Margaret cuddling Guide Dog Dalton.

Help give Western Australians the chance to live the life they choose with confidence

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22 September, 2023

Imagine no longer being able to go out and experience everyday life because you were afraid.

Margaret was in her forties, when she began to notice issues with her vision. After a series of medical tests, Margaret was told her condition wasn’t something that would go away, or could be corrected.

Diagnosed with Optic Atrophy, a condition in which the optic nerve deteriorates, Margaret describes her vision as an “old black and white TV”.

“There’s degrees of black, white and grey, but there’s no colour and the definition is not there so everything blurs into everything else. It’s quite difficult to navigate new areas or to interpret new things.”

Margaret walking along footpath with Guide Dog DaltonAfter many years of just “getting by” and sensing she was becoming isolated because it was “safer and less challenging”, Margaret, now aged 62 decided it was the right time in her life to apply for a Guide Dog. Along came a beautiful, black, two year old Labrador named Dalton, and Margaret says her life has expanded as a result.

Generosity from people like you, transforms the lives of Western Australians. It helps to train more Guide and Assistance Dogs like Dalton and ensure more people in Western Australia can live their life with hope, happiness and opportunity.

“I think the biggest single thing for me, is my confidence is back in terms of being able to get out and do things. The whole landscape’s changing now that I’ve got Dalton and I feel confident that I’m not going to run into things, I’m not going to miss things, I’m not going to fall over, I’m not going to embarrass other people,” said Margaret.

Margaret kneeling on grass next to Guide Dog Dalton.Margaret’s experience since having Guide Dog Dalton has been positive and has allowed her to be herself. The incredibly trained Dalton is helping Margaret live a happy active lifestyle. He accompanies her to the gym, swimming pool and on walks around her local area.

“I think disability doesn’t have to be limiting and I think a Guide Dog is a very obvious visual example for the general public to see that a person is low vision or in fact blind and yet they’re doing the same things that we are doing.”

Margaret is grateful to have Dalton in her life, who she describes as “clever, social and happy”. Her independence has improved significantly and Margaret knows if she wants to venture out to do something, she has the skilled and patient Dalton by her side to support her, and she no longer needs to rely on other people.

“I know that if there’s anything different on the routes that we normally walk like roadworks or something across the footpath, he will slow down and indicate that something’s different. I can walk with confidence knowing that he’s going to alert me of any changes. There is no reason not to go out.”

Margaret appreciates that the training that goes into a Guide Dog is immense and would not be possible without the support of people like you. Your generosity is critical as it provides our volunteers and trainers with the resources they need to be able to raise and train Guide and Assistance Dogs like Dalton.

“I just feel like they’re all part of, who Dalton and I are together really. I appreciate on a daily basis the work that’s been put into him and the relationships that he’s had with those individuals.”

Please donate today so we can raise and train more life-changing Guide and Assistance Dogs and give Western Australians the confidence and independence they deserve.

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