Britta - A day in the life of a Guide Dog
My work begins! Today we are going into the office. So it is off to the tram stop, I have to make sure I stop at the curb and wait for my handler to decide when it is safe to cross the road. I also have to guide my handler around any obstacles we encounter. I have to concentrate very hard to keep my handler safe, so whilst I am working please don’t distract me by patting me or trying to get my attention.
On the tram I have to squish in between everyone’s feet. Be careful not to stand on my paws or tail please!!
Finally we arrive at the office, my time to relax after a morning of working. Now I get to rest while my handler works.
After a day relaxing in the office, it is back to work for me. The tram ride home is very crowded and I can’t wait to get off.
On the way home we stop at my favourite park! I am so happy to have finished my hard day at work and look forward to some ‘me’ time.
I then get to have a run around with my friends.
When I get home I have some dinner and curl up on my bed. It is a big job being a guide dog but I know I have made my handler’s life much easier.
Currently there is no Government funding made available for the breeding, raising and training of Guide Dogs. You can show your support by making a tax deductible donation, helping a puppy on their journey to becoming a confident Guide Dog and changing the life of someone with a vision impairment. Visit www.guidedogsaustralia.com to be linked to the guide dog association in your state or territory.
International Guide Dog Day is held on the last Wednesday of April each year. When Vision 2020 Australia asked Alecia to contribute a piece to celebrate this day for our blog, she was keen to spread the word about the amazing impact a guide dog can make on a person’s life.
Alecia was diagnosed with a vision impairment at 11 years of age. Her condition rapidly deteriorated when she reached her early 20s, it was at this stage that she investigated the different mobility aids available. After using a white cane for some time, she decided to apply for a guide dog through Guide Dogs Victoria. Since being matched with her guide dog Alecia has regained the confidence she lost when her sight deteriorated. “Using a cane, you are constantly on the lookout for obstacles, as someone who was already anxiety prone, this just seemed to add to the difficulty of getting out and about. With my guide dog I am able to relax and let her do all the hard work avoiding obstacles. It has made a huge impact on my life.”
“Since being matched with my guide dog I have felt confident enough to travel interstate and overseas, move houses and secure a new job with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness in the Western Pacific Region, where I feel I am contributing in a positive way to the elimination of avoidable blindness throughout our region.”
For more information about the work IAPB WPR does, please visit: www.iapbwesternpacific.org