A FREE Press reader who won a competition to name a specially-bred guide dog has met the puppy for the first time.
John Parkhouse suggested calling the four-legged friend ‘Parky’ after his father-in-law and former Dons star Kevin Parkhouse who was killed in a car accident.
The Guide Dog Association wanted the Lakeside Village shopping centre to name the pup after it raised £5,000 for the charity.
So centre bosses asked Free Press readers for their ideas. And John’s suggestion to pay tribute to Kevin, who dedicated much of his time to community work after retiring from playing, got the nod.
John, 39, who lives with Kevin’s daughter Amanda in Norton, said: “It was fantastic meeting the pup - but strange and emotional hearing people shouting Parky’s name again.
“But it’s comforting to know Kevin’s name is associated with something so worthwhile.
“The puppy lives up to his namesake - he’s a big fella with a lot of love to give.”
Pam White, the Guide Dog Association’s district fundraiser, thanked Lakeside Village shoppers for their support.
She added: “A guide dog gives a blind or partially sighted person the next best thing to their own sight – another pair of eyes to lead the way and steer them from danger.”