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This month, Kate Fairweather stays very local, visiting Ramsdean to meet E.T. (short for Endal III), a talented young labrador retriever.

E.T., short for Endal the third, looking alert and wearing a blue collar with red edges, his blue working harness, with the Hounds for Heroes logo on it.
E.T. in his Hounds for Heroes harness.

Young E.T. has big paw prints to fill. He’s the third in a line of exceptional assistance dogs owned by Allen Parton. Allen is a disabled ex-Royal Navy Chief Petty Officer and the founder of Hounds for Heroes, the Ramsdean based assistance dog charity. 

Allen came home from the Gulf War in 1991 with a serious head injury. After five years in hospital, he was left needing specialist care, unable to speak or communicate verbally.

EJ the labrador assistance dog on the left, looking up at Allen, smiling in a red rain jacket in his wheelchair which has "remembrance poppy wheels".
E.T. has grown up within a family of assistance dogs and is Allen’s third assistance dog.

It’s quite remarkable, therefore, to hear Allen explaining how he met and ended up with his first, “accidental” assistance dog, Endal. The partnership developed organically, and brought about a dramatic improvement in Allen’s health and recovery, including the return of his speech. Endal was succeeded by Allen’s second assistance dog, E.J. (short for Endal Junior), whose death in Spring 2022 has left E.T. in the hot seat! 

Three military assistance dogs sitting on the right of their kit bags. From left: Rookie, an assessment dog, Endal the third (known as E.T.) as a 7 month old puppy, and Endal Junior.
E.T. as a young puppy, flanked by Rookie the reservist dog on the left and E.J. on the right.

Under the watchful supervision of Rookie, an experienced assessment dog, he is already supporting Allen day to day.

Allen explains how his assistance dogs have transformed his health, relationships and daily life, and describes how the charity he founded helps other disabled servicemen and women.

Find out more about the charity, Hounds for Heroes.

Do you work your dog or dogs?

If you would be interested in coming on the show to talk about your working dog, Kate would LOVE to hear from you. Just email her at team@shineradio.uk.