Do you live in a dog-friendly house? Do you have some spare time on your hands? Do you fantasise about taking a pup to the pub with you?
The good folk at Guide Dogs Victoria need you. They’re always home to pups that’ll grow into companions as part of the Guide Dog program, and they’re in need of carers to raise them. In other words, they’re giving away puppies to folks in Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo — with the people in the latter three locations needed urgently.
If you put up your hand, you’ll get a puppy for about a year — from its eight-week birthday until it turns 14–16 months. During that time, you’ll be responsible for introducing the sights, sounds and smells it’ll meet when it starts working as a guide dog (and giving it heaps of cuddles).
Of course, it’s not all just fun, games — it’s a lot of commitment and hard work. You’ll have to be responsible enough to take care of regular grooming, house training and exercise, and be available to attend local training days, along with vet checks and Puppy Pre-School. A car and a fenced-in property are mandatory, too. And, you can’t be away from home for more than four hours at a time.
In return, the organisation provides a strong support network, food, vet care, and prevention of fleas and ticks.
“The work we do at Guide Dogs Victoria wouldn’t be sustainable without the assistance of our Puppy Raisers,” says Guide Dogs Victoria’s Puppy Development Team Leader Naomi Wallace. “By volunteering as Puppy Raisers, the community can help us to train and rase our beautiful dogs who go on to ensure Australians who are blind or have low vision lead independent lives.”
Guide dogs are provided free to those in need, but each costs around $50,000 to raise over two years. If you can’t afford to sponsor a pup or donate to the charity, but you’ve got a bit of flexibility and time on your hands, this could be your calling.
Keen? Apply online. And send pics, please.
Guide Dogs Victoria is looking for puppy carers now. For more information and to volunteer, head to the organisation’s website.