It was 2010. The oncology ward at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. Jean Arkley and her husband Tom Harry Arkley were in the oncology waiting room.
They heard a noise behind them and saw a dog waiting outside a radiation treatment room. “All of a sudden, an elderly gentleman came out and set off at great pace with his Guide Dog, weaving through a crowded waiting room,” said Jean.
“He had such confidence in the dog—and he had every right to be. I just don’t know how you’d put that into words. I couldn’t get it out of my mind, I was so impressed.”
When Jean lost the love of her life not long after, she was devastated. She decided to sponsor two little puppies, Tom and Harry, in his memory. Tom is now a working Guide Dog, and Harry is a Therapy Dog, helping kids in need at a regional WA school.
“My Tom was a real gentleman. And of course, ‘Squire Tom’ is too. These other dogs, the Companion and Therapy Dogs, can bring so much light into a life as well. They’re making an impact – just in a different area. It’s just magic.”
Following this, she joined with other Syndicate Sponsors to follow the journeys of two more dogs, Demi and Izzy. And, on the late Tom’s birthday this year, she’s given another gift to follow the journey of one of our new recruits, Ella.
“To see all these little puppies turn into responsible dogs and see what they do—it really is changing lives. For the individuals, but also for their entire families. It’s giving people their lives back.”