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Guide Dog Tales

Spring 2023
Image of three puppies in the Gudie Dogs nursery.

2023 Puppies

Thanks to your support, Link from the L Litter has come a long, long way from the fluffy little puppy we introduced you to in our Autumn Guide Dogs Tales earlier this year. These paws were made for walking!

Link and his siblings have now reached a new training milestone, recently moving in with their second-stage volunteer Puppy Raising families.

In stage one, our pups learnt the basics of how to behave like good doggies in the home, as well as exploring the local area’s shops, stairs and parks.

These new families will challenge our curious pups even more, with new and exciting experiences out in the big, wide world. It’s all about helping them build their confidence before they start their specialist training to become highly skilled Guide Dogs.

By the time these promising pups wear their graduation hats, they’ll have seen it all.  Nothing will distract them from their important job of keeping their Handler on track and safe while out in the community.  Good boys and girls!

You can meet pups like Link at the next Puppy Pals Day in October!

Image of Link sitting on the grass.

After a couple of years close to home, lots of Australians have the travel bug again and are keen for adventure, just like Jason and Guide Dog Tyson.

Tyson is certainly no stranger to travel – he even has his very own travel case, complete with bowl, treats, comfy bedding and his favourite crocodile toy, “Crocky”!

He regularly accompanies Jason on trips for work, including down to Sydney and Melbourne, as well as a recent adventure out to Longreach. They even have plans to visit America soon!

With travel booming right now, we thought this was the perfect time to catch-up with our Guide Dog Team to answer some of your burning questions about travelling with a Guide Dog.

Q: Do Guide Dogs need special training to travel?

A: Exposure to different types of transport is an essential part of Guide Dog training. It involves getting used to things that might be unusual to a dog – like the sound of an oncoming train or the feeling of stepping onto a floating object, like a ferry. The sorts of skills they learn in training can be transferred to many different types of transport to make them comfortable and adaptable to most situations.

Image of Jason hugging Tyson

Q: How does a Guide Dog know where to go when arriving in a different city?

A: A Guide Dog’s skills can really be used anywhere, keeping their Handler safe by avoiding obstacles and finding the safest path through new environments. The Handler sets the pace, providing directional instructions to their Guide Dog to get them started on their journey. There are many ways a Handler can navigate – from simply asking a local for directions to using different types of technology like Google Maps or travel apps to set them on their way.

Q: Do Guide Dogs really enjoy travelling?

A: It often comes down to the dog and their individual personality, but in most cases, if they get to be by the side of their most favourite human in the world, they’re one happy little traveller! We’re also always available to offer guidance to any Handler before they head-off on their next trip to ensure their dog is best prepared for any big adventure they have planned.

The specialised training our Guide Dogs receive to support their Handler on their adventures is only possible with your support. Thank you!

Chris and his neighbour Hans were true mates.

Having lived on the same cul-de-sac for many years, Chris, Hans and their other neighbours shared a close bond.  It was not surprising then that when Hans wanted to update his Will, he turned to his good mate Chris for some advice.

Chris strongly believes in leaving the world a better place. He shared with Hans that along with his loved ones, he had also included gifts to charities like Guide Dogs in his Will.

Inspired by Chris’s generosity, Hans made the decision to update his Will with a gift to Guide Dogs and a few of his other favourite charities as well.

To honour Hans and the significant gift he left, a promising Guide Dog puppy was named in his memory.

“When Guide Dogs contacted me to let me know they were naming a puppy after Hans, I got very emotional,” Chris said.

“Hans the human would have been very proud of Hans the Guide Dog.”

Image of Chris hugging Hans

On his training journey from a promising puppy to qualified Guide Dog, Hans has had a very special and close-knit group of neighbours following his progress and proudly attending each milestone occasion.

Guide Dog Hans has now completed his formal training and recently passed his final blindfold test.  He is now ready to find his perfect match.

“What began as a neighbourly friendship has resulted in a lasting legacy,” Gifts in Wills Manager Renae Randle said.

“Hans has given the gift of freedom for someone living with low vision or blindness.”

Leaving a gift to Guide Dogs in your Will is simple and anyone can do it. Even a small gift can make a big difference to someone’s life.

Your life story can help write incredible new chapters for others – whether it be training a life-changing Guide Dog, helping a person adjust to life with low vision or even supporting a child with blindness to explore and play for the first time.

If you, or someone you know, are interested in leaving a gift in your Will, please contact Renae on 07 3869 5917.

PAWGUST puppies

PAWGUST puppies – did yours get picked?

Across the country, people like you are braving the chilly air with their pouting pooches right now as part of PAWGUST – a fun fitness fundraising challenge for Guide Dogs!

PAWGUST participants were also given the unique opportunity to help name the promising puppies in the P Litter. Did your name get chosen?

Thanks to your ongoing support and the fantastic PAWGUST fundraisers, please meet Paris, Pippin and Pablo!

With the funds raised through PAWGUST, these promising pups have the support they need to become the next generation of working Guide Dogs.

To learn more about PAWGUST and the P Litter, visit www.pawgust.com.au 

Image of a Larbador pup sitting in the Gudie Dogs nursery.

Harriet recently had the chance to live out her dream of being a pampered Puppy Princess for a day!

Although only five-years old, Harriet has been on a long treatment journey for leukemia, so was really in need of some precious puppy power and pretty princess dresses to help make her day.

Working with the team at Make-A-Wish, Harriet’s wish came true with a special Puppy Princess party at our Bald Hills Nursery.

“To see her light up like that – it’s been amazing,” Harriet’s Dad Anthony said.

After arriving in style, Princess Harriet was greeted with a bow and lick of the hand from Trainee Support Dogs Kobe and Evie.

Image of Harriet in a princess dress in front of a pink back ground next to a black Labrador with a bow tie on him.

She then graced cuddle corner to meet some very cute puppies, before mingling with the commoners at the pamper station to treat some toy puppies to new royal hairstyles.

Thanks to you, these puppies were able to bring joy to Harriet and her family while continuing on their journey to becoming life-changing Guide Dogs.

We can’t thank you enough for helping make a real difference to the lives of Queenslanders in so many ways!

For Shelley, volunteering was the perfect way to not just meet people from all walks of life and give back to the community, but also a way to get her dog fix!

Shelley’s made life-long friendships through her volunteering efforts, and has offered the following advice for anyone considering becoming a volunteer.

“Try to volunteer in all areas,” she said.

“You really will meet some wonderful people and it truly enriches your life.”

To celebrate the wonderful volunteers of Guide Dogs, people like Shelley came together in May for National Volunteer Week morning tea events around Queensland. This year’s theme was all about The Change-Makers.

Image of a woman and a Guide Dog in coat looking at the camera.

In Brisbane, volunteers were treated to a dog training demonstration, exclusive site tours, and heard from guest speaker and Volunteer Client Ambassador Jason about how Guide Dog Tyson has changed his life for the better.

A huge thank you to all the incredible volunteers and change-makers who dedicate their time to helping Queenslanders live the independent life they choose.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can help, call Brittany on (07) 3500 9030.

A lot has changed in the Puppy Program over recent years, making the program much more adaptable to suit people’s busy lives. So, whether you’re a business professional, a parent, a university student or a retiree, you too can help raise a pup.

Paramedicine student Tomas found he had capacity to volunteer as a Raiser for Guide Dog puppy Arnie, even while he studied full-time.

“I loved knowing that Arnie is going to change someone’s life and that I’ve been able to have a role in that,” Tomas said.

“Although you only have your puppy for six months, that small part of your life is going to help change someone else’s life for the long-term. It’s an incredible feeling.”

For six months, Arnie was Tomas’ shadow and went everywhere with Tomas, including to his university lectures, the shops, and off to spend time with friends and family.

If you’d like to make a difference just like Tomas by raising a Guide Dog puppy, register your interest at www.guidedogsqld.com.au/raise-a-pup

Image of Tomas holding up Arnie

Thanks to your support, our lifestyle classes are connecting more Queenslanders than ever – and letting their inner artist shine!

From coasters to pot plant holders, to tables and jewellery boxes, there’s no limit to the creativity of these new artists.

“It’s very rewarding to finish a project and see an idea come to life,” Mosaic class participant Gloria said.  “This King Parrot was based on a paper design template from a photo my daughter took.”

These classes are all about connection – connecting participants with new friends and connecting with their creativity to learn a new skill.

The mosaic class is just one of the six different activities available to Queenslanders living with low vision or blindness through our Leisure and Lifestyle program.

For your chance to view some of the unique art pieces created, call Heidi on (07) 3500 9006 for your invite to the next Art with Heart exhibition this year.

Image of a mosaic of a bird

Despite ever advancing technologies, Braille – first invented in 1824 – is still used every day for reading, deciphering signage at bus stops, getting directional instructions at traffic lights and much, much more.

Braille really is a great empowering tool for people living with little or no vision and remains an important part of the training provided through Guide Dogs.

Thanks to the generous support of Maureen Stevenson, we’re excited that a new Braille machine and a Braille printer are on the way to help expand our Braille literacy programs.

Maureen’s generous contributions to numerous Queensland charities, including Guide Dogs, recently earned her the well-deserved award of Community Philanthropist of the Year. Congratulations Maureen!

If you would like more information on funding an item on our Greatest Need Fund list, please contact Kerry on (07) 3500 9005 today.

Image of three women

Over the past 10 years, Dave and his Guide Dogs have joined paws with the Calliope Bowls Club, the Calliope Community & District Bank, and a group of amazing volunteers to run a bowls day to raise over $62,000 for Guide Dogs.

After moving to Gladstone with his Guide Dog Queeny 13 years ago, Dave was welcomed to the Calliope Bowls Club as a social member.

Sadly, Queeny has passed on, but Dave continues bowling with his bowling mates and Guide Dog Harvey by his side, impressing everyone with his bowling skills.

To learn more about how your community can come together to raise funds and help change lives contact fundraising@guidedogsqld.com.au or click below.

Lyn gasped and almost dropped the phone!

“When I saw the number on my phone I knew it was Guide Dogs – but oh my goodness..!” Lyn trailed off in disbelief.

Lyn was blown away when she answered our call to learn she’d won the $50,000 gold bullion from Draw 174 of the Guide Dogs Lottery!

Now her options are endless.  What would you choose – a car, a round the world holiday, or even a chauffeur-driven ritzy shopping spree?

In a heart-warming twist, we also learnt that supporting Guide Dogs is especially close to Lyn’s heart, as she’d seen first-hand the wonderful difference a Guide Dog made for her aunt.  Thanks Lyn for your ongoing support and congratulations!

For your chance to be the next lucky winner and to join our Paw Club so you never miss a draw, visit www.guidedogsqld.com.au/lotteries.

A woman celebrating with confetti falling on her. Text on image reads: 'Could you be our next $50k winner?'

Protecting your furry family members

One sure way we can protect them is through a Guide Dogs Pet Insurance plan, which covers up to 85% of eligible vet bills1.  You can rest easy knowing your pet will have access to the best possible care if accidental injury or illness comes their way. And when you take out a policy, you can even get one month for free2.

When you choose a Guide Dogs Pet Insurance policy, you’re not only protecting your furry friend, you’re also helping Queenslanders living with low vision or blindness.

Find out more about protecting your furry family members and supporting Guide Dogs through your policy, visit https://www.guidedogsinsurance.org.au/qld or call us on 1300 920 526.

1Pre-existing Conditions and certain illnesses are excluded. Maximum $20,000 per year. Terms, conditions, exclusions, benefit limits and sub-limits apply. Benefit Percentage varies based on the level of cover selected.

2One month free is applied as a discounted premium over the first year of cover. All quotes provided include this discount. Terms and conditions apply.

Guide Dogs Pet Insurance is issued by The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd ABN 78 090 584 473, AFSL 241436, is distributed and promoted by Greenstone Financial Services Pty Ltd (GFS) ABN 53 128 692 884, AFSL 343079 and by its Authorised Representative (AR) Royal Guide Dogs Australia ABN 99 008 427 423 AR No 1259160 and is arranged and administered through PetSure (Australia) Pty Ltd ABN 95 075 949 923, AFSL 420183. Any advice provided is general only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Please consider the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to ensure this product meets your needs before purchasing. PDS and Target Market Determination available at guidedogsinsurance.org.au.

Image of a white and brown dog. Text onm image says "Guide Dogs Pet Insurance".

Your kind gift this tax time will change a life!

Help raise funds to support the start of a new adventure for Queenslanders who are waiting for their perfect Guide Dog match.