Krista was born blind and born to be a mother.
This Mother’s Day, not only will Warragul’s Krista Christensen be celebrating the day with her daughters, Bethany (6) and Alicia (4) , she’ll be enjoying it with her fur babies too – her Seeing Eye Dog, Nikita, and her first Seeing Eye Dog, Destiny, who is now retired and is the family’s pet dog.
Blindness has never been a barrier for the determined small business owner, it’s just a matter of ‘finding another way to do things.’
"As a child, I was just one of the kids, my blindness was never an issue with my family. I have always had an extremely supportive family. Being blind just means sometimes I have to find a different way to do things. It’s never stopped me from achieving my goals, motherhood, and relationships,” she says.
Krista, who was living in Melbourne at the time, first approached Seeing Eye Dogs over a decade ago because she wasn’t a confident cane user. She says Seeing Eye Dog Destiny transformed her life and made getting out and about a lot easier. “Going for walks for exercise, meeting up with friends, getting to where I needed to be was just made a whole lot easier, and it boosted my confidence,” she says.
She walks her girls to and from school or kinder, and is able to do what every other parent does. “Having a Seeing Eye Dog enables me to be the best mother I can be,” she said.
Krista says that all mothers’ intuition is the same. “From a very young age, my children were extremely vocal which is common among children with blind mothers. My experience with motherhood is just the same, our communication was just different. I’ve always made sure my house is safe, with the help of family, and I’ve always just been able to get on with it,” she says.
Smartphone, voiceover and GPS technology have also enhanced motherhood for Krista. “I can hop on my iphone and google a recipe, or I can set the GPS and know exactly where I am going,” she says.
Krista adds that the girls are very aware of what their mum’s Seeing Eye Dog is there to do, and proudly tell people that they can’t pat or distract Nikita while she is working.
On Nikita’s personality, she describes her as cheeky and loyal. Nikita was puppy-raised within a family, which Krista says, shows in her now.
“She’s very protective of my girls, she’s very accepting of children, and she’s very adaptable. We moved her from Melbourne to Warragul and she was completely fine with the change,” Krista says.
Krista is excited by her children’s future and is looking forward to supporting them in whichever activities they wish to pursue.
“If they want to join Girl Guides, play sport, camps, travel– I’ll be able to get there independently and do what every other parent does, thanks to my Seeing Eye Dog,” Krista says.
This Mother’s Day, Krista says she and the girls will be making cakes together – one of their favourite activities.
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