20/06/2019 In a celebration of ‘Dog Friendly Ireland Day’, organised by Dogs Trust, Shannon Airport – a Shannon Group company - is this Friday ‘leading’ the way as it hosts two puppies from Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. The airport facilitate training for Pixie (5 months) and Mac (10 months), dogs that will provide invaluable assistance over their lifetime to people with visual and other challenges. “Many passengers with autism or vision impairment now travel with service dogs to provide them with assistance. At Shannon Airport we are delighted to lend our support to these passengers by facilitating familiarisation tours and training programmes for these fantastic animals,” says Andrew Murphy, Managing Director of Shannon Group’s airport company, Shannon Airport. Pixie and Mac’s visit to the airport will be co-ordinated by airport staff who will take the pups through the various stages of the passenger experience which exposes them to an environment they wouldn’t experience on a day to day basis. The tour will allow the pups who are training to become Guide or Assistance Dogs, to get familiar with the various aspects of the passenger journey from the security screening process, to a busy environment with lots of people, and the different smells of food in the restaurants and perfumes in Duty Free. “This initiative compliments and builds on other work we have undertaken at the airport to make the airport experience easy for all our passengers. Two years ago we opened Europe’s first airport sensory room in our departure lounge. The sensory room has been tailored to provide a soothing place away from the activity of a busy airport and customers who wish to use the room can avail of official caps and wristbands to ensure that they are immediately identified by staff and receive special attention. “Facilitating the two puppies to visit the airport is our way of celebrating the fact that we are a dog friendly airport. From time to time our meeters and greeters bring their dogs to the airport to welcome home loved ones. It is wonderful to see the expressions on arriving passenger’s faces when they see that familiar family friend,” says Mr Murphy. Last week Shannon Airport added another string to its canine credentials, when the airport was designated as an approved entry points for pet dogs, cats and ferrets entering Ireland from non-EU/EEA countries, by the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed. The public can follow the dogs this Friday on Shannon Airport social channels.