05 Nov 2022

A Mill Meadow Welcome to the Wonderful Willow

We were privileged to welcome the Wonderful Willow and honoured to host her and her family in Cuckoo Lodge and we just had to shoutout about the amazing work of Canine Partners.

So how does the Wonderful Willow make a difference?

Read on!

What can we say about Willow and the amazing things she can do to help her human Lauren.

Willow has to adapt to Lauren’s disability where somedays she’s needed 100% to help and others she is rested more, Lauren’s illness goes from walking to wheelchair use to being paralysed and things can change very quickly.

Good days, picking things up and getting/finding things, making the bed, getting the post from the door, turning on and off light switches. She (Willow) is always aware of how Lauren is feeling and warns her by licking her hand or intent staring when she senses Lauren isn’t well.

Ok days, helps with washing clothes, opening and shutting doors , gets a towel for Lauren when in the shower.

Bad days, all the above but also helping Lauren to sit up , alerting people Lauren needs assistance and staying by her side until help comes. Willow can open the front door as it has a tug rope attached.

Willow also packs away her toys so that there are not any obstacles on the floor for walking or the wheelchair.

Whilst staying at Mill Meadow Willow has worked less than normal so she has a holiday too but she is still alert to Lauren’s needs she has been able to carry out all her services in the cabin with no problem due to the space available to her in the lounge, bathroom and bedroom.

Lots of room to drive the Electric Scooter inside to hallway by bedroom downstairs as there is a ramp and Willow can get access beside it to come in too.

Easy to toilet Willow on the small grass area outside so we don’t have to go far, the door handles here (Cuckoo Lodge) work well to put her tuggy rope on too so she can open doors if needed.

Plenty of space in main area for Willow to collect the wheel chair if needed.

It would be nice to have some sort of mat on some of the tiles in main area as its slippy for her to carry out some tasks and a good torch to be able to walk her at night as its so dark. 

Willow is 7 years old and has been paired with Lauren since she was 18 months through Canine Partners , they did 2 weeks living in training together to see if they bonded together and regular aftercare visits , she will retire at about 10 years old and will live with Lauren or immediate family if Lauren gets a second assistance dog.

Willow works for reward which is mainly food or a special squeaky toy and has a purple coat that she puts on when she is working outside the house and she switches into working mode immediately.


When not working she is the typical Labrador who loves to run and play.

Thanks for the great feedback, we have already ordered some mats for our canine guests and will stay in touch with Willow and Lauren to see how else we might be able to make life easier at Mill Meadow for future visits.

We loved meeting Willow and were humbled by the relationship she has with Lauren, what amazing work Canine Partners do!

The welcome Willow gave us whenever we visited the lodge was full of love and fun, she is simply the Wonderful Willow!

Chris & Suzanne

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