By Margaux Hudson
Ptitlu, a 15 month old black Labrador with chocolate eyes, was destined to become a assistance dog, a traveling companion and technical assistance for people with disabilities. But life decided otherwise …
A call launched
AT Saint-Brandan in the Côtes-d’Armor, the association Handi’dogs is one of the four centers in France specializing in the training of dogs trained to become traveling companions of children or adults, in the context of assistance, awakening, social support, assistance for people epileptics and legal aid. The four-legged animals are educated to accompany them, guide them and keep them company. A real commitment to solidarity.
In spring 2019, the association launched a call to host families in the Morbihan, in order to eventually open a antenna. Georges blayo, originally from Baud (Morbihan), got wind of this call. A great opportunity for retirees ready to help their neighbor.
I had made inquiries in another association to welcome a guide dog for the blind, a little earlier in the year. Without success. So when I found out about Handi’chiens, I applied and had an interview. I was held back.
Georges opened the door to his house and his heart in Ptitlu, in October 2019. He is a fiery, affectionate young dog who even brings the newspaper back to his masters!
Reformed due to injury …
Twice a month, Georges Blayo and the Labrador meet Charlyne Eury, educator in Handi’chiens, in the city center of Baud with other welcoming people.
The young woman supervises the host families, advises them, teaches them how to educate these future short-haired mentors. « The ideal is to have a dog good in his paws. Let him be comfortable in all circumstances and be calm, ”she lists.
In total, the dogs stay with their families for 16 months, then return to the center in Saint-Brandan to complete their training.
In August 2020, Ptitlu was injured. He undergoes an operation for a ruptured knee ligaments. The verdict falls: he can never become a service dog. It is reform for health reasons.
… But adopted!
When they can no longer perform their mission, the animals are placed adoption.
The host family has priority. If it cannot keep it, the association then turns to the general public. The dog can be adopted by strangers and disappear into the wild without follow-up. It was not an option for me.
The Baldivian, despite being prepared for a possible split with Ptitlu as part of his training, just couldn’t let him go. “He would have been disturbed to change family. It wasn’t intended for him to stay, but I got attached to him. I kept it with me, ”he describes with a smile.
Peanuts and Pacha, the other dogs trained in Baud, will join their future owners in 2021. For Georges and Ptitlu, a new life begins.