“I can’t imagine my life without Prentice.”
Prentice is a highly skilled guide dog dedicated to Michele’s safety. It’s hard to believe he was once the gorgeous little puppy in this photo.
Prentice guides Michele safely across busy roads. Helps her on and off public transport. And even leads her around the aisles of her local grocery store.
Michele, who lost her sight from glaucoma at age 13, clearly remembers being depressed before she was matched with her first guide dog Nellie at the age of 17.
“I didn’t feel confident enough to go out or cross the street. I had no independence and I got very depressed.”
“Now I go out when I want, where I want. I catch ferries, buses and trains. I have no problem doing things when I’m with Prentice.”
Right now, we have litters of puppies just raring to go. They’re dreaming of the day when they too can grow up to be a superhero like Prentice.
And there are so many people just like Michele on our waiting list, ready for these little balls of enthusiasm to grow up and help them.
But it takes a lot more than eagerness to become a guide dog like Prentice. The training is intensive, time consuming and costly. And because not every puppy has what it takes, there simply aren’t enough guide dogs for Kiwis like Michele who need them.
As Michele says,
“By giving, you’re supporting your fellow Kiwis to support themselves. You’re helping them develop the confidence to become part of their community. You’re giving people a gift – almost like a new life.”