Once the general business had been discussed and dealt with we sat back and looked forward to our speaker for this month. Unfortunately the speaker that was originally booked had been taken ill at short notice but Kathy Hancock and her wonderful dog Gilbert stepped into the breach and saved the night. Kathy is disabled and relies a lot on the assistance that Gilbert gives her. They both do wonderful aid work for those who need assistance. After a long wait Gilbert came into Kathys life but she had had to wait rather a long time before he actually would be hers. He had come from a litter of five and then had to be homed with a" puppy socializer" to train how to get on well with children and other animals. At long last Kathy and Gilbert were together and a more devoted couple would be hard to find. He has his morning tasks some of which involves putting on the lights which have been specially lowered on the walls, fetching the telephone for Kathy when it rings, he can even put clothes in the washing machine and remove them from the tumble dryer. He even demonstrated how to help Kathy remove some of her garments such as her cardigan and even her boots. It is incredible what this dog can achieve. Dogs of this nature can help many with autism such as children who find it hard to respond to other people and have limited ability to communicate. Apparently it is in the pipe-line that people who suffer with dementia may benefit too and the possibility is being looked into. Unfortunately there can be rather a long wait for these trained dogs and at the moment over 100 people are on the waiting list. What a lovely evening we had had and it was a pleasure to see Kathy and Gilbert so devoted to each other.