Guide Dogs Blog

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Raise a puppy, change lives.

January 25th, 2019

A team of dedicated Puppy Raisers is responsible for helping Guide Dogs SA/NT to develop and socialise puppies on their journey towards becoming Guide Dogs.

These pawsome volunteers open their hearts and homes to our puppies for 12+ months and are essential to helping them develop their confidence, obedience and socialistion.

Murray Bridge resident, Natalie, who is currently raising her third puppy for Guide Dogs, shares a glimpse into the life of a Puppy Raiser.

Why do you volunteer as a Puppy Raiser for Guide Dogs?

When I first learned about the Puppy Raising program, I realised I could offer something special by taking a puppy into my home in the hopes of one day helping someone living with vision impairment or blindness. To witness a puppy’s development and to see the connection between a dog and a client is so rewarding. It’s not difficult to let them go when I think about the lives they will change and all the good they’ll do.

What is an average day in the life of a Puppy Raiser?

Puppies live with us from around 8 weeks old until 12+ months so an average day varies depending on their age. When our current puppy isn’t snoozing or playing, we walk to the shops, work on basic commands, meet other dogs for playtime and socialisation, or have training sessions with our Puppy Raising Advisor. On Saturdays, he comes to watch the kids play footy and netball. While he’s with us, he’s part of the family.

What advice would you offer to people considering becoming a Puppy Raiser?

Absolutely do it! Especially if you work from home like I do, or you have a part-time job where you can expose the puppy to new environments. The support I receive from Guide Dogs, the friendships I have made with other Puppy Raisers and the knowledge that I’m helping a puppy prepare for their important career makes it all worthwhile. I wake up happy every day because I get to do something I love!

Guide Dogs SA/NT is currently recruiting Puppy Raisers to nurture the next generation of Guide Dogs. If you’re looking for a rewarding volunteer experience, call (08) 8115 6050 or email volunteering@guidedogs.org.au to learn more.

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