42 years, Australia
42 years, Australia
A blind climber has said he would like a guide dog that can join him on intrepid adventures scaling mountains and glaciers.
Jesse Dufton, 33, who lives in Loughborough, Leicestershire, is looking for a husky, rather than a labrador or retriever, to accompany him on expeditions to extreme environments.
Applying for the animal in November, the 33-year-old said he made the decision because he hates relying on girlfriend Molly Thompson to drive him to work in the winter.
Born with just 20 per cent central vision and no peripheral vision, he has become famous for scaling impossible rockfaces such as the Old Man of Hoy in Scotland, as his sight has gradually disappeared.
Describing how he asked for the unique guide dog during a visit from Guide Dogs for the Blind, he told the Sunday Times, 'It was no exactly what she was expecting at all'.
'The vast majority of guide dog users are frail older people so they don't want a dog which is too active.'
However, he concedes that the dog he gets 'might not be able to do everything I want it to do'.
Jesse, who is the first blind man to scale a mountain in the arctic, is also a member of the GB paraclimbing team and ranked four best in the world for artificial wall climbing.
He has climbed all his life, after first being inspired by his father Ken, who took him to the Idwal Slabs in Snowdonia, Wales.
As his vision has disappeared, Jesse has also lost the ability to read, leading him to start using text-to-speech software in order to continue working on patents for a clean energy technology company that makes hydrogen fuel cells.
Online, the guide dog's charity says that it normally trains labradors, golden retrievers and german shepherds to help people.
However, it has also begun to train curly-coated retrievers and two standard poodles to help blind people.
by LUKE ANDREWS FOR MAILONLINE
This article first appeared on http://www.dailymail.co.uk. The original can be read here.
Location: Slovenia, Mojstrana, Jesenice
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