training programme is one of the best in the world. The organisation was founded in 1931 by two amazing British pioneers, Muriel Crooke and Rosamund Bond. Guide Dogs grew from the humble beginnings of training the first four British guide dogs, to become the world’s largest breeder and trainer of working dogs, transforming 36,000 lives along the way.

International Guide Dog Day started in 1992 and is now held annually on the final Wednesday in April. It aims to raise awareness of the need for guide dogs, to honour the work of these faithful companions in changing people’s lives, and to encourage the public to support Guide Dog training charities.

Lesley Williamson, Chair of The Enchanted Forest Community Trust, said:

“We’re absolutely thrilled that Cosmos has moved into early training. Last year I had the pleasure of a very well-behaved walk with her at Faskally Wood, home of The Enchanted Forest, before she went off to the “big school”. She has a lovely character, and we hope her training continues to go well so that she can make a difference to someone living with sight loss. It’s been extraordinary to support a puppy through puppy raising, and we’ve very much enjoyed the updates we’ve had from the charity throughout the process. It’s truly humbling to know that Cosmos will make such a difference.”

Kyla McVicar, Business Development Manager at Guide Dogs Scotland, commented:

“We are extremely grateful to the Enchanted Forest Community Trust for their generous support. Every puppy named through Name a Puppy helps us reach the needs of more people living with sight loss in our community. We can’t thank the Enchanted Forest Community Trust enough for their kind support and are delighted that they have enjoyed following puppy Cosmos’ journey with us.”

The Enchanted Forest Community Trust has operated since 2010 as a charity, creating economic wealth and redistributing event surpluses to local community groups and charities to directly benefit the community. Over the last three years the Trust has donated around £129,000 to local community groups and projects, including Guide Dogs.