WIRRAL students have bid an emotional farewell to their much-loved guide dog puppy following a year of training.

The Mosslands School in Wallasey said goodbye to golden retriever Morris who spent time at the school as part of a pioneering training programme with the Guide Dogs Association.

Morris – who followed on from Guide Dog Petal the previous year – will now enter his first year of intensive training at a Guide Dog school, in preparation for being matched up with a new blind or partially sighted owner.

The Mosslands School was the first in the UK to team up with the national charity, to bring a Guide Dog puppy into school as part of its early development.

The pooch spent nine months with puppy walker and Faraday House office manager Chris Kemp. Students are now preparing to welcome new puppy Barney in the autumn term.

Chris said: “Just like Petal before him, Morris has become a well-loved and popular member of the school community and everyone, while sad to see him go, wishes him the best of luck in the next stage of his Guide Dog training.

“The school has been a great place to get Morris used to coping with busy social situations, noise disturbance and basic obedience.

"We have been able to do a lot more with Morris as our second Guide Dog puppy, taking him to a range of primary schools and community groups to raise awareness of the Guide Dogs Association and the fantastic work they do.

“I am sure that Morris will go on to be an outstanding Guide Dog and a much loved companion. Petal has now passed all her training and has been matched up to a new home, which is fantastic news.

"All the staff, governors and students have been very supportive of the Guide Dogs partnership and we now look forward to welcoming our new Guide Dog puppy – Barney – in September.”

Headteacher Adrian Whiteley said: “We were delighted with how Morris settled in to school life and having him with us brought out the best in our students.

“As the [Guide Dog] charity was founded here in Wallasey 80 years ago, our school definitely feels a strong affinity and we will continue to support their work through fundraising and awareness events.”