In my interview from Series 4, I visited the Victorian headquarters for Guide Dogs to learn more about how these dogs can help change lives.
We often don’t think about the isolation or frustration that people with blindness or low vision can feel in their daily lives.
That’s where a Guide Dog and white cane can help to provide independence and empower them with greater confidence and self-esteem, as they no longer need to rely on the help of others to complete day-to-day tasks.
How a dog supports people with low vision or blindness
Not only are Guide Dogs a mobility aid, but they are also a companion, which as any dog owner could attest, provide huge levels of fulfillment and are an important emotional support to maintain a mental health.
In my interview with Justin from the Victorian branch, I found out about their range of services that enable Australians with low vision or blindness to move around their communities safely and independently, by providing orientation and mobility services.
I also met two beautiful Guide Dogs in training, Labradors Heath and Myka, who were bred on site at the the campus and are currently learning the key skills in order to safely guide their handler through public places.
Raising a Guide Dog isn’t cheap
Raising a Guide Dog doesn’t come cheap though. In fact, it costs $50,000 to breed, raise and train a Guide Dog, so the support of the public and companies like PETstock, through their charity foundation PETstock Assist, is vital to help Guide Dogs to continue their valuable work.
Each year they run their annual campaign to help raise Guide Dog puppies, so if you’d like to find out more about PETstock Assist and the range of pets and people in the community they help, you can visit their page on the PETstock website.
Of course, if you would like to find out more about the work of Guide Dogs, or becoming a puppy raiser,visit their website.
Lara & Darcy x
About the Author: Lara Shannon is co-Host of Pooches at Play and has completed a Certificate III in Dog Behaviour & Training with the National Dog Trainers Federation. Lara also runs her own dog training, minding and walking business in Melbourne’s Bayside area.