Think you don’t have the time to raise a Guide Dog puppy? Think again, says volunteer puppy raiser Julie Dainty, who has spent the past year preparing Lexie for her next steps in Formal Guide Dog training.
Working full-time in the Brisbane CBD was not going to stop Julie Dainty from helping raise Guide Dog puppy in training, Lexie.
Julie and Lexie, like many public service workers, travelled to and from the CBD via bus, past security, up the lift and into their work space every day.
Julie was a first-time puppy raiser and Lexie was the first Guide Dog pup to be trained inside the Queensland Government building at 1 William St.
The misconception of needing to be retired to raise a Guide Dog pup was one Julie was happy to prove wrong. After seeking approval from her work to have a dog in the office, the pair spent 18 months progressing from basic commands such as “sit” and “stay” to a stage where Lexie was ready to start her five-month formal Guide Dog training.
“I’ll be sad to see her go but I know that this is the next stage in her life and she’s ready. I’m so proud that she is going ahead to do what she was born to do.”
– Puppy Raiser, Julie Dainty
“She’s really brightened up my life. You never go anywhere by yourself because she’s always there with you and she always creates company.
“Every time we go somewhere there’s always somebody that wants to say ‘hello’ and ask about her development and about Guide Dogs. You’re never lacking conversation or interaction with other people.”
Julie said one of the advantages of training a Guide Dog pup in the workplace was the exposure to a range of environments and people.
Julie conceded she was worried at the beginning of the journey about saying goodbye to her pup, but knowing Lexie was destined for bigger things made the difficult time a little easier.
“It’s a very rewarding thing to do and having that satisfaction of seeing them do things that they’ve been taught to do and you say ‘Oh, I helped her to learn that!”
“One of the reasons why I took on Puppy Raising is because I wanted to see Guide Dogs out there for the people who need them. I always knew that I would have to give her back.”
Puppy Raiser, Julie Dainty
“Hopefully this start I have given her will help her to get through to the end to become someone’s best mate, and eyes.”
If you would like to find out more about, or register your interest in, raising a puppy for Guide Dogs, click here.