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.
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.