International Guide Dog Day – Wednesday 29 April 2015

International Guide Dog Day is a day to celebrate the empowering effect
of guide dogs on the lives of blind and vision impaired individuals. As
highly trained and skilled animals, guide dogs allow their guardians to
feel secure and safe
. Check out the Guide Dogs Victoria website to
learn more about the role of Guide Dogs, and the problems faced by their owners
and how you can support them.
By law, Guide Dogs can go everywhere you or I can go (with the exception
of zoos and certain parts of hospitals). This means that Guide Dogs can
travel in taxis, buses, trams, trains and airplanes; go into any
restaurant, cafe or food store; go to any entertainment or sporting venue; and
stay at any motel, hotel or caravan park.

It takes a lot of concentration for a person who has impaired vision
to work safely with a Guide Dog. To help this team focus on its
important work, please follow these tips:

  • Please don’t pat, feed or otherwise distract the Guide Dog when it
    is working. A well-intentioned pat can undo months of training.
  • Please don’t grab the person or the dog’s harness. 
  • When you provide guiding assistance, please walk on the person’s opposite side to the Guide Dog.
  • Please make sure your pet dog is on a leash or under control around a
    Guide Dog.
  • If you see a loose dog, please contact the local council.
  • According to government legislation, you must allow a Guide Dog to go anywhere that the person working with it can go.
  • Guide Dogs are fully vaccinated and health checked regularly.