Elizabeth kneeling on grass next to Companion Dog Emma.

Make a life-changing difference for Western Australians living with low vision, disability or illness.

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04 December, 2023

At Guide Dogs WA, we often wonder if our adorable puppies are aware of the life-changing impact they will have on the lives of Western Australians living with low vision, disability or illness. At the tender age of eight weeks, they join our training program, and the journey they embark on is nothing short of remarkable.

Take Emma for example, born in July 2020. Thanks to the generosity of Western Australians like you, she benefited from two years of intensive training with our dedicated volunteers and specialised trainers and instructors. Our team recognised that Emma’s most suitable career wasn’t as a Guide Dog however she was destined for another special and impactful role, as you will soon read.

Elizabeth walking with Companion Dog Emma in the park.Meet Elizabeth, or “Lizzy” as her loved ones affectionately call her. At 25 years of age, Lizzy lives with motor dyspraxia, intellectual delay and hyper mobility syndrome. She was interested in a highly trained Companion Dog to help with friendship, company, emotional support, responsibility and socialisation.

That’s where Emma fit in perfectly. “I really wanted her, so I could do more walking. Sometimes she just sits next to me when I’m on the computer. When I go to sleep, she always comes up to me and just puts her head on my bed,” says Lizzy.

You can help train more puppies to become future life-changers! Your donation today funds the training of Guide, Autism Assistance, Therapy, Facility and Companion Dogs like Emma.

Lizzy describes Emma as ‘perfect’. She has a pink and purple toy collection, which mirrors Lizzy’s love for pink and purple. Their bond is beyond companionship; it’s a tale of understanding, warmth and unwavering love.

Emma is there during Lizzy’s quiet moments, offering comfort and non-judgemental friendship. “Dogs just know your feelings when you’re upset or down”.

Lizzy’s mum Deirdre, shares the family’s journey of searching for the right companion for Lizzy. For many years the family had been looking for a suitable dog that Lizzy could manage on her own. Aware that a puppy would require more time and dedication than the family could give, it was a chance encounter with a Guide Dogs WA stall at the 2022 Perth Royal Show that was a pivotal moment, the start of their beautiful relationship with Emma.Elizabeth and her mum Dierdre kneeling next to Companion Dog Elizabeth in the park.

“We went to the Royal Show and passed the Guide Dogs WA tent. We stopped and talked to them, they were lovely and they said, well, here’s the brochure and think about putting your name down. And so I did and put all the information down and we just thought, okay, we’ll see what happens, see if it’s meant to be,” Deirdre says.

This Christmas, you can help us provide hope and companionship for more Western Australian families. Your support will improve quality of life and bring ‘peace of mind’ to mothers like Deirdre, knowing that their children have a friend always by their side.

“There’s lots of benefits for Elizabeth and it gives me peace of mind as well. I used to feel sometimes, oh, I’ve got to get back. I know Lizzie’s on her own. But I know that she’s got a friend. I think that’s the thing, it’s the friendship companionship.”

“Just knowing that she could just touch Emma and play with Emma or talk to Emma or just having that comfort. I know Emma stays right by her the whole time. She stays at her feet or if she goes into her bedroom, Emma will put her head on the bed and wait for her to finish what she’s doing.

Lizzy and her family have generous people like you to thank for the gift of Emma. Your support changes lives.

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