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Guide Dog Tales

Autumn 2023
Image of puppies playing in the nursery

2023 Puppies

The two boys (Logan and Link) and three girls (Luka, Lena and Lottie) have now left the nursery and are settling in at home with their volunteer Puppy Raisers.

Here they’ll learn the basics of what it takes to be a good boy or girl (with plenty of yummy treats along the way), before they come back for their specialised Guide Dog training.

Jenny and John are Puppy Pals and have been supporting promising pups like the L Litter for many years.

“The honour it gives us to see the dogs with their Handler and the difference the dogs make to their lives is just so rewarding,” Jenny said.

The support of Puppy Pals like Jenny and John is what makes it possible for these pups to train to become the next generation of Guide Dogs. As a special thanks, they’re able to stay up-to-date with the litter’s milestones and training.

As a Puppy Pal you’ll be able to follow the L Litter’s journey with exclusive updates on their progress.

A yellow and a black Labrador puppy leaning over a play fence.

Meet the L Litter

Meet our five adorable pups from the L Litter

  • Lena

    • Gender: Female
    • Colour: Yellow
  • L litter pup Link

    Link

    • Gender: Male
    • Colour: Yellow
  • Image of L Litter pup Logan

    Logan

    • Gender: Male
    • Colour: Yellow
  • Image of L Litter pup Lottie

    Lottie

    • Gender: Female
    • Colour: Black
  • Image of L Litter pup Luka

    Luka

    • Gender: Female
    • Colour: Yellow

Graduation

Celebrating the achievements of the 2022 graduates and the people like you who supported them.

Thanks to your ongoing support, 32 Queenslanders living with low vision or blindness received the personalised support they needed to graduate from their specialised programs at the end of last year.

Whether it was learning to use a white cane, using technology to navigate safely through their local community, or even forming a perfect partnership with a Guide Dog, there was so much involved in each graduate’s journey to independence.

It really does take the combination of practice, patience, determination, and the support from an incredible community of people like you and their loved ones to reach this level of success.

The celebration at the annual Guide Dogs Graduation Ceremony provided the chance to reflect on their big achievements.

Thank you for supporting these amazing graduates.

A message from some of the graduates

Louise and Guide Dog Hector

“Hector is my ray of sunshine. He’s just so happy. He’s my best, best friend. Thanks to Hector, my confidence increased, and I started feeling like I was getting back to my independent self again.

I want people to know that by donating, they are changing someone’s life for the better. I truly mean that. You are opening up a new world for people to live their lives the way they deserve and are entitled to, and you can’t be thanked enough for that.

Hector has, without a doubt, changed my life for the better. I can’t imagine my life
without him.”

– Louise

Jason and Guide Dog Tyson

“Tyson has given me so much more confidence. I know I’m not out there on my own and I trust him completely. He has given me back my life.

To the donors and volunteers who make this possible, I can’t tell you the difference you’ve made in my life. I was somebody who was high up in the corporate world and fell to the bottom when I lost my sight. Now because of Tyson, I’ve been able to get back up again.”

– Jason

 

School holiday camp

Thanks to the support of Liz Kopp and generous donors like you, Riley and students from across Queensland were able to attend a week-long school holiday training camp in September – and all had the time of their lives!

These fun-filled camps help students living with low vision or blindness develop skills to help keep them safe in the community, while making new friends and inspiring their confidence and independence.

“The students feel a real sense of accomplishment after each activity,” Orientation and Mobility Specialist Karen said.

“They helped each other navigate new areas using objects in their environment as guides, such as the handrail at the jetty or tactile markers on the ground at road crossings. There was also a lot of team-building and I think they’ll be friends for life.”

image of four boys smiling at the camera

Keeping connected

An exciting new partnership between Guide Dogs and Be My Eyes is helping more Queenslanders when they need it most, in all corners of the state.

Be My Eyes is a free app that connects people living with low vision or blindness with sighted volunteers to get around the community safely.

Through a video call, the app allows callers to direct their camera at what they need help with – like for example, identifying the number and destination of an approaching bus.

The Guide Dogs Team has been introducing Queenslanders to this technology and now actively volunteers to assist as many callers as possible.

Being able to reach and assist more people in real-time through technology like Be My Eyes simply wouldn’t be possible without your support. Thank you.

Giving Day

Whether you donated or helped spread the word, we can’t thank you enough for helping make the Guide Dogs Giving Day a huge success!

Powered by 80 volunteers, over 2,000 donors from the Guide Dogs community came together in December and raised over $500,000 for Queenslanders living with low vision or blindness on their journeys to independence.

This included Queenslanders like Brent and his Guide Dog Jaycee, who joined in on the celebrations during the day.

“It’s reassuring to know I have both people like you behind me and my Guide Dog Jaycee beside me,” Brent said.

“I know I can take on the world now. Seeing the numbers, the amount of people getting behind Giving Day, the amount of calls being made – it just shows there’s a massive community of support.”

Art with Heart

To celebrate the talent within the Guide Dogs community and showcase some of the incredible artwork created by Queenslanders living with low vision or blindness, a very special art exhibition was recently held at our Bald Hills Campus – the first of its kind in Queensland!

“Creating an art piece means I have achieved something I can be proud of,” said Dalmayne, one of the featured artists at the exhibit.

“Art is good for mental health and since losing my vision these classes have given me a safe space to explore. Plus, my kids love my art!”

The exhibition pieces came from new artists who attended specialised art workshops for people with low vision, made possible by your support.

Image of several peices of client art sitting on a table.

Whether it was through clay sculpting, wood carving, or piecing together a detailed mosaic, these new artists found a creative outlet to suit their individual style and needs.

“I never imagined I could do this, but this environment was just so supportive, and you just get inspiration from everywhere,” Hayley, a clay workshop participant, said.

If you’re interested in attending the next Art with Heart event, contact Heidi on 07 3500 9006.

Ray and Coral have helped 60 promising pups start their im-paw-tant journeys.

For over a decade, Ray and Coral have been making a real difference to help change the lives of Queenslanders living with low vision or blindness for the better.

Together they’ve now sponsored an incredible 60 pups, sharing the tough job of choosing the paw-fect names for many of these fluffballs of boundless puppy energy. But with so many playful pups, thinking of enough names can be quite the challenge!

“It’s sometimes quite difficult to think of names for all the dogs but we do our best, as we hope the dogs will too,” Ray said.

The names chosen by Ray and Coral over the years have had a special place in their hearts, just as their sponsored pups do.  Ray said they often found inspiration for name choices from the people and pets they loved most.

“We have a son called Phillip so we named a puppy in the P Litter ‘Phil’. Phil has graduated and is doing very well – he is a good Guide Dog.

“We also have a son called Glen and I’m proud to say the Guide Dog we named Glen has also graduated.”

It’s thanks to the generous support of people like Ray and Coral that so many Queenslanders like Carol (pictured here with Ray, Coral, and Guide Dog Quincy), have found their perfect four-legged match and new sense of independence.

Do you have a perfect name for a future Guide Dog? Contact Kerry on 07 3500 9005 to learn more about naming opportunities.

Here in Queensland we’re lucky enough to enjoy a long summer and lots of warm weather, but it also means it’s important to keep an eye out for fleas and ticks all year round. Guide Dogs Vet, Natalie, provides a handy checklist to help you get through the season.

Step 1

Search your dog for ticks by running your hands through their coat to the skin level, all over their body (even between their toes and around their mouth.) Your dog will love his daily massage!

Step 2

Reduce exposure to ticks by clearing leaf litter and keeping grass clipped short.

 

Step 3

Use an effective tick control product such as NexGard SPECTRA® all year round. We give our dogs NexGard SPECTRA® once a month, 12 months of the year. It provides the most complete protection against fleas, ticks, mites, heartworm and intestinal worms, all in one tasty chew.  Try giving it to your dog or puppy on the first day of the month – that way it’s easy to remember.

Huge shout out to Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health Australia who provide complete preventative health support for our pups and adult dogs, with the on-going provision of NexGard SPECTRA® and canine vaccines.

The cuddliest new addition to the Guide Dogs shop.

Trainee Support Dog Ayla is known for bringing joy to all the people she meets through her cheerful and lovable personality. Thanks to the newest addition to the Guide Dogs Shop, you can now take home your very own mini Ayla!

The adorable new plush toy is inspired by Ayla’s cuddly looks and life-changing impact. Ayla and Guide Dogs Volunteer Alan (often referred to as the A Team) have been working together for many years, dedicating their time to raising funds and awareness for Guide Dogs.

Like you, Alan and Ayla make an incredible difference to Queenslanders in need and now every Ayla plush puppy sold will help to provide freedom and independence to someone living with low vision or blindness.

Ayla is truly a life-changing dog.

A black labrador laying down and an image of a plush puppy replica of the dog