Monday 26 May 2014


A very special friend is blogging today... meet Orla, the library dog!

Orla says:
My name is Guide Dog Orla and I'm three years old; my owner, Lisa, is visually impaired and I guide her around, helping her to avoid obstacles. I was trained as a puppy in Manchester and then moved to Shrewsbury for more training before being matched with Lisa. We qualified together in August 2013!

Lisa has an eye condition that means she can't see with her right eye and has reduced vision and high myopia in the left. She was using a white cane before I came along, but Lisa says I give her confidence and am good company too! We go everywhere together; my favourite place is our holiday home in Ceredigon where I get lots of free runs. I also like to go to cafes and restaurants and to the park. I don't like puddles or mud but I'm getting braver in the sea and now go in up to my shoulders.

Lisa is a school librarian so I help her with that, and several student volunteers help out too. Lisa is organised and knows where to locate the books even though she can't see the words or pictures... but if she puts something down in a different place it can take ages to find! Lisa likes to read teen books on her i-pad or on audio so she can talk to the students about them - she says reading for pleasure is really important. When I'm working at school the staff and students are asked not to distract me, but I sometimes make it difficult for them with my big brown eyes and wagging tail! I go to reading group meetings at lunchtimes... it's fun, and sometimes there are crumbs on the floor! I am VERY good at helping with that little problem! ;o) Right now the group are shadowing the Carnegie Medal shortlist so there are often guests and visitors.

Lisa is involved with Wolverhampton Children's Book Group and in February I got to meet Cathy Cassidy when she came to Colton Hills Community School. She told us all about daydreaming - that was cool as I spend lots of time dreaming too! (zzzzzzzzz...) After we met, she even sent me a thank you card for looking after her so well! In my spare time I fundraise for Guide Dogs so that other visually impaired people can get the chance to have their lives changed by a dog like me. I also get lots of tickles when people put money in the bucket! Better get back to work now... I'm on crumb-checking duty...

Cathy says: 
I'd never met a library dog before, but Orla was so lovely I know I'll never forget her - or Lisa! If you'd like to raise money for Guide Dogs, you can find out more about the awesome work they do here! COMMENT BELOW if you enjoyed reading Orla's post!


  1. Orla is soo cute! If he could guard a house scarily enough my mum moight even consider having a dog like him. It's always really cute to see animals helping humans too!

  2. Orla is lovely! It's great that Lisa has more confidence and companionship with Orla around - I can't imagine how I'd cope without my sight (mainly because, as a deafie, I rely on my sight) so Lisa's very brave. Orla seems so happy being a library dog and it gives me hope because when our love of books spreads to other mammals, it's an affirmation that good ol' paper books will never go out of fashion. Orla also has fabulous spelling for a doggie - there's only two mistakes in the post ("lieks" instead of 'likes' and "o" instead of 'to').
    Blue. :-)

  3. I admire dogs helping people like Orla does so much! It must be so hard being nice and obedient all the time (everybody annoys sometimes), but these dogs can make it... They have my big respect, because they can make human´s life much better!

  4. Ohh,I love dogs,especially those that are of good use.
    Dogs need care and affection and I would like to give them that.



Reader Emily, aged ten, explains how a Cathy Cassidy book inspired her to raise money for a refugee charity... Emily says: The Cathy Cassidy...