Dr Theresa Ruig recently joined host Harriet Moffat on the Seeing Eye Dogs Show to share her journey as a first-time Seeing Eye Dog handler.
Dr Ruig leads a busy life. Client, volunteer, and former employee of Vision Australia, she’s also a mum of three daughters and is embarking on a new role as the diversity and inclusion lead at OZ Minerals.
“I have the opportunity to try and drive change in an industry that has lots of opportunity and potential for being more inclusive,” Dr Ruig said.
“I’m quite excited.”
It’s the next step in her career, and accompanying Theresa on her new adventure is Seeing Eye Dog Jango, who was paired with Dr Ruig in May 2022.
Dr Ruig’s journey to become a Seeing Eye Dog handler began after relocating to Brisbane, where she felt a Seeing Eye Dog would offer her greater independence in her new community.
“I wanted to be more independent moving around a city I didn’t know at all.”
Before her partnership with Jango, Dr Ruig’s primary mobility aid was the white cane.
But during her time working for Vision Australia she had the opportunity to work with colleagues and clients who were paired with Seeing Eye Dogs experienced first-hand the difference they made in the lives of their handlers.
“I could see the incredible value and the opportunity that Seeing Eye Dogs give in terms of increasing independence and confidence in getting around the community.
“That’s what persuaded me to go and get a Seeing Eye Dog.”
Theresa has no regrets about her decision.
“I love what Jango gives me now in terms of additional freedom and the confidence and greater independence to navigate my community on my own.”
You can listen to the full Seeing Eye Dogs Show on Omny or via the player below: