I love my life as a Guide Dog because I know I am doing really worthwhile work.

But the way I see it, life is too short to waste it. I love the opportunity to do something seriously worthwhile. And I am just so proud to be a Guide Dog.

For me, it all started when I went for about eight weeks to a couple of puppy raisers named Jenny and Peter.

Jenny and Peter were very nice people and they taught me lots about good manners and not getting distracted.

When I began my full Guide Dog training I found it tough at the start. But the trainers at Guide Dogs Victoria give you lots of breaks for muck around time with the other dogs. I certainly enjoyed that.

Very soon, I really loved the training. And I especially loved the fact I was being taught by professionals at Guide Dogs Victoria. I can tell you, the trainers there really know their stuff and they are very encouraging and kind.

When I finished my training I was matched with a woman named Genamarie. I am her first ever Guide Dog.

She needs lots of help with the busy traffic and the wide roads. I have to be so careful.

I love it when Genamarie takes me to the dog park. You get to hang out with all the local dogs for a while and get up to date with what they are all doing. But I always come back to Genamarie very happy because I know I have a more interesting life than any of them.

You know, in many ways, I reckon being a Guide Dog is the best job in the world. You are needed every day and you know your handler depends on you.

I often have a laugh to myself when my handler gets stopped in the street with people saying ‘what a lovely, intelligent dog’ or sometimes they say ‘I wished my dog could be as good as yours or was as well trained.’

My guess is that many of these people have no idea how much work is involved in becoming a qualified Guide Dog. I am so proud I passed the test.

Apart from the time and effort, there are huge costs involved. No wonder Guide Dogs Victoria depends on donations. One day I heard some officials explaining that the full cost to training a Guide Dog is now $50,000.

The best thing you can do for me and all the other Guide dogs like me, is send your tax-deductible gift before 30th of June.

With best wishes from the doggie world.
Guide Dog Gypsy

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