Gruelling challenge for daughter’s guide dog

John Bull right, who is running the Comrade's Marathon in South Africa in aid of Dogs for the Deaf, pictured with his daughter Alison and her Labrador Poppy. 110427AR7pic2.
John Bull right, who is running the Comrade's Marathon in South Africa in aid of Dogs for the Deaf, pictured with his daughter Alison and her Labrador Poppy. 110427AR7pic2.
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A CATTERICK businessman has signed up to a gruelling African marathon to raise enough money to train a puppy to become his daughter’s hearing dog.

Veteran marathon runner John Bull who runs a shop in Catterick Garrison is taking part the 56 mile Comrades Marathon in South Africa.

He is hoping to raise at least £2,500 for Dogs for the Deaf, enough to train a hearing dog for his 34-year-old daughter Alison.

Alison, who is deaf and partially sighted, has been without a dog for two years.

John from Littlethorpe Park, Ripon, said her first hearing dog changed Alison’s life for the better as she was able to go out and about.

But since her first dog developed cancer and was put to sleep and her second did not make the grade. Alison has been left without a dog. “It is very difficult for Alison to be without a dog.

“As well as being company for her, people speak to her if she has a dog,”

The money John raises will go toward training Labrador puppy, Poppy.

John runs a shop in Catterick Garrison, where Alison works two days a week. He has run more than 13 marathons since his first in London in the 1980s. A member of Ripon Runners, he said: “I am just aiming to finish the Comrades Marathon.” The race takes place on May 29 and is run between Pietermaritzburg and Durban. The direction alternates each year, and John will be running the ‘uphill’ course which climbs 870m from the start in Durban.

The race was set up in in tribute to the soldiers of the First World War.

To sponsor John send cheques direct to Dogs for the Deaf. For more details lonto www.hearingdogs.org.uk