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Guide dog link forged by violinist; HARBORNE.

LOGAN the guide dog has lapped up a violin recital performed by a graduate from an internationally renowned guide dog centre for the blind in Israel.

Musician Haim Tsur travelled to Birmingham's Queen Alexandra College, in Harborne, to meet students with visual impairments to consider if the two centres could form a new link.

Haim, from Israel's Guide Dog Centre for the Blind, near Tel Aviv, entertained students with a small concert accompanied by pianist Lydia Gottlieb, from Jerusalem.

Noach Braun, an internationally recognised director of the Israeli centre, who was trained in Exeter, said: "We are here in England to see if we can form links and do things together because both centres have a lot of common aims."

Ray Piggott, QAC spokesman, said: "It's not often that we get the chance to form international links like this and meet guide dog trainers from other parts of the world, so we greatly welcome their visit."

The Harborne college, in Court Oak Road, has students from all over the country who have a variety of disabilities including visual impairment.

Guide dog Logan was the centre of attention during the visit. He is owned by former QAC student Carl Griggs, who lives in Harborne and attended the concert.

Carl, who was left totally blind after a rugby accident at the age of 19, is now a trained counsellor and also a model. He is currently the face of the Guide Dogs for the Blind 2006 as the association celebrates its 75th anniversary.

He said: "Having a guide dog makes all the difference. I sense that people stand back from a white cane but are attracted to a guide dog."

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BEST FRIEND... Carl Griggs with Logan.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Apr 6, 2006
Words:286
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