“Saying goodbye to Selwood was absolutely heartbreaking. For a whole year, all I thought about was, When will I have to give you up?’’
If you’re an animal lover you’ll understand the heart break of losing a dog. When you have trusted your very life with that dog, the loss is even more profound.
Kate has lived with blindness all her life, she got her first dog at age 18 and has had a Seeing Eye Dog by her side for over 40 years, she just couldn’t image her life without them.
Recently she had the most beautiful partnership with her Seeing Eye Dog Selwood. But this beautiful lab-golden retriever cross was so much more than just a working dog. He was a much-loved member of Kate’s family and her best friend.
At nine-and-a-half, Selwood was getting too old for this very difficult job. He was tired and struggling in the heat. Kate knew soon she would have to retire him. This decision was made even harder knowing that Selwood would not be able to cope sharing the home with her new Seeing Eye Dog. If Selwood retired, Kate would have to give him up completely. Kate and her family were grief-stricken.
“On Selwood’s last day I took his harness off and said ‘You never have to wear this again sweetheart.’ I had to leave before I burst into tears. It was desperately hard.’”
Kate said taking off his harness and saying goodbye was unbearable. Worse still, there was no guarantee of a replacement dog. She loved him dearly and was not only grieving his loss but also really scared of losing her independence and safety without his help.
Kate is not alone. In fact, since she had to retire Selwood even more Seeing Eye Dogs are nearing retirement, forcing extra people like her onto our long waiting list.
A donation today is vital to help train more pups for people who need them most – because amazing Seeing Eye Dogs like Selwood don’t live forever.
"Kate told me proudly that for eight years Selwood was her constant companion, enabled her to get to and from work and helped her enjoy an active social life."
Our long-time instructor Harry had the awful job of telling Kate “No, sorry”, we haven’t got a new dog, when Selwood retired recently.
“It’s inspiring to see the way Kate has benefited from her dogs,” he says. “First as a single person, then as a wife and mother, and now in the workforce. They have given her a real sense of independence and freedom.”
Unless I can raise enough money , Seeing Eye Dogs Australia will struggle to cover basic expenses like vet checks, harnesses and the two years of intensive training each dog needs, putting a serious strain on people like Kate.
Please help us with a donation. We need to raise enough money so we can train more dogs so the lives of other people like Kate - don’t have to stop.
Kate was one of the lucky ones. She was recently matched with a smart, sensitive new dog Clayton to help her on the long, difficult commute from her home in outer Melbourne to her job in the city.
I wish you could have seen how happy Kate was when she met her brand new Seeing Eye Dog, Clayton. Nothing could take the smile off her face.
Donate online today