Help us raise future heroes today.
Across 2017 you helped us change lives. Thanks to you, Tasmanians like Karen, Phil and Chas are looking forward to a happier Christmas, with a special canine companion by their side.
You can read their stories below, to find out just how Taylor, Yoda and Abby have changed their handler’s lives.
Or, you can listen to them here:
Regaining a lost life
Until Karen met Guide Dog Taylor, she had no idea just how isolated she had become. She was staying at home. She didn’t want to go out and talk to people, let alone strangers. She was depressed and hiding from the world.
But Taylor has opened up a world to Karen that she never thought she’d get back. He has given her hope.
While she has always lived with low vision, it was only recently that it deteriorated to the point where Karen needed a white cane to get around safely. Her whole lifestyle changed and she found it difficult to adjust. The cane did the job, but there was something missing.
A lover of dogs, Karen missed the companionship that they provided. She’d had a wonderful pet dog, and never thought she would find another. But just three months ago, she found that in Taylor. They just clicked.
Karen is now starting to regain her old lifestyle. She’s choosing to head out and meet up with friends. She’s no longer hiding. And shortly, she’ll be travelling interstate for the birth of her granddaughter. She’ll be in unfamiliar places, but Taylor will be there to guide her.
With Taylor, anything is possible. And Karen has Taylor because of your support.
Experiencing special moments
Across 2017, long-term Guide Dog handler, Phil, has been challenging people’s ideas of what someone who is blind can do. Along with his beautiful Guide Dog, Yoda, the 49-year-old has been tackling one fun run after another, working with Yoda to get to the finish line. And every time, they do.
Phil never questions what he can do or can’t do, and Yoda helps him get there.
It’s not just these “big” challenges that Yoda has been there for. Because of Yoda, Phil is able to pick his son up from school, every day. Because of Yoda, Phil is able to travel safely through the streets of Hobart where he works, every day. These are small things that many of us take for granted. But for Phil, being able to do these things is what makes his life ordinary, and enjoyable.
Because of your support, Phil can enjoy the big things in life, as well as the little things.
A bright future ahead
This year, we placed our first official Companion Dog with a young man who was in desperate need of a life-line.
At the start of the year, Chas, 28, was experiencing panic attacks on a daily basis. They were debilitating, and it was exhausting. His whole life was impacted; from his relationship with his girlfriend, to his studies at Uni. It was hardly living.
But things changed when Abby entered his life.
This gorgeous black Labrador who, although unable to become a Guide Dog due to a skin condition, has given Chas hope when he needed it most. She saved him.
Abby is more than a pet for Chas. She is the one thing that is always by his side. With a simple “kiss” or nudge, she can pull him free when no one else can. She is the reason that his panic attacks have almost completely stopped. But you are the reason that the two have found each other.
Your support has given Chas a future to look forward to. A future to plan, with the people that are most important to him. It’s something that everyone should have the opportunity to do.
Meet our future heroes!
They don’t know it yet, but in two years’ time Guide Dog pups Gilbert, Grady, Elly and Derek will all go on to change the lives of four Tasmanians. Whether it’s as a Guide Dog, Therapy or Companion Dog, we have the people and the programs in place to make sure that this happens.
One thing that isn’t guaranteed is money.
These pups will cost over $140,000 by the time they’ve graduated. It’s a long journey, and an expensive one. But we feel confident in asking for your support, because we know that you know just how important these dogs will be for the people they end up with.
Here in Tasmania, the number of people waiting for a Guide Dog is growing. We’re also getting more and more enquiries about our Therapy and Companion Dogs. The number of pups coming into the program and then graduating is critical in meeting this demand.
We want to keep the waiting list down, so we can start changing lives sooner rather than later.
With your donation, we can get these four pups – and future pups – to the finish line, where we know great things will happen.
Please consider making your tax-deductible donation today. Your gift will ensure that by this time next year, we will have more inspiring stories of hope, freedom and choice to tell. And you will have helped create them.
Thank you, and Happy Christmas.