Gatwick Airport hosted four trainee puppies from Guide Dogs UK, marking their second collaborative training event this year. The puppies, named Louise, Lilly, Chip, and Panache, were brought to the airport as part of their essential training to become guide dogs.
Their itinerary included visits to key airport areas such as the special assistance lounge, security checks, baggage reclaim, and even a tour inside an easyJet aircraft. This visit was instrumental in acclimatizing the puppies to the dynamic and often hectic airport setting. Additionally, it provided a valuable opportunity for the airport staff to learn more effective ways of assisting guide dogs and their visually impaired passengers.
Anna-Ruth Cockerham, Accessibility Manager, London Gatwick said:
“Since 2017, we have been hosting visits for Guide Dogs UK, which allow the puppies to get a head start on handling what might otherwise be an overwhelming experience.
“These visits not only provide the dogs with experience of an airport environment, but also importantly allow our colleagues to learn how we can better support them and their owners.
“Going forward, London Gatwick and our partners are committed to continuing to improve the experiences of assistance dogs and the passengers they support, through airport-wide training and improved facilities.”
Elli Cavazza, Puppy Development Advisor, Guide Dogs UK said:
“The team at London Gatwick has been wonderfully welcoming to our puppies and puppy raisers, providing a great way to introduce them to a different environment at a young age. This allows them to have the experience of a busy airport while they’re still in their early learning stages, meaning that the busy surroundings and unusual noises won’t be a surprise once they go on to become a working dog.”