One of the most frequent questions we are asked when we are out and about with Rochester is “How did he get his name”? Rochester is named after a greatly valued member of the Swindon Guide Dog Branch; David Rochester. David died last year and the branch wanted to do something particularly special to remember him and decided to raise £5000 towards Guide Dogs “Name a puppy scheme” .
One opportunity the donor has as part of the scheme is to name a puppy, so this particular puppy became Rochester. Guide dogs usually give all the puppies of a particular litter names begining with the same letter. So Rochester’s 11 siblings are part of the “Q” litter – Quando, Quinn, Quaid, Quala, Quinta, Quinga. In addition there are five other sponsored puppies; Dudley, Tout, James, Betty & Luci.
Guide Dogs have to name roughly one thousand puppies a year so some of the names can be a little idiosyncratic! One of the benefits to the puppy of being sponsored is that they often end up with a more familiar name! Rochester’s character also suits his distinguished name. So thanks to the hard work of the Swindon branch and the generosity of the local people Rochester has started the long road to hopefully qualifying as a Guide Dog next year. We are both very proud to be working with him.
As mentioned on the previous blog entry, yesterday a number of local Guide Dogs and puppies were at the Brunel Centre raising money. The day was a great success, raising £588 and generating a lot of interest in the work of the organisation. We were particular thrilled to have over 20 enquiries about becoming a puppy walker. Thank you to everyone who came along to meet us and to donate money.
Finally and most importantly, we also had the opportunity to meet David Rochester’s widow Dorcas. After working at the stand for an hour we went off for a coffee and a chat. It was lovely to meet Dorcas and to hear about David and their life together. Rochester enjoyed having a cuddle with Dorcas before settling down for a well earned sleep after another busy day.