Training starts for guide dog raisers
The Graney family of Katikati, like many across the region, are puppy raisers for the Blind Foundation guide dogs.
Puppies join families at around nine weeks old and stay with the host family until they are 12-15 months.
Amanda Graney said the family plays a small, but privileged part in the process of getting the puppy prepared for intensive guide dog training in Auckland. The family’s current guide dog puppy Ayla, is 11 months old. She said the pup has a lovely gentle nature and can be patted only when she has her official coat off.
“If you see us in town please do not pat or talk to her as she is working. These puppies when fully trained do an amazing job and will hold someone’s life in their little paws.”
Guide dogs act as the eyes for more than 200 Kiwis who have low or no vision so that they can get around independently and with confidence. Guide dogs are not government funded and rely solely on donations from the public. Amanda has spent the last couple of months raising money for the Blind Foundation guide dogs and has had some amazing responses. She thanks local businesses and individuals who have sponsored the guide dogs in some way.
“A special thanks to Fotheringhame Contractors Ltd who started the ball rolling with a fantastic donation, Baywide Autos Katikati, J and J Graham also gave an amazing donation, as did the Lions Club of Katikati, Katikati Vets and S Graveson. Turama Ahi Pottery Ltd also helped to get us near our target.”
Amanda said part of raising money was not to do nothing, but to take part in the ASB Auckland Marathon by doing the 12km traverse over the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
“The weather played its part with no wind or rain, only 4500 people to work your way around who were also doing the traverse.
“A big thank you to my walking partner, Dale, who got me out to pound the pavement, in the rain or sunshine!”
She said her children have thoughts about fundraising next year and taking part in the ASB Auckland Marathon.
To date the Graneys have raised $2660 and are trying to raise $3000 by the end of November. Thank you to everyone who has sponsored the guide dogs so far or bought raffle tickets.
Donations can still be made until the end of this month as part of the ASB Auckland Marathon fundraising effort — donations can be made to www.everydayhero.co.nz — search for — Guide Dog Puppies — Ayla. Donations go directly to guide dogs, so if you have thought about giving, go for it — it’s easy!
Ayla, the guide dog pup, being raised by the Graney family in Katikati.