A YOUNG woman with a rare heart condition has trained her pet to become her lifeline around the home.

Chloe Fuller, 19, from Langwood Avenue, Haslingden, has transformed her life thanks to assistance dog Ted after she was diagnosed with a rare condition that causes an abnormal increase in her heart rate after sitting up or standing.

Chloe had to leave Haslingden High School aged 13 to be home schooled because of her deteriorating health.

By 16, Chloe was using a wheelchair because she couldn’t stand or walk without going faint and experienced extreme joint pain.

The former Edenfield primary school student came across a blog about an assistance dogs organisation called Dog Assistance in Disability (AID).

Dog AID provides pet dog training to people with physical disabilities up to qualified ‘Assistance Dog’ standard.

Chloe contacted the charity and got herself a puppy.

She said: “I didn’t want to be matched with a pre-trained dog. I was after a challenge and really wanted to train a dog myself. I decided I wanted to get a springer spaniel because it’s been a childhood favourite of mine. I took Ted in when he was just five months old.

“I threw myself into the task of training, overjoyed at finding a focus.”

Chloe was matched with a Dog AID trainer and got to work with her canine pal.

She said: “The first task he learned was to pick up a sock and now when I am putting on my socks he knows to go and get my shoes as that will be the next command. We qualified 13 months later, making us one of the youngest and quickest partnerships with Dog AID.

“He helps to get me dressed and undressed and can also load and unload washing.

“Ted now knows nearly 100 commands. We train for fun too and his favourite tricks to show people are praying and doggy squats.”

Such was Ted’s impact, Chloe’s mum Nicola, her sole carer, was able to return to work two days a week.

Chloe said: “If it wasn’t for Ted, my mum would still have to get me dressed and undressed every day. The only thing Mum has to do now is make meals and drinks. I haven’t quite figured out how to get Ted to make a cup of tea yet.

“Ted picks up everything I drop with such enthusiasm, more so than you would get from a human carer after the tenth time of asking in an hour.

“He is an unbelievably happy dog, it’s hard not to smile when you have a crazy spaniel bouncing across the room wondering how he can help you next.

“His exuberance brings great joy and laughter to my life, I don’t know what I would do without him.”

Chloe’s mother Nicola said: “I’m unbelievably proud of Chloe. When she was first diagnosed though it was heartbreaking as she wasn’t able to go to school and or see her friends.

“At first I could not see how Ted could help Chloe or myself but it’s only now I can see it’s benefit. I have never seen anything like their relationship.”

Sandra Fraser, CEO of Dog AID, said: “The way in which we are quite unique in how we operate is we do not just supply dogs.

“We help those over the age of fifteen who have a physical disability which impairs their movement.

“We provide a volunteer trainer who goes to the client’s home and helps people like Chloe train their own dog.

“A lot of people like Chloe go on to become ambassadors with her dog and sometimes will direct a training session of their own.”

For information about the charity go to www.dogaid.org.uk