Hi, I’m Emma, and I’m here today at the Seeing Eye Dogs Australia Puppy Training Centre to show you the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to raise and prepare these special dogs for their important jobs providing the gift of independence for people who are blind or have low vision. Becoming a Seeing Eye Dog isn’t the career path for every working dog. Puppies with special qualities are bred to be successful in this important job. That isn’t to say that other canine careers aren’t important too – like being a Donation Dog. But more about that in a moment… Before getting ready for a busy day of training, it’s important that these puppies have the best start to the day. For almost a decade, Royal Canin has been donating Seeing Eye Dogs Australia with precise nutrition for all of their exceptional dogs. From birth, these puppies need the best possible nutrition to ensure they are in excellent health for every step of the training journey. Having learnt basic obedience and simple commands with their volunteer carers, at around 12 months old puppies return to the Seeing Eye Dog Centre where intensive training begins. Of course socialisation is a very important part of the development process. Even the most driven trainees need time to relax and have fun! Powered by Royal Canin, the dogs go through rigorous training, needing to master a full range of every day environments. First and foremost, Seeing Eye Dogs need to act as a reliable guide providing safe and independent travel for a person who is blind. There’s no room for mistakes! Advanced training takes place on the streets in real life conditions as our dogs will be alongside their handlers at all times. Even with the support of organisations like Royal Canin, it takes around $50,000 to raise, train and place a single Seeing Eye Dog. And we have a waiting list of people who need them. That’s where Donation Dogs come in. These adorable dogs aren’t suitable for being partnered with someone who is blind but they have an equally important job to do working tirelessly to raise funds to put other Seeing Eye Dogs through training and into the homes of people who need them. Without the hard work of Donation Dogs, and the generosity of Seeing Eye Dog Australia’s donors, none of this would be possible. New easy payment technology has been developed by NAB and Quest just for these Donation Dogs. So next time you see a Donation Dog at a local event, at an airport, or in store, show your support by tapping your card to help raise funds for Seeing Eye Dogs. You can also donate online, anytime at SEDA.com.au.