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Helping hound; CHARITY: Dog to go on therapeutic visits to mentally handicapped.

Byline: By Tony Deeley

A PUPPY is being groomed for charity work in memory of a young Black Country nurse who died in a road accident.

Checky Lou, a tiny King Charles Cavalier Blenheim spaniel, will be taken on "therapeutic" visits to homes for the mentally handicapped by the parents of Francesca Louise Guy.

Anita and Mick Guy set up the Francesca Guy's Helping Hands charity in November in memory of their daughter to raise money for mentally handicapped adults.

Francesca, aged 22, who worked as a special needs nurse, suffered fatal head injuries when she was in collision with a Ford Focus car near the traffic island at the junction of Himley Road and Milking Bank in Dudley last September.

The former Bishop Milner School pupil, who was employed by independent care company Lifeways, had been walking home from work.

Her 50-year-old mother, of Sunnybank Road, Upper Gornal, whose other daughter, 20-year-old Rebbeca, is mentally disabled, said Checky Lou was just eight weeks old when she bought her soon after Francesca's tragic death.

Anita, who also has a seven-and-a-half-stone Labrador named Harry, said: "Francesca had always wanted a King Charles Cavalier and was going to have one for Christmas.

"We are going to use Checky Lou as a petting dog. A lot of special needs people relate to animals and when she is about nine months old we shall be taking her with us to the homes as a therapy tonic.

"We used to take Harry at one time but because he is so big and boisterous now and likes to play, people get frightened off him - even though he would lick them to death!"

A total of pounds 1,580 was raised on the launch night of the charity at the end of last year and a special bank account is to be opened for it this month to enable donations to be presented.

CAPTION(S):

PET THERAPY... Anita and Checky.; TRAGEDY... Francesca Guy.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jan 8, 2008
Words:326
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