Res­i­dents urged to get bak­ing for guide dogs

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

Mata­mata bak­ers are be­ing urged to whip up a batch of puppy-shaped bikkies to sell to friends, fam­ily and work­mates to raise money for guide dogs.

If you love to bake or eat bis­cuits, the Red Puppy Bikkie Day held by the Royal New Zealand Foun­da­tion for the Blind ( RNZFB) on Fri­day and Satur­day, April 5 and 6, is the yum­mi­est way to sup­port its an­nual Red Puppy Ap­peal.

This ap­peal col­lects money for the breed­ing and train­ing of guide dogs through­out New Zealand and RNZFB is ea­ger to make the day even big­ger and bet­ter in 2013 – the third year Red Puppy Bikkie Day has run.

Al­ready more than 200 in­di­vid­u­als and or­gan­i­sa­tions have signed up, from busi­nesses to schools and day­cares, but RNZFB needs far more peo­ple to get in­volved in or­der to make the ap­peal suc­cess­ful.

RNZFB chief ex­ec­u­tive San­dra Budd said an as­tound­ing amount of time, ef­fort and money went into train­ing each guide dog puppy.

‘‘ Be­fore our guide dogs are ready to act as the eyes of peo­ple who are blind or have low vi­sion, we train them for about two years and then teach them skills spe­cific to the per­son who will have the guide dog,’’ she said.

‘‘This can be any­thing from how to ne­go­ti­ate ob­sta­cles like road works through to be­ing com­fort­able on trains and buses.’’

RNZFB re­ceives no government fund­ing for Guide Dog Ser­vices so sup­port of the Red Puppy Bikkie Day makes a real dif­fer­ence to peo­ple who are blind or have low vi­sion.

A guide dog gives users in­de­pen­dence, con­fi­dence and com­pan­ion­ship.

Any­one keen to par­tic­i­pate can reg­is­ter at red­puppy.org.nz where they will also find all the in­for­ma­tion re­quired for run­ning a suc­cess­ful Red Puppy Bikkie Day event, in­clud­ing recipes, posters, tips, FAQs and a colour­ing com­pe­ti­tion.

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