Guide dog makes life worth living for owner

A blind man who was struggling with depression has had his life turned round, thanks to his award-winning canine companion, Dez.

For some time, John Tovey had been feeling as though he had hit rock bottom. Many factors added to the 44-year-old’s depression, most of all his loss of sight. Tovey suffered from a serious case of diabetes and the severity of the complication led to him becoming blind.

Adjusting to life as a blind man was relatively troublesome for Tovey and, for quite some time, the changes made him feel suicidal. Speaking about how he felt during the difficult time, he said:

“I didn’t accept it for months and just shut myself away, drinking and moaning, too scared to go out. I was permanently drunk.”

After many months of waking up in a puddle of tears and contemplating ending his life, Tovey decided to gain a companion. Dez, a Labrador dog, now accompanies him in his Almondsbury home. Tovey explained:

“He has given me my life back.”

The RNIB first discussed the prospect of getting a guide dog but it took a while for the ex-Channel Tunnel worker to warm up to the idea. However, since Dez has been by his side, Tovey has never looked back.

After plenty of training and adjusting to the new duties sprung upon him, Dez now acts as an inspiration, a source of help and a companion for his owner. Not only this, but it appears Dez’s efforts have not gone unnoticed because he has recently gained credit at the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. The award was for ‘Guide Dog of the Year 2012’ and was awarded by well-known TV presenter Adrian Chiles.