Jackie Topp’s multiple sclerosis means there might be an occasion when she urgently needs her phone and can’t get to it.
That’s when Babs’ ability to fetch specific objects could be vital.
And it’s useful in many other ways.
She has given me back that independence that I’d lost.
When I’m not able to reach down and pick up something from the floor,
instead of pushing myself and feeling uncomfortable in pain or finding somebody to pick up something for me,
I can ask Babs to do it and she’ll do that for me.
Eight-year-old Babs was trained by the charity Canine Partners.
Her skills even extend to fetch a milk from the fridge and close the door.
And if Jackie’s cold, bringing her a blanket it’s no problem.
Babs has been here for three and a half years now.
She can recognize around 30 command and also retrieve whatever Jackie points to.
But it’s not all work and no play.
Jackie firmly believes her general health is helped by having Babs to care for as well as to help look after her.
She is a constant companion to me.
My husband died last year.
And since then she has literally been my constant companion.
She’s been with me 24/7.
And our bond has got a lot stronger.
Like most Labradors, when she’s not fetching things for Jackie, Babs likes nothing better than to curl up on the sofa for a well-earned rest.