April 27th is International Guide Dogs Day which is to create awareness for the amazing foundations around the world raising, training and providing guide dogs to the visual impaired or disabled.
The Canine is more than just an animal, it truly is man’s best friend and the amount of help these pups provide for those who need it is truly amazing. Having owned a couple of labrador retrievers myself, I know just how amazingly compassionate and patient these dogs are.
Unfortunately in Australia and around the world, many dogs which were Christmas or birthday gifts are abandoned or given away once they grow up and the difficulties and responsibility of dog ownership is realised.
A fantastic alternative to purchasing a dog from a pet store or breeder – other than adopting one from your local pound or RSPCA – is becoming a puppy raiser for Guide Dogs NSW/ACT.
It’s more than just being able to play with puppies, you need to have the time and facilities capable of putting these pups though their paces. You also need to do the difficult task of handing him or her back once they are 12 months old and have passed all their training. Though you can check on it’s progress through the Guide Dogs Centre.
According the Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, To become a Puppy Raiser you must:
- Be able to be with the pup for most of the day. He or she cannot be left alone for more than four hours at a time.
- Be willing to walk your puppy every day.
- Allow your puppy to sleep and be indoors.
- Have a backyard with dog-proof fencing.
- Have a car which can transport your puppy.
- Be committed to training at puppy pre-School days and socialisation days.
- Live in the Sydney area as the Puppy Raising team have to travel to make regular inspections.
Of course owning a puppy can incur costs, namely food. However, to help keep costs down Guide Dogs NSW/ACT will provide a bed, leash and food bowl as well as cover all veterinary costs (puppies require multiple injections, microchipping etc).
If your pup successfully completes the training program, you will be invited to attend a special graduation ceremony at the centre.
For more information or to apply, head Guide Dogs NSW/ACT’s website by clicking here.
© Lantern Club, Roselands