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My name is Patricia and I'm a first-time volunteer puppy carer for Vision Australia Seeing Eye Dogs. Our puppy caring journey started this year when we picked up Barkindji. This handsome young man is now almost 1 year old and is starting his official training in October. We are so excited for him!

We embarked on this adventure as we didn't know if we were ready to have a pet dog in our lives yet. Along came an advertisement to become a puppy carer and after an information session... we were sold. What better way to find out if we were ready and doing something good in return! Vision Australia Seeing Eye dogs cover all the costs for food and vet treatments, plus supplies you with all the equipment you need. Simply a no brainer to us!

This has been a lovely opportunity to meet new people, explore the region, learn new skills and off course, getting lots of puppy love! The community of carers in the region is very supportive, some have cared for 6 dogs and are still going! So, there is loads of experience to share and it's lovely catching up during group training sessions and social get-togethers with the puppies.

Every dog has its' own character and learns differently, so you do need a dog whisperer to help you every now and again. Well, we have a great one here in the region, and she goes by the name of Paige. Her official title is Puppy Development Trainer (PDT). She has given us guidance, support and encouragement, throughout this journey. And there are no silly questions, so don't be shy, she is there for you and your puppy.

And now the question of questions, and you will be asked this by quite a few people..: “HOW DO YOU GIVE HIM UP?”I don't think I'm giving him up. I prefer to think that we've helped him through the start of his journey, in order for him to achieve bigger and better things. Our goal for him is to enrich the life of someone who is blind or has low vision. Don't get me wrong, I shall need a box of tissues, when we say farewell. But it has been so worth it!

Thank you for reading this and enjoy your journey with your puppy.

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