Australia Meet the retirees who have raised 18 guide dog puppies

03:11  02 october  2017
03:11  02 october  2017 Source:   ABC News

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After losing their family pet 15 years ago, Ian and Eileen Henderson channelled their love of animals into a raising guide dogs for the visually impaired.

Colby Morita has raised guide and service dog puppies for Guide Dogs of America and Canine Support Teams. Sep 18 , 2017 at 7:25 pm. I am helping a friend who has Parkinson’s Disease adopt a retired service dog .

Feris is the newest addition to the Henderson guide dog college.© Provided by ABC News Feris is the newest addition to the Henderson guide dog college.

When Ian and Eileen Henderson's family pet died 15 years ago, the Sydney couple was devastated.

But from that loss came the idea for training puppies to become guide dogs, and now the pair has been recognised for helping visually impaired people win back their independence.

The veteran trainers have been featured in a new book celebrating the 60th anniversary of Guide Dogs NSW/ACT — and they're not done yet.

They are currently raising their 18th puppy, a 15-week-old male golden Labrador called Feris.

"Like any new dog, we have to teach Feris toilet training, commands like sit and stay, walking on a leash," Mr Henderson said.

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Colby Morita has raised guide and service dog puppies for Guide Dogs of America and Canine Support Teams. I would love to home a pup / dog that didn’t meet the standards .

I’ve been asked many questions since I began raising guide dog puppies including “What Happens To A A retired Guide Dog would be one who has served as a Guide Dog while a rejected (career change) If a dog in our program does not meet all the proper criteria necessary to be a guide dog

"But we also have to make sure he can ignore distractions, like traffic on a busy road or a group of excited school children."

After 12 months, Feris will be handed back to Guide Dogs NSW, who will decide if he can care for a visually impaired person.

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Sharing Our Puppy Training Tips. Who picks up guide dog poop? Jan 15, 2017 By Colby Leave a Comment. Colby Morita has raised guide and service dog puppies for Guide Dogs of America and Canine Support Teams.

Mar 27, 2013 By Colby 18 Comments. Hmmm…so is this really Advanced Guide Dog Puppy Raising ? Well…no not really, but we did learn a few new and important things about raising our guide dog pups from our good friends Tony and Sam.

"Returning the first dog was very hard, but we learnt after so many years that if we do the right thing with this animal, then it's going to help someone less fortunate than us," Ms Henderson said.

While celebrating the couple's journey as trainers, the 60 Tails book also features stories about people with sight loss and how they've benefited from having a guide dog.

"We were really touched to be part of the 60th anniversary of Guide Dogs NSW. I always get very emotional when I look back at all the dogs we've raised," Ms Henderson said.

"Seeing our dogs at graduation, you feel like a proud parent and you get a bit teary. I just think, 'there's my baby', it's quite emotional."

Guide Dogs veterinarian Dr Caroline Moeser said it cost about $35,000 to breed and train each guide dog.

"We rely so heavily on volunteers like Eileen and Ian because we receive less than 2 per cent of funding from the government," she said.

"It's thanks to the generous support of the public that we can continue to provide crucial services to visually impaired people."

Mr and Mrs Henderson would like to see more retirees get involved in raising puppies to become guide dogs.

"It's a great way to enter retirement because you only have the dog for a year, so you don't have to worry about whether you'll still be around," Mr Henderson joked.

"After that year, you can then go on holiday or do something else, but you do have to really commit yourselves to the pup for that period."

Guide Dogs NSW/ACT is currently looking for 60 people to help raise puppies to become full-time guide dogs.

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