A CWMBRAN man with a passion for astronomy has raised £5,000 to be able to name a guide dog puppy.

Wayne Strawford has been fascinated by space travel since he was a child, and chose to call the puppy Laika after the first animal to orbit the earth.

With the help of friends, Wayne raised the money for the privilege of naming and meeting the six-month-old Labrador retriever. The pup will be raised in Cardiff before moving on to guide dog school at 12 to 14 months.

Mr Strawford said: “Guide Dogs has always been my favourite charity and I’m so grateful for my own guide dog, Alfie, a three-year-old curly-coat retriever cross Labrador. We go everywhere together.

“I wanted to thank Guide Dogs for changing my life, but I also wanted to choose a puppy name that meant something to me. Laika was the first dog to go up into space but she never came back, so it’s a tribute to her.”

Mr Strawford, 54, is just old enough to remember the moon landings on television in 1969.

“I had sight loss as a child and it gradually worsened,” he added,

“I wear glasses to cut out ultra-violet light so I can only see shapes, no colours.

“I go to astronomy classes in Croesyceiliog and Alfie goes with me. I also have lots of space memorabilia at home.

“I can already picture puppy Laika as a working guide dog, and I’m sure the owner will be proud of the name.”

Guide Dogs relies on donations to continue its life-changing work. To find out how you or your organisation can name a guide dog puppy, visit