Live updates

Full report: Give the dog a phone

A black labrador who can answer the phone and empty the washing machine has changed the life of a Cumbrian woman with multiple sclerosis.

Grainne O'Connor from Kirkby Stephen was diagnosed with the condition in 2001 and finds it increasingly difficult to pick things up and carry out every day tasks.

She says the disability assistance dog Tori is far more than just her best friend.

Kim Inglis has been to meet them:


"My experience as a disabled person has altered"

Tori the black labrador support dog Credit: ITV News Border

Mrs O'Connor's dog Tori was trained by Support Dogs, which is the only organisation in the UK to also train seizure alert dogs, giving people with epilepsy up to 40 minutes warning of an oncoming seizure.

The pair were then enrolled into a 12 month training programme before becoming a fully qualified partnership.

Tori with a pair of Grainne's socks Credit: ITV News Border

Mrs O'Connor says that having Tori helps change the way she is treated in public:

"Since I got her it is really interesting how my experience as a disabled person in society has altered.

"Normally outdoors I use a mobility scooter and previously I have occasionally found that people, while helpful, can also appear awkward, uncomfortable or embarrassed around me because of my disability.

"With Tori the whole experience seems to be reframed into a positive, happy encounter. She makes people smile, they are keen to chat about their own dogs or what Tori does for me - not about the bag I've just dropped."

Dog makes "incredible" difference to MS sufferer

Grainne and her dog Tori Credit: Grainne O'Connor

A 45-year-old Multiple Sclerosis (MS) sufferer from Cumbria says that the help she receives from her support dog has changed her life.

Grainne O'Connor, from Kirkby Stephen, was diagnosed with the incurable neurological condition in 2012 and now has very little feeling left in her hands.

Last year Mrs O'Connor was put in touch with "Support Dogs", a national charity who train dogs to help sufferers of various diseases, including epilepsy and MS.

Tori, a black labrador, was given special training to help assist Grainne with a number of everyday tasks, including opening doors, using the tv remote and emptying the washing machine.

Mrs O'Connor said:

"She is trained to pick up anything I ask her to and bring it to me.

"It doesn't matter how many times I drop things she gets it and brings it to me with a waggy tail, looking very pleased with how clever she is."

Full Report: Lizzie returns home after two week disappearance

When a pet dog goes missing, it is a traumatic time for its owners, and after more than two weeks without any sightings, a lot of people would begin to give up hope.

Alison Taylor from Penrith in Cumbria was about to admit defeat when she had a call to say her beloved Patterdale terrier had been found 100 miles away.

Watch Lizzie's full story below.


Pet dog found 100 miles from home

9-month-old Patterdale terrier Lizzie Credit: ITV News Border

A pet dog that had been missing for almost three weeks has been reunited with her owner, after being found over 100 miles from home.

Lizzie, the 9-month-old Patterdale terrier, was stolen from the farm where she lives on 27th April.

Her owner Alison Taylor was left distraught, and searched for her every day for more than two weeks.

Her husband then received a phonecall to say Lizzie had been found, but not near her Penrith home- she was found near Wigan.

A dog warden found her and as she was microchipped, the vet was able to locate her owners.

Lizzie is fitted with a microchip Credit: ITV News Border

Apart from losing some weight picking up a few scratches, Lizzie is fit and well and is settled back in at home.

Mrs Taylor says that she had almost given up hope of ever finding her, and is over the moon to have her back home with the family.