Rotary Club of Senlac

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IT has been another busy week for the Rotary Club of Senlac. Our weekly meeting on September 11 saw us hosting a very special canine guest called Lucky who came with his owners Sharon and Brian.

Brian and Sharon were looking to find a dog as a pet and went to a rescue centre where, by chance, they were introduced to the charity Medical Detection Dogs.

The Medical Detection Dogs Charity is now five years old. At first the dogs were trained to detect early signs of cancer but it was soon realised that they were picking up signs of other medical problems. As Brian is very severely diabetic and struggles to recognise early symptoms it seemed that a detection dog would be a great help to them and after filling in an application and waiting five months they took charge of Lucky, a lovely black Labrador.

Lucky is still under training but doing very well. Sharon told us that soon after getting Lucky they became very involved with the charity and she is now the south east coordinator for the charity whose aim is to raise £500,000 to train dogs to recognise signs of breast/bladder and prostate cancer in a much less invasive way than conventional medical intervention.

Medical alert dogs are also involved in 30 other partnerships including pain crisis, Addisons disease, nut detection, asthma, epilepsy, and narcolepsy among them.

Brian was not at all sure about Lucky at first but now realises that the dog is exactly what they needed. All has not been plain-sailing and Lucky has been sent back to boot camp once! Lucky is trained to pick up on breath samples to detect low blood sugars and as Brian has recently been diagnosed with MS he thinks the dog may also be picking up on that.

Sharon finished by telling us about the ‘clicker training’ – if the owner ‘clicks’ then the dog knows it has done something well and will be rewarded. She also told us about the book she is currently writing entitled My dog just ‘knows’!

Many intrepid walkers from local community associations accompanied by Senlac Rotarians took part in the second Senlac Walk Week initiative last week. Thankfully this year’s walks had much better weather after last year’s terrible washout. The initiative provides opportunities for workers and clients from local community groups to get out into the fresh air and enjoy each other’s company for a very sociable event.

Rotarians from Senlac Rotary Club also took their shelterbox and collecting buckets and spent last Friday and Saturday collecting funds for the Syria Refugee Appeal.

The manager at Sainsbury’s store in Bexhill kindly allowed us to set up our collection point under shelter outside the store and over the 2 days the sum of £481 was donated by the generous people of Bexhill.