A guide dog not only helps its owner navigate, move around and perform daily tasks. He is also her best friend and provides her with invaluable support, especially on days when morale is low. The story of 25 year old Riley Yeomans and her dog Yashka is a perfect illustration.
“ A moment I will never forget when I found out I was going to have a guide dog. I was just looking forward to meeting Yashka and starting a new chapter in my life with her,” recalled the young man. It’s about the moment he was told in May 2016 that he was going to get a guide dog after spending 4 years on the waiting list.
He has just started his first year at the university. With the animal by his side, he was able to continue his studies brilliantly.
“Yashka is the reason why I have come this far. Everything I have achieved is because of her,” he says.
With the help of a 7 year old golden retriever, Riley Yeomans completed her degree in creative writing from the University of Derby and then her master’s degree from Nottingham Trent University. The duo then moved to Ipswich in Suffolk (East of England) where the student is doing his PhD at Manchester Metropolitan University.
The dog gives him the strength to move forward, make plans and speak out about the blindness he has suffered from since he was two years old due to retinal dystrophy and nystagmus (uncontrolled eye movement).
“Whether she accompanies me on public transport, sits at my feet at a conference, or sits under the table while I hang out with friends, her very presence is extremely reassuring and uplifting. Whatever life brings us, as long as we’re together, I know we’ll be fine.»
“All she wants in return is love, tummy rubs and food. She is the best friend I could wish to have,” he concludes.