A GUIDE dog puppy named in honour of a Llandudno man has made his first public appearance.
John, a five-month-old yellow Labrador, is being sponsored as a tribute to father-of-two John Cockburn, who died in 2012.
Family members were able to meet the puppy, who has already learnt many of the skills he will need to become a fully-fledged guide dog.
Naming the puppy was the brainchild of Mr Cockburn’s elder daughter, Nicki, who was born blind.
She raised £6,500 for Guide Dogs with a sponsored 70-mile trek from Bath to Cardiff, which included a hair-raising walk across the Severn Bridge.
The trek was timed to coincide with Mr Cockburn’s birthday last September.
Nicki, a guide dog owner for 20 years, said: “John is an adorable puppy with incredibly soft fur, and for me and my mother Dee to be able to meet him is worth all the pain I felt during the walk.
“What better way could I honour Dad’s memory than by giving another person the freedom, independence and confidence my wonderful dogs have given me?
“Getting my first guide dog was like finding the key to a door which had always been locked.
“She allowed me to gain more independence and open the door to many new challenges and adventures.”
Puppy John will spend his first year with volunteers Geoff and Theresa Lee in Chepstow, who will teach him many of the skills he will need to become a qualified guide dog.
Theresa said: “He has started puppy class, but just wants to play with the other dogs.”
To find out more about naming a guide dog puppy, contact Community Fundraiser Jacquie Hughes-Jones on 07919 228635 or email Jacquie.hughesjones@ guidedogs.org.uk