NEWS

THE GUIDE DOG WHIS­PERER

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - Jenny Gal­braith For in­for­ma­tion about be­com­ing a vol­un­teer visit guidedogs.com.au

IT’S not al­ways smooth sail­ing for guide dogs in train­ing, but one cou­ple from Rooty Hill have be­come guide dog “whis­per­ers” for trou­bled pups.

Chris­tine and Ge­orge Faul­der are given dogs to train who have had some dif­fi­culty with other vol­un­teers, and have seen some dra­matic suc­cess sto­ries.

“We tend to get trou­bled dogs at about five or six months old when peo­ple have some prob­lems and have had to hand them back,” Mrs Faul­der said.

“We’re the trou­bleshoot­ers be­cause it’s only me and my hus­band in the house so it’s pretty quiet and we’ve got time and the quiet­ness to try to get them out of what­ever prob­lems they’ve got.”

The first dog they had didn’t like to be touched, but the Faul­ders taught him to be­come used to be­ing han­dled. The sec­ond one some­times liked to nip at peo­ple but Mrs Faul­der soon trained that right out of her.

“We calmed her down and now she’s beau­ti­ful with my grand­kids, who pat her and cud­dle her and she doesn’t re­act at all,” she said.

The cou­ple first vol­un­teered to train guide dogs be­cause they had a friend who was legally blind and they saw first-hand the good work they could do.

“They get you up and about and keep you mov­ing. Our two grand­kids used to be fright­ened of dogs, and when they first turned up they would go straight up on the lounge and wouldn’t move, but now they are play­ing with them and giv­ing com­mands, so it’s great for the kids, too.”

Guide Dogs NSW pro­vides plenty of sup­port and sends a trainer around ev­ery two weeks to see how the dogs are go­ing.

They are look­ing for more peo­ple to vol­un­teer to train the dogs in the Mt Druitt and St Marys area.

Pic­ture: CARMELA ROCHE

Guide dog trou­bleshooter Chris­tine Faul­der with Xalia and Narmee.

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