Can Linlithgow labrador be top dog?

Monica McGill at home with her guide dog Waffle
Monica McGill at home with her guide dog Waffle

Monica McGill and her guide dog, Waffle, have been shortlisted for the Life Changing Award at this year’s national Guide Dogs Annual Awards.

Monica(46), lost her sight due to Retinitis Pigmentosa when she was in her mid-30s, leaving her “utterly bereft.”

But Guide Dogs paired her with retriever/labrador cross Waffle two and a half years ago and the transformation began.

Monica, of Linlithgow, a research co-ordinator at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, said: “I’m not scared any more. Being out with Waffle is the most natural thing in the world.

“I don’t think about my eyesight; I feel totally safe and I can go where I want when I want.

“I almost have to remind myself that I can’t see properly because she gets me around so smoothly, night or day. I’m a different person, I’m happy.”

Whether it’s getting to the shops independently or starting a dream job, every moment of the day Guide Dogs is helping people get to where they want to be in life.

The Guide Dogs Annual Awards 2014 celebrates the amazing work of the charity, their guide dogs and owners, as well as the many people who make its life-changing work possible.

Colin Gallagher, Guide Dogs’ Edinburgh mobility team manager, said: “I am thrilled that Monica and Waffle are finalists in the Guide Dogs Annual Awards.

“This significant achievement is very well deserved. We’re so proud of them and will keep our fingers crossed that they win.”

As a finalist, Monica has been invited to the glittering Guide Dogs Annual Award ceremony at the Hilton Park Lane Hotel, London, on Wednesday, December 10.

The ceremony will be a night to remember with special performances and fundraising activities that will help raise vital funds for the charity’s life changing work.