THE owner of an Andover business has decided to sponsor a guide dog throughout its training programme.

Greg Clarke from the oven cleaning service Ovenu Andover is supporting Guide Dogs’ pup Ralph.

The yellow Golden Retriever/Labrador cross replaces black Lab Selsey, which Ovenu franchisees first started sponsoring in 2021.

Greg, who before launching the business in 2021 spent 40 years in the hospitality industry, including as house manager at Basingstoke Golf Club, said: “Guide Dogs is a fantastic charity and I’m pleased to be able to give something back by supporting its life-changing work. These dogs provide those with sight loss greater mobility, independence, social interaction - as well as companionship.

Andover Advertiser: Ralph the pub

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“It’s also a way of saying a huge thank you to my clients who, without their continued support, I wouldn’t be in a position to sponsor this adorable pup.”

Although she excelled in training, Selsey developed a slight weakness in one hip which meant she was unable to progress to become a working Guide Dog.

However, despite the setback, Greg wanted to continue his support for the charity.

Ralph, now 10-months-old, is spending time with Puppy Raisers Toni and Adrian, two of the 16,000 volunteers who work with Guide Dogs.

He will remain with them until he’s 12 to 14-months-old before being considered for full Guide Dog training, with the longer-term ambition of being assigned to a visually impaired person.

Ralph is settling in well and is described as “sweet and charming”. His latest report card says he is brilliant at boarding public transport and is confident in busy environments, while his food manners are ‘almost there.’

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Guide Dogs’ CEO Andrew Lennox said: “It costs approximately £56,000 to support each guide dog through from birth to retirement, and without all the contributions of our donors and the efforts of our fundraisers we would not be able to do what we do.”

For further information or to donate to Guide Dogs visit