They say that dogs are man’s best friend. And adorable puppy Yuppi is making it his mission to go above and beyond the call of duty.
The 12-week-old yellow labrador retriever cross is undergoing training to become a guide dog to support the blind.
Yuppi is being put through his paces by Geoff and Rosemary Heslop who are keeping the mischievous pup in check.
The couple, who are in their early 50s, are getting the young recruit used to the sights and sounds of Leeds as part of his training.
Geoff and Rosemary decided to train guide dog puppies and become walkers for charity Guide Dogs after Rosemary’s mum lost her sight.
The pair have already helped a guide dog pup called Nemo to become top dog two years ago.
Rosemary said: “They don’t fit into your world, you have to fit into theirs.
“You just don’t realise how important these dogs are to people.
“It’s a very special relationship that the dogs build up with their new owners.
“We know that they are happy and loved when they are matched to their new owners and that is all that we need to know.”
The couple, who took early retirement, are currently teaching Yuppi to be toilet trained and eat his dinner on command.
They are also getting him used to coming into contact with lots of people in busy shopping centres.
The pup is set to clock up the miles on the local bus and rail network to boost his confidence.
And he will venture into Leeds city centre to get used to crowds to help him behave well in social environments.
The couple have even visited local schools in north Leeds with the pup, to tell youngsters about the difference guide dogs can make to people with visual impairments.
After 14 months in north Leeds, Yuppi will then say farewell to the Heslop family as part of his mission to become top dog.
He will then be sent to a special training school and once he has graduated, the pup – who came from a litter of 11 – will then be matched up to help give someone the gift of sight.
Geoff added: “It is very challenging because we try to teach the dogs not to be fazed by anything.
“But Yuppi is just a magnet and when we go outside people are really interested in him.
“Some people know that they are not supposed to touch him but they still do.
“It’s such a great feeling to know that we are helping to make a massive difference to someone else’s life.”