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New challenge for Islington’s wonder dog Flora

PUBLISHED: 12:00 27 December 2015

Robert Stuhldreer with his Akita Flora

Robert Stuhldreer with his Akita Flora

Nick Ridley Photography

For most dogs, a CV that includes being made an honorary member of the Metropolitan Police Force, winning the Next Dog Model and starring in a Hollywood blockbuster before the age of three would be quite the achievement.

Robert Stuhldreer with Flora at the Crufts dog showRobert Stuhldreer with Flora at the Crufts dog show

But then Flora the Japanese akita is not most dogs.

After conquering Hollywood and earning a string of training awards, Flora is turning her attention to helping her owner, professional dog trainer Robert Stuhldreer, of Dunford Road, Holloway, with his health problems.

Mr Stuhldreer, 54, who suffers from frequent blackouts, is working with the charity Recovery to help Flora become a recovery assistance dog.

“The scheme is in place to help people with problems such as panic attacks, blackouts and depression to recover their wellbeing,” he says. “It’s a way of making sure they don’t feel socially excluded.”

Flora the AkitaFlora the Akita

The programme involves a two-level training process which begins with the basics, such as behaviour training, and works its way up to early warning training.

When fully trained, the dogs can help sufferers of conditions such as panic attacks identify the signs leading to an attack.

Mr Stuhldreer says that Flora has already been a huge help to him, and her training will help him take that next step in being fully confident with his condition.

“There have been times where I’ve not wanted to leave the house because of the blackouts, and it’s resulted in broken bones and me having my driving licence revoked in the past.

“But having Flora has meant I’ve had to leave the house, and if she was able to help me with my blackouts I wouldn’t have any hesitations at all.”

However, while the programme to help those in need comes free to people such as Mr Stuhldreer, the charity does rely on donations in order to operate.

To sponsor Flora simply contact Recovery by phone or via email on 01162 532073 or at recovery4wellbeing@gmail.com


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