Guides leading the guide
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.
Karen and Dave Hobson with Alfie.