Meet Sailor – the extraordinary green-pawed pooch who loves nothing better than helping his disabled owner do some gardening.
The two-year-old black Labrador has been expertly trained to help Carolie Hall, 41, with a range of everyday task that she finds difficult.
The clever mutt fetches her post, helps with the laundry and even assists with spot of gardening when necessary.
Caroline describes Sailor as her ‘little helper’, as he assists her with errands which she is unable to do following a stroke.
Incredible footage shows the black Labrador filling and emptying the washing machine, picking up his owner’s walking stick and helping in the garden by fetching tools.
He was trained from birth by charity Dogs for Good before being placed with Caroline five months ago, who describes him as “the missing piece of my life jigsaw”.
Caroline said Sailor’s “absolute favourite” thing to do is the laundry, adding that he will wait by the washing machine begging for her to get some clothes out for him.
She added: “He will load it and unload the machine before taking the wet stuff to the tumble drier and then loading that.
“If the washing machine door is open he will just find random things to start putting in there, that’s how much he loves it.”
Sailor helps Caroline from the very first minute of the day by fetching her slippers and carrying them to her feet for her to put on when she gets out of bed.
After the pair have made their way into the kitchen the clever canine picks up two cat dishes and takes them to his owner so that she can feed her other pets.
After helping load and empty the washing machine, Sailor uses his mouth to drag the laundry basket into the garden before passing Caroline items of clothing to hang out to dry.
Caroline, who’s from Bolton, Greater Mancs., enjoys spending time in her garden and also uses her pooch’s talents there, by having him drag heavy buckets and fetching her tools to use.
She said: “Some people might look at Sailor and think he is being used as a servant but he absolutely loves helping out, he’s a proper working dog. It’s what he was trained to do.”
Caroline’s life took a dramatic turn eight years ago when she suffered a spinal stroke while working as an RSPCA inspector.
She was rushed to hospital, where doctors discovered she was paralysed from the neck down, leading to a six week spell in intensive care.
Caroline spent the next eight months in hospital, gradually regaining movement in her right side and partial movement in her left side before being discharged.
She is able to get around on sticks and using a mobility scooter but says there remains a high risk that she will fall over due to the ongoing issues.
It wasn’t until a few years ago that Caroline started looking into getting an assistance dog and applied for one through Dogs for Good.
She was accepted on to the waiting list and, after some time, got a call to visit the centre, which is where she met Sailor.
Caroline and Sailor now live at home with her partner Simon, his dog Eric, their two cats and brood of chickens.
She said: “Sailor has brought back to me bits of my life that I never thought I’d get back… we have an incredible bond.
“There’s not a day goes by when he doesn’t make Simon and I laugh. He makes the days go quicker and has utterly transformed my life.”
Katie Anakin, an instructor at Dogs for Good who helped match Caroline and Sailor said she “could not be more proud” of the bond they have forged.
She added: “I thought Sailor would be a great dog for Caroline right from the start because Caroline is a walking client and Sailor’s lead work is so good and steady.
“At their ‘meet and greet’ it was obvious this was a beautiful match. I saw both Caroline and Sailor light up when they met.
“When Caroline took his lead for a little walk together, you could see he was comfortable and happy to be by her side.
“I knew they’d be good together but they’ve exceeded my expectations and I could not be more proud.”