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Heartwarming tale from prolific Doncaster author

Dez wins the 2012 Guide Dog of the Year award.

Dez wins the 2012 Guide Dog of the Year award.

A Doncaster author is celebrating the release of her fourth book in two years about a loyal guide dog who transformed his owner’s life.

Veronica Clark is the ghost writer of A Dog Called Dez, which tells the true story of John Tovey who went blind overnight, three years ago.

John had endured a difficult childhood, spending time in approved schools, a young offender’s institute and even jail.

But when he lost his sight aged 42, John needed help and, thanks to Guide Dogs, was matched with a gorgeous bouncy black Labrador called Dez.

Dez, who won Guide Dog of the Year award in 2012, not only helped transform John’s life.

A Dog Called Dez follows the success of Veronica’s previous book Stolen Girl which became a bestseller and is also the author of Justice for Colette which has been published in 11 different countries and is being made into both a film and London stage play.

Veronica says her latest book is her favourite book yet.

She said: “I love this book because Dez and John are both such great characters. Dez is the ultimate professional, until his harness comes off and then he’s back to being a regular naughty dog with a love of sweets.”

“Meanwhile, John is the first to admit he’s led a chequered life but in many ways Dez has turned out to be his redemption and together they’ve raised thousands of pounds for Guide Dogs.”

Profits from the book, available in bookshops, will go to Guide Dogs.

As part of her research Veronica travelled to the Guide Dog training centre in Leamington Spa to walk along an obstacle course with a guide dog while wearing a blindfold so she could understand how John felt.

She said: “It’s not something you can guess or even imagine. I thought it’d be fun but it was absolutely terrifying. You don’t appreciate what blind and partially sighted people have to live with until you take that walk. I felt truly humbled by the incredible work the charity and these amazing dogs do because they change lives.”As part of her research Veronica travelled to the Guide Dog training centre in Leamington Spa to walk along an obstacle course with a guide dog while wearing a blindfold so she could understand how John felt.

She said: “It’s not something you can guess or even imagine. I thought it’d be fun but it was absolutely terrifying. You don’t appreciate what blind and partially sighted people have to live with until you take that walk. I felt truly humbled by the incredible work the charity and these amazing dogs do because they change lives.”

 

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