Really enabled me to be independent.
In July 2020 I commenced training with my third Guide Dog, Minnie, a 27-kilo white Labrador, who was born on 25th August 2018.
This is the first home-training experience for me because of the COVID-19 pandemic. All of the residential training is normally undertaken at Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind’s National Headquarters and Training Centre in Cork, so this is all very new to me and Minnie, especially as I lost my sight in June 2019 due to a damaged retina. My trainer is fantastic and enables me to be independent again. She is a real source of assistance and encouragement in this very new partnership. She really got the match right between myself and Minnie, which is crucial in a successful partnership that can last for ten years.
The dogs are trained to a very high standard by Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, and it is up to their handler to reinforce their training. This is what makes a successful Guide Dog.
Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind have really enabled me to be independent, and if it wasn’t for their amazing dedicated staff, I wouldn’t have the life that I have today.