Incredible video of guide dog helping owner through packed Bristol Temple Meads as Storm Eunice hits goes viral

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‘I trust her with my life’

A guide dog has been hailed as ‘amazing’ after a video of her carefully leading her blind owner through a packed Bristol Temple Meads as Storm Eunice hit the city went viral.

Dr Amit Patel shared the moving footage on his Twitter to hit home just what guide dogs are capable of when looking after the needs of their blind or partially sighted owners.

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The dad-of-two ‘went blind overnight’ after suffering a hemorrhage back in 2013, but has lived a fiercely independent life ever since, travelling all over the world in his work as a DEI consultant with trusty guide dog ‘Kika’ in tow.

But the pair found themselves in a difficult situation after becoming stranded in Weston-super-Mare the day before Storm Eunice was due to pummel the South West, and made the decision to stay in Bristol on the Friday (February 18) before attempting the challenging journey back home to London the next day.

In the moving video, Dr Patel asks Kika to find a member of staff as she leads him into the station rammed with people trying to get home amid mass train cancellations and delays.

The clever pooch can’t see a member of staff at the barriers, but keeps looking before swiftly leading Dr Patel straight to an information desk, despite the fact it was hidden behind a door.

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The video has received thousands of likes on Twitter, with social media users praising Kika as ‘amazing’, a ‘special soul’ and ‘a little star’.

Dr Patel told BristolWorld: “There are no words to describe how incredible Kika is, I would trust her with my life.

“Although we’ve travelled everywhere together, neither of us were familiar with Temple Meads at all.

Dr Amit Patel with Kika at a hotel in Bristol before they made the challenging journey home back to London.Dr Amit Patel with Kika at a hotel in Bristol before they made the challenging journey home back to London.
Dr Amit Patel with Kika at a hotel in Bristol before they made the challenging journey home back to London. | @Blind_DadUk

“Being completely blind, I can’t just turn up to a station and had booked assistance that morning, but I didn’t know where to go beforehand and I knew full well the station would be packed.

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“These dogs are around three feet off the ground, they only see the back of your legs and there’s nothing to tell them where to go.

“Her finding the information desk like that just goes to show these dogs can do. It’s not like they can read, but hearing what Kika did in the video makes me wonder if perhaps she can.

“I’ve been with Kika for five or six years now, and she reads me better than I do myself.

“She gets me from A to B as quickly as possible, but she’s also my best friend - it’s such a special bond.

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“When I went blind, I never knew how lonely it would be. With Kika, I never feel alone.”

Guide dogs are matched to their owners, taking their personality and lifestyle into account, and Dr Patel says he definitely met his match in Kika.

“She’s so stubborn,” he said. “She will never in a million years admit she’s lost. She’ll keep walking round corners and up and down escalators until she finds a way out.

“She’s also somewhat of a jet-setter. We could be in New York one day and back in Weston-Super-Mare the next.

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“She comes on holiday with us and she loves to run on the beach and in the park.”

As well as praising the incredible capabilities of guide dogs, Dr Patel also had an important message when it comes to the kindness of strangers.

“Help from bystanders can mean such a lot,” he said.

“When I said ‘Kika, find staff’ at Temple Meads that day, there is always the hope that someone will hear you and ask if you need help, giving Kika a bit of a break.

“We were lucky that day as Kika found the information desk, but it could easily have gone the other way.

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“When you’ve stopped in a crowd, it’s always nice to hear someone say, ‘excuse me, do you need any help?’

“It could be a no if I know what I’m doing at that particular time, but to be asked means I feel like someone is looking out for me, and that I’m part of a community as opposed to an outsider.”

Dr Patel has written more about life with Kika in his book, ‘Kika and Me’, which you can find on Amazon here.

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