Guide Dogs names litter of puppies after Neighbours characters, locations and alumni
In celebration of beloved Australian TV show Neighbours returning to our screens, Guide Dogs has named a litter of puppies at it’s Melbourne campus after its iconic characters, locations, and alumni. Evocative of the spirit of Neighbours, these cute pups will rely on the kindness of the community and new friends for the first year of their lives, as they settle into homes with Volunteer Puppy Raisers.
The lab-radorable litter includes Madge, Kylie, Margot, Kennedy, Ramsay, Harold, and Toadie, who fans will remember had his own storyline on the show as a Puppy Raiser with Guide Dog in training, Rocky.
Today the pups attend their first puppy training class, and Guide Dogs are calling on Australians to sign up and become Puppy Raisers, caring for the adorable pups and nurturing their development ahead of formal Guide Dog training.
Ryan Moloney, who played Toadie on the show, recently had the opportunity to meet the puppy named after his character and learn all about the Puppy Raising process, further supporting Guide Dogs to promote Puppy Raising across the country.
Volunteer Puppy Raisers play a crucial role in supporting people living with low vision or blindness in the community. They will experience the joy of watching the pups grow and thrive through their training, all with full support from Guide Dogs.
Over 12 months, the Puppy Raisers will transform the young pups into potential trainee Guide Dogs who will provide essential independence and freedom to people who are blind or have low vision.
Guide Dogs Victoria’s Puppy Development Team Leader, Naomi Wallace:
“The work we do at Guide Dogs wouldn’t be sustainable without the assistance of our Puppy Raisers. By volunteering as a Puppy Raiser, members of the community can help us to train and raise our beautiful dogs who go on to ensure Australians who are blind or have low vision lead a life without limits.”
“Puppy Raisers need to have a fully fenced yard, be away from home no more than four hours at a time and have access to a car.
“Raisers must also be able to attend training days in their local area so the puppy can learn basic skills such as sitting nicely when being groomed, walking calmly on a lead and developing good house manners – all of which sets them up to develop the skills they’ll need to change a life.
“We are looking for people that are home most of the time, who are interested in putting effort into training and socialising the dog. What you will get in return is a fantastic experience.”
Melbourne based Loretta has been a Puppy Raiser with Guide Dogs Victoria for five years. Loretta is currently raising Nash, who is 9 months old and is currently undertaking his training to eventually become a Guide Dog.
“The Puppy Raising process is amazing. Not only do I get the joy of looking after a new puppy, but I also get to be part of the incredible community at Guide Dogs. I have met so many dedicated people who are doing a fantastic job at supporting people with low vision or blindness.”
“Through raising puppies, I have realised how crucial this stage of the Guide Dogs training program is and how valuable the work done by all the team is during this journey. I thoroughly enjoy the process, the dogs never cease to amaze me with what they are capable of, their ability to understand feelings and offer support from a young age is astonishing. The hard work truly pays off because the end results are so rewarding, seeing the difference they go on to make in someone’s life.
“Volunteering with the Guide Dogs team has also been a delight, they offer support every step of the way, as well as being very generous with their time and the supplies they provide. Puppy Raising has definitely been one of the most fulfilling things I have done.”
While Puppy Raisers are responsible for everyday activities such as grooming, house training and exercising their pups, Guide Dogs provides a strong support network.
Naomi Wallace: “We provide the food, veterinary care, flea and tick prevention and you will have a dedicated Puppy Development Adviser on hand to answer any questions and provide guidance to our Puppy Raisers.”
“We want our volunteers to know that we’re here to support them on what is truly such a rewarding journey. We want our pups to have the absolute best start in life so they can go on to provide life changing assistance and independence to those living with low vision or blindness.”
It takes over two years and costs $50,000 to raise breed, raise and train each Guide Dog.