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A POOCH in training to be an international search and rescue dog will be one of the animals taking part in the Derian House Wags and Wellies fundraiser on Sunday, March 19.

Derian House mascot Danni took a stroll in Cuerden Park to help promote Wags and Wellies when he made the acquaintance of Lola, a boisterous Hungarian Vizsla dog who is training for a vital life-saving job and her little sister, Fleur.

The two bundles of fun belong to firefighter and dog trainer Lindsay Sielski, who is preparing two-year-old Lola for a career as a search and rescue dog.

“Eventually, Lola will be sent into collapsed buildings and piles of rubble to locate anyone who may be trapped and alert rescuers by barking,” said Lindsay.

“I’ve been training Lola for over a year now and she just loves her job.

“When she finds someone in rubble in training exercises she barks and barks until she’s rewarded with her toy.

“Plus, she’s become the ‘station dog’ at Preston Fire Station where I’m based and all my colleagues love her because she’s such a character.”

Lindsay hopes that 16-week-old Fleur may eventually follow in her big sister’s paw-prints, too, and take up a rescue role.

But both have already got a claim to fame, featuring on Purina dog food packaging across Europe and even have their own casting agent for any future publicity work.

“Wags and Wellies is a great way to unite local dog owners and help dog walkers make new friends,” said Lindsay, who has been a firefighter for 11 years.

“It’s for a great cause, one that’s close to so many people’s hearts both in this area and beyond. Derian House touches the lives of families when they most need their specialised help and support and it’s great that dog-lovers can show their support.”

The Wags and Wellies fundraiser is being held on the morning of Sunday, March 19 at Cuerden Park, near Chorley and involves a two-mile stroll in stunning surroundings.

There will also be lots of stalls to interest everyone with a love of dogs.

Derian House Children’s Hospice cares for children with life-threatening and life-shortening conditions, as well as providing support for their families.

It is based in Chorley and support families from Lancashire and South Cumbria, as well as Sefton, Bolton, Wigan, Warrington and parts of Salford.

Every dog who takes part will receive a handcrafted Derian bow tie to attach to their collar and there’ll be a chance to have your picture taken at our doggy photo booth.

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