The Home Secretary David Blunkett has said goodbye to his former guide dog Lucy and welcomed her younger replacement Sadie.

For nearly a decade Lucy served as Mr Blunkett’s eyes – in his autobiography David Blunkett claimed he would be heartbroken if he had to part with her.

Her official retirement on Friday (24 January) marked the end of an era in which the Home Secretary fondly remembers her “snoring throughout important meetings”.

He spoke frankly about having to say goodbye to his loyal servant saying: “It is one of those rare moments when a hard man feels soft.”

Mr Blunkett’s replacement guide dog is a definite case of keeping it in the family – Sadie, a two-year-old black Labrador, is Lucy’s half sister.

Ten-year-old Lucy will now spend her retirement with guide dog trainer Val Woolrich from Bolton, Lancs, who has promised to provide Mr Blunkett with regular updates.

She told the Daily Mirror: “It will be a huge wrench – but Sadie is very outgoing, adaptable and quick to learn.”