Guide dogs are lifeline for blind
YVONNE Murray knows that her guide dog Blossom will always be there to help her.
The Kingscliff resident and her trusty companion will attend a free seminar tomorrow to ensure other Tweed residents are not kept in the dark when it comes to vision loss.
Blossom has been Ms Murray’s guide dog for four-and-a-half years, helping her navigate her home and the streets, and even saving her life.
“A few weeks ago, I had a turn and couldn’t get up, and all night long she tried to wake me, licking my face and putting her head on my chest,” she said.
Eventually Blossom made a moan which was enough to rouse Ms Murray, and she was able to get to hospital.
Ms Murray said Blossom was her key to living an independent life.
“She takes me wherever I want to go, because she remembers names of shops. She looks after me if she thinks I’m sad and gives me a cuddle and checks me during the night,” she said.
“She’s my life.”
Guide Dogs NSW/ACT’s most recognisable mascot is only one of a range of services to be showcased to the public.
Spokeswoman and orientation and mobility instructor Deena Richardson hopes the seminar will educate the public about the organisation’s other services.
“People will be able to experience the effects of macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts through our simulators and we’ll have lots of literature and support aids that people can try,” she said.
“We have electric mini- guides that work like the sensors on car reverse lights where they will either vibrate or give out an auditory signal when nearing an object.”
Ms Richardson is one of three instructors operating in the Tweed Shire, which is home to a large number of retirees with some form of vision impairment.
“It’s about safe mobility in the city and getting from point A to point B.
“We get out there and let the public know what we can do and that all our services are free to the client.”
Guide Dogs will demonstrate their services at Tweed City Shopping Centre tomorrow from 10am and 3pm.
Demonstrations will run at Tweed City Shopping Centre from 10am tomorrow