Puppy raisers sought across state – Bendigo Times – Bendigo Times

Bonding: Lynda Davis with her guide dog in training Banjo. Lynda is the only Guide Dogs Victoria puppy raiser in Bendigo. Photo: BRENDAN McCARTHY
GUIDE Dogs Victoria is calling on more people from Bendigo to take on the responsibility of a puppy raiser.
The role involves working with young pups for 12 months while they develop basic skills ahead of their formal guide dog training.
In Bendigo, Lynda Davis is the only certified puppy raiser, looking after five-month-old Banjo.
It’s her first time with a guide dog, and she was motivated to sign up after seeing the good assistance dogs can provide.
“There’s a gentleman who lives nearby with a working dog, I see him getting on and off the bus, walking the streets, in town and I always think that dog has changed that man’s life,” she said.
“I thought what a great experience it would be for me to be able to do that for somebody else.”
Ms Davis shares a special bond with Banjo, giving him plenty of love and treats. However, when the guide dog coat is on, it’s work time for the golden Labrador.
“Last week we graduated to a supermarket, so we walked through a supermarket and got on to a stationary train, next week we’ll move on to a moving train and then a bus,” Ms Davis said.
“At the end of 12 months, he goes back to be assessed by Guide Dogs Victoria and if they think he’s a suitable candidate they then do the harness training with him.”
If Banjo isn’t successful, he would still be well suited to being an assistance or therapy dog.
Guide Dogs Victoria is on the search for 20 more volunteers across Geelong, Ballarat, and Bendigo.
Puppy development team leader Naomi Wallace said the ideal volunteer has a fully fenced yard, access to a car and is away from home for no more than four hours.
“We provide the food, veterinary care, flea and tick prevention and you will have a dedicated puppy development adviser on hand to answer any questions and provide guidance to our puppy raisers,” she said.
Guide dogs are provided to people who need them, such as people who are blind or have low vision, at no cost.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.