For the first time in Guide Dogs Victoria’s (GDV) history there are 250guide dogs working in the state at one time.
Point Cook resident Antony was recently paired with Labrador Brett, bringingup the milestone achievement.
Antony, who is diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, didn’t initially feel heneeded a guide dog, but with a busy year ahead, including his final year ofstudy, he decided he would feel more confident and independent exploring newenvironments with a guide dog.
“As I embark on the final chapter of my studies and look to get a new job whenI graduate, I will feel very confident with Brett by my side.”
After completing their one-on-one training with a guide dog mobilityinstructor, Antony formed a bond with Brett and realised they both havesimilar personalities – being laid-back and relaxed.
“The training was an awesome experience; our guide dog mobility instructorwould come around every day to teach us the techniques and help us learn towork with one another.”
Karen Hayes, CEO of GDV, said great care and attention goes into matchingguide dogs with their handlers.
“We learn each dog’s skills and temperament to gain an intimate understandingof how they might eventually match our client’s lifestyle and needs to ensurethat they are a perfect fit for each other.”
Hayes said it was fantastic to see how well Antony and Brett had bonded andthe difference Brett has already made in Antony’s life.
This partnership goes to show that our Guide Dogs provide so much more thanmobility benefits. They offer companionship and confidence through thepowerful bond shared with the person they are matched with.
Antony, who grew up in a musical family and has toured with a band aroundAustralia and New Zealand, thinks Brett might enable him to hit the roadagain.
“I believe that Brett has given me the freedom to be independent and travelaround unfamiliar places again.”
Hayes encouraged anyone who is living with low vision or blindness to get intouch with the team at GDV so they can help find them find the right serviceor guide dog for them.
Tagged: Guide Dogs Victoria
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