People born in the Year of the Dog possess the best traits of human nature – these very same traits are required in a Guide Dog.
For more than 60 years, Guide Dogs Victoria has been globally recognised for world-class practice and innovation in the vision sector.
In this Year of the Dog, Guide Dogs Victoria remains honoured to have been selected by the Asian Executive as their 2018 charity partner.
In this auspicious year, we have been graced with incredible support from the Asian Community.
“I would like to thank The Asian Executive and their members for the amazing support they have shown to us Year of the Dog. As Australia’s Most Trusted Charity brand for six consecutive years, the key to our success is experience and attention to detail. Our Guide Dogs take part in comprehensive safety and relationship training, and detailed behavioural analysis from an early age. This extensive process ensures each Guide Dog is perfectly matched with the right Client." said Karen Hayes, Chief Executive Officer, Guide Dogs Victoria.
Chris became a Client after moving to Australia from Asia with his family in 2006. As he was adjusting to a new country, Chris learnt he would soon lose his sight due to a condition called corneal dystrophy. Chris contacted Guide Dogs Victoria for help and that’s when he first met Guide Dog, Marco. It didn’t take long for Chris and Marco to discover their obvious connection. Marco immediately adjusted his speed to match Chris’ walking pace during the trial, and the pair have been in close partnership ever since.
“We can teach Marco anything once or twice and he knows how to make the right decision. He can get to the post office, the train station, anywhere,” Chris said.
“Marco learns everything. He is bilingual too: he understands both English and my native Asian language. Whatever I say - Marco will learn. He is definitely very smart.” Guide Dogs provide much more than mobility benefits. They enhance social participation, well-being and encourage their Handler to try new experiences and challenges.
“Guide Dogs Victoria has changed our lives. Losing my vision created a big change and it has been difficult. But Guide Dogs Victoria and Marco have both taken us from the darkness into light,” Chris said.
It takes two years and over $50,000 to breed, raise, train and match a Guide Dog with a person who is blind or has low vision. The need for the services of Guide Dogs Victoria is greater than ever before, with approximately 15,000 Victorians diagnosed with some form of irreversible vision loss every year. As these numbers continue to rise, the demand on our services is expected to double by the year 2020.
Our Guide Dog program is invaluable, but it is not government funded. We rely heavily on the generosity of our donors, sponsors and the community. Please donate today and help us change someone’s life for the better.