He picks things up so quickly and lets me focus on getting to my destination.
When Phil Menzie started a new job this year, the change was made easy – and enjoyable – thanks to his beautiful Guide Dog, Yoda.
With Yoda there to guide him, Phil quickly learnt the layout of his new workplace.
Working together, it only took the pair a few days to become familiar with things like Phil’s new desk, where the tearoom and other offices were located, and of course, where Yoda’s bed was placed.
“If I were using a cane, I’d have to navigate all sorts of things like desks, people and steps,” says Phil. “With Yoda, he can go straight to where I need to go without hesitating. He picks things up so quickly and lets me focus on getting to my destination.”
But a few months ago, the 53-year-old was reminded of just how different his life would be if he didn’t have a Guide Dog.
With Yoda briefly out of action following minor surgery, Phil had no choice but to return to the white cane. For someone who has had a Guide Dog by his side since he was a teenager, he described the change as “a big shock”.
“I don’t move as quickly and as confidently with a cane,” says Phil. “I’m concentrating on listening to what’s around me and the texture of the footpath.”
Phil remembers walking up a busy street in Hobart with the cane, and feeling very exposed: “I think I hit every sandwich board, pole and table on the street,” he laughs.
The ease of travel with Yoda, on the other hand, is incomparable.
Looking out for obstacles in front of him, Yoda allows Phil to relax, feel confident and just enjoy the moment.
“Yoda is my eyes, and without him I wouldn’t have the confidence to travel to so many places,” says Phil. “His help means so much to me.”
With any changes in Phil’s life, they are made not only easy, but enjoyable, with Yoda by his side.
Thanks to the continued support of caring people like you, more Tasmanians just like Phil can be matched with the perfect Guide Dog for them.