My Life in His Paws
Published by Coronet (an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton)
Publication date: 25th February 2016
Wendy Hilling lives in Devon with her husband Peter and her canine partner, Teddy. Wendy was born with d (EB). It causes her skin to blister and tear at the slightest knock. Despite the odds against her survival, she has worked, owned horses and has had two children. She believes that anything is possible; it is just a matter of finding ways around difficulties. With the help of Canine Partners she trained Teddy to be her assistance dog and he has saved her life in ways she could never imagine.
Teddy and Wendy have been together since Teddy was nine weeks old. He was the first canine partner to be trained by his owner rather than by an external team member. He was the first assistance dog in Devon to get paid a wage by the government. Not only does Ted provide 24 hour care for Wendy but he is also a Pets as Therapy (PAT) dog for hospitals, the owner of a PDSA commendation for animal bravery for saving Wendy’s life and also the medical team mascot for the British Olympic Association.
“I never imagined I would have a dog like Ted who needs me as much as I need him. He trusts me to feed and care for him, and I trust him with my life. I never thought I could be this happy. I hold his lead, he holds my heart…”
My Life in His Paws is the story of the amazing dog who gave back someone’s freedom and confidence. Wendy Hilling has a rare skin condition which means her skin is as delicate as a butterfly’s wing. Every moment is difficult and causes pain. It affects the body inside and out: her throat is very narrow and she can stop breathing at any time. But eight years ago Wendy’s life changed forever. She met Teddy, the Golden Retriever and he became her full-time carer. Teddy, trained by Canine Partners, is the first and only known assistance dog in the UK to have supported someone suffering with Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB)and he has played a huge role in giving Wendy back her confidence and independence. Wendy is now entirely reliant on Teddy and he has saved her life more times than she can remember.
Both heart-breaking and heart-warming, My Life in His Paws is about the relationship between human and animal, about living with disability, overcoming adversity and the extraordinary things animals are capable of. This is the inspirational story of Wendy and Teddy’s incredible bond, but it is also the story of Wendy’s astonishing life; her illness and her battles against the odds over the years, and the transformative effect Teddy has had on her life.