Con­fi­dence re­in­stated

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By LAURA MCKOY

Hav­ing a guide dog has changed Judy Jamieson’s life.

Af­ter years of ‘‘ too many near misses’’ around town and cross­ing roads, she de­cided it was time to in­quire about a guide dog.

She con­tacted the Guide Dog ser­vices in Hamil­ton and they ar­rived on her doorstep for a full as­sess­ment.

Her walk­ing speed, per­son­al­ity, and daily ac­tiv­i­ties were mon­i­tored to en­sure they se­lected a guide dog that would suit her per­son­al­ity down to a T.

And

be­fore

Ms Jamieson knew it, Quin­lan was in­tro­duced into her life.

The black poo­dle with an abun­dance of en­ergy soon be­came a fa­mil­iar sight around town as lo­cals came to know the lov­able dog.

Ms Jamieson agreed that over the past 16 months he had been a huge bless­ing and given her more free­dom.

‘‘I had been hav­ing trou­ble cross­ing roads but he has given me back the con­fi­dence that I had lost,’’ she said.

‘‘He was very quick to pick up where I wanted to go and he has never got lost. The key is learn­ing to have the con­fi­dence that your dog does know where he is go­ing. Once you trust them, it is easy to go walk­ing any­where.’’

She ad­mit­ted it took a while for her to trust Quin­lan – she wasn’t use to hav­ing a sec­ond pair of eyes and a sec­ond pair of legs – but once she did, life was bet­ter than ever.

Ev­ery day is ad­ven­ture with poo­dle.

He has plenty of per­son­al­ity and is of­ten quite the celebrity around town with the tourists.

‘‘I am out and about nearly ev­ery day with him and some­one al­ways stops to give him a pat, say hello or take a photo,’’ she said.

Ms Jamieson has been grad­u­ally los­ing her vi­sion since, as a 13 year old, she was di­ag­nosed with a brain tu­mour that was press­ing on her op­tic nerve.

The fu­ture is un­known but she doesn’t let it get her down.

‘‘I still have enough sight to get into trou­ble,’’ she laughed.

But she doesn’t seem like the trou­ble­some sort – she has a heart of gold and likes to get out and help peo­ple.

On Fri­day, March 30 she will be out­side The Ware­house help­ing to an the raise money for Red Puppy Ap­peal and all the money will go straight to the Guide Dog ser­vice, a non­profit or­gan­i­sa­tion that re­lies heav­ily on peo­ple’s gen­eros­ity.

On Thurs­day, March 29 Bay­leys Real Es­tate is hold­ing its an­nual Puppy Walk at 5.30pm.

This starts at Mata­mata Pri­mary School and will go through Tom Grant Drive.

Ev­ery­one is in­vited to join, so bring along your fam­ily and your dog in sup­port of those who use guide dogs on a daily ba­sis.

A gold coin do­na­tion is re­quested of par­tic­i­pants.

Ms Jamieson en­cour­ages peo­ple to at­tend be­cause the money raised is go­ing to a re­ally great cause.

Ev­ery­day peo­ple: Judy Jamieson and her guide dog Quin­lan are an in­sep­a­ra­ble team.

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