Last year’s Pupstar Otis has some very exciting news. And Yonti and Vesper are always ready to lend a paw …

Otis graduates

Otis has some wonderful news. He’s graduated as a guide dog. It’s not an easy milestone to achieve so it’s a very big achievement.

Well done Otis!

But he couldn’t have done it without kind New Zealanders like you. From his volunteer puppy raising family, to the donors and sponsors who fund the work of Blind Low Vision NZ, Otis’ achievement is a joint effort. Thank you for being part of it.

Otis’ last weeks of training were intensive. He was taken on trains, the bus, to the mall and to cafés, just as he would with his own handler.

His testing was rigorous. He went through blind testing, where his handler was blindfolded and monitored carefully every step of the way.

Otis is enthusiastic and loves to work hard, but guide dogs also need to be able to settle quickly and wait patiently.

One area Otis had to put in a bit more training was working around other dogs. He found them distracting, so it was important to make sure he could work safely and reliably no matter what doggy distractions might be around.

Otis is a happy puppy who loves to work hard. When he’s finished work for the day, especially adores having a good long scratch. He arches his back like a cat and goes all wriggly!


Yonti is a sweetheart. She is always active and whatever you are doing she has to help. Whether it’s cleaning the car, weeding the garden or doing office work, Yonti is there ready to lend a paw….

During the wet weather Yonti made many visits to the mall to practice going up and down elevators and walking up and down stairs. She’s learned to settle really well when it’s coffee time for the humans which is good training and an important skill for a guide dog.

When the weather was fine Yonti enjoyed a walk amongst the daffodils at Taitua Arboretum where she enjoyed the pleasure of meeting roosters, chickens and ducks.

When COVID-19 restrictions allow, Yonti is going to enjoy a caravan holiday adventure! It’s all part of the wonderfully diverse experiences that puppies undertake while in training to prepare them for their future as guide dogs.


During the lockdown Vesper had a break from his formal training and enjoyed a lovely family holiday.

Before the lockdown, Vesper was making steady progress. He’s a bright little fellow who is always eager to please – vital characteristics for a guide dog.

Vesper has been picking up the basics of training very quickly and he always tries his best.

When training is over for the day Vesper gets out into the free run with his kennel buddies to burn off some energy. His favourite game is to grab a toy and hide out in the playground tunnel!