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Meet Leesa: Graphic Designer, Art Gallery Owner and Puppy Raiser

November 17, 2023
Image of Leesa next to some artwork with a Guide Dog in training next to her.

Leesa from Red Hill is one of our more experienced puppy raisers, having just welcomed her seventh pup into her home.

Leesa is a very busy professional, running both her own graphic design business and an art gallery! She is proof you can have both a demanding and rewarding professional life while still maintaining time for puppy love – a combination we are so grateful for here at Guide Dogs.

We rely on people like Leesa to help us raise future life-changing Guide Dogs. Without Puppy Raisers, Guide Dogs would struggle to be the world-leading provider of Guide Dogs for Queenslanders with low or no vision.

For Leesa, puppy raising is her way of giving back to a community she feels passionate about.

“I work in a very visual industry so I appreciate the ability to see and have your sight; it’s not something I take for granted,” said Leesa.

“I value being able to give back in some way; to help look after a future Guide Dog feels very rewarding,” she said.

Leesa brings her pups everywhere. He most recent puppy, Freddy, enjoyed attending client meetings, going to the gym, visiting art galleries, attending performances at QPAC, and visiting museums. We recon Leesa’s pups are the most cultured Guide Dogs around!

“Our pup comes everywhere with us. They fit into our lifestyle and I think that benefits the dog as they are exposed to so many different environments and learn quickly how to navigate stairs, lifts, escalators and crowds,” said Leesa.

An important element for Leesa is the support she receives from the Guide Dogs team, every step of the way in her puppy raising journey.

“Every pup we welcome into our home is different, they have different personalities, different strengths and different challenges,” said Leesa.

“What I love about being part of the volunteering community at Guide Dogs, is you are completely supported. I know I can pick up the phone and speak to Nicci or Melissa or Emily from the puppy educating team and discuss any questions I might have or challenges the pup is experiencing. It is comforting and gives me total confidence to raise a puppy,” she said.

What advice would Leesa give to someone considering puppy raising for the first time?

“I would not hesitate to recommend it. You will feel so rewarded to give back to a cause that literally changes people’s lives by giving them their independence. You are supported along the entire journey and the love you are rewarded with is second to none,” said Leesa.

Leesa can often be spotted at various Guide Dog events with Freddy, helping to raise awareness and being a wonderful Guide Dogs ambassador – we are lucky to have people like Leesa in our Guide Dogs community.

Would you like to find out how to ‘Raise the Power of Paws’ and become a Puppy Raiser? Complete our Volunteer with Dogs form and our friendly team will be in touch!