The song Together We Shine became an online festive hit last month and celebrated their special relationship
By Ian Lewis
A blind musician from Swansea has paid tribute to the guide dog who starred alongside him in a recent Christmas music video.
Chad, a yellow Labrador retriever, inspired Mayhill-born Dave Kent to create the track Together We Shine, which became an online festive hit last month.
The track celebrated the special relationship between owner and dog, and featured the line 'you let me be free, you let me be me'.
However, just days ago, seven-year-old Chad was rushed to the vet after he became unable to stand on his hind legs.
“They found a massive tumour crushing Chad’s spinal cord,” said Dave, aged 60.
“It was so unexpected, and I’m heartbroken that I didn’t get to say goodbye, but I would never wish him to suffer.
“Just a month ago, he was on top form as we filmed our music video together.
"Thanks to him, it had an amazing reception and people all over the place have viewed it.”
Chad’s death leaves Dave, who lives and works in London, without a guide dog.
He said: “He was my eyes for more than five years, and my best mate, the trust between us was so very special.
"I’ve had guide dogs for 42 years and he was up there with the best.”
Dave said Chad had been an amazing ambassador for the Guide Dogs charity.
“He was a huge hit with everyone he met, especially blind children with a fear of dogs.
He helped give them the confidence to improve their mobility and some have even gone on to apply for a guide dog of their own.”
Dave, who went completely blind at 18, has raised millions of pounds for Guide Dogs by starring in television adverts for the Sponsor a Puppy scheme with his previous dog, Quince, who suffered a stroke and died in his arms.
The charity acknowledged Dave’s work by inviting him to choose the name of a puppy and he opted for Mumbles.
“I thought it was a unique name that people everywhere could pronounce,” he said. “I’ve never forgotten my roots and I wanted Swansea to be associated with this brilliant charity.”
Dave has since launched a fresh appeal to name a guide dog puppy here.
He said: “I want other people to have the same opportunities that guide dogs have given me, they have brought me freedom and quality of life.”