Thanks to people like you, Perth grandmother, Brianna is able to just get on with her life.
Due to several hereditary conditions, she has less than 5% vision – but doesn’t let that stop her! She continues a lifelong passion for walking and listening to music, with Jessie by her side.
The pair are regular visitors to Perth Concert Hall and Jessie even seems to enjoy the shows. Two years after getting her Guide Dog, Jessie, Brianna cannot imagine life without her.
Before Jessie became part of her life, she was reluctant to go out alone. Not knowing who or what was out there, kept Brianna a captive in her own home.
Brianna had enjoyed a career working in community development and helping passengers board cruise ships in Fremantle. Her deteriorating vision forced her into early retirement.
Brianna was in her early 60’s when she finally applied for a Guide Dog. She had planned to wait until her vision got worse before applying. She was worried she wouldn’t be able to look after such a special dog.
“It’s an awesome responsibility to have a Guide Dog and I was very nervous at first”
After speaking to an Instructor, she realised the best time to learn to work with a Guide Dog, was while she still had some sight.
In July 2017, Brianna was matched with golden labrador, Jessie.
They were instantly drawn to each other, but Brianna had some reservations. Would Jessie get on with her pet dog, Zippah? As a fast walker, she was worried that the dog wouldn’t be able to keep up with her. Was Jessie a good fit, physically, socially and in spirit?
Brianna had faith that the matching process took every aspect of her lifestyle and the traits of the possible dogs into account. And the match was perfect. Brianna was recovering from surgery at the time she was matched, which made the training more challenging for her. Jessie seemed to sense that she needed to take this more slowly in the early days and was very protective of her. Brianna has not looked back, since her training was completed!
Brianna’s independence is only possible thanks to the generosity of Western Australians in the community like you.