Guides lead­ing the guide

Hills Gazette (Kalamunda) - - NEWS -

AL­FIE is be­com­ing a lo­cal celebrity as he treads the pave­ment in Kala­munda as part of his life-chang­ing jour­ney to be­come a guide dog.

Kala­munda cou­ple Dave and Karen Hod­son said Al­fie was their sec­ond trainee guide dog puppy.

“As part of the train­ing we take Al­fie with us wher­ever we go, in­clud­ing the shops, cafes and pubs in Kala­munda,” he said.

“He is al­ready be­com­ing well known in the area, par­tic­u­larly as he wears his guide dog in train­ing coat.

“Our job is to ex­pose Al­fie to as many things as pos­si­ble, whether it be tak­ing him to the pub ev­ery Fri­day night, a Dock­ers game or tak­ing him on a train.”

Mr Hod­son said it was a heart­break­ing, but ul­ti­mately re­ward­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

“We’ve had Al­fie since he was two months old. He is now 10 months old and will be with us for another year un­til he hope­fully moves on to full­time train­ing school,” he said.

“My wife had a good cry when we had to say good­bye to last puppy Luna.

“It’s a bit like fos­ter­ing chil­dren, but you know it’s for the best.”

Guide Dogs WA (GDWA) spokes­woman Lau­ren Shep­herd said there were cur­rently 15 pup­pies in the GDWA Puppy Rais­ing pro­gram, all un­der the care of vol­un­teer puppy rais­ers.

“We cur­rently have 53 guide dogs work­ing and a wait­ing pe­riod of at least 12 months for those cur­rently on a wait list for a guide dog,” she said.

Any­one over the age of 18 who meet all el­i­gi­ble cri­te­ria can ap­ply to be­come a puppy raiser.

Picture: Bruce Hunt­mu­ni­ d475230

Karen and Dave Hob­son with Al­fie.

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