- national volunteer week
Just shy of the age requirement, Chloe Beadle waited patiently for over a year for her chance to become a volunteer Puppy Raiser.
“Mum and I were watching the news one night and saw that Guide Dogs needed temporary carers for their dogs,” Chloe said.
“We had a pet Labrador at home, so wanted to help out. We attended an information session for Puppy Raising and mum decided she wanted to volunteer her time to help raise a future Guide Dog.
“I wasn’t old enough to raise a puppy myself because I was only 17 at the time, but I always tagged along to lessons and helped mum at home whenever I could.”
During the year of working with mum Melissa to raise Guide Dog puppy ‘Zoe’, Chloe met other Puppy Raisers and the Guide Dog trainers and became more determined than ever to become a raiser herself.
“As soon as I turned 18, I applied. I think it was actually on my 18th birthday that I sent in my application to become a Puppy Raiser,” she laughed.
When Zoe left the Beadle home to begin her five-month formal training at Guide Dogs, Chloe was given the opportunity to raise her first pup.
“We handed in Zoe for her formal training and less than two weeks later, I was collecting ‘Vanda’,” she said.
Chloe has now been volunteering as a Puppy Raiser for the past six months.
“Never did I think that dogs could do what these Guide Dogs do. They are so incredibly smart.
“To be involved in helping change someone’s life is really special.”
The paramedic and nursing student had always been inspired to help others – a trait instilled by her upbringing, and of course, her wonderful mum Melissa.
“In school, I volunteered with lots of community programs, visited retirement and aged care homes, helped around the school with fundraising, and joined programs to help the environment,” Chloe said.
“Now, I love being part of the dog’s journey as a volunteer Puppy Raiser. What I love most though is knowing that I am in a small way doing something that is going to really help someone who is blind or has low vision. That’s the best feeling.”
Chloe is now passing on her knowledge to her younger sister Reese, who at 14 years old, has a few more years until she can join her other family members as a volunteer raiser.
As part of #NationalVolunteerWeek we want to thank Chloe and Melissa, along with all of our amazing Puppy Raisers and carers who give so much to their dogs.
If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer Puppy Raiser, you can find out more or apply here: www.raiseapup.com.au