At just 12 years old, Janine’s life hit a roadblock. She found out she was legally blind, which meant that everything was about to change.
“Being blind is a huge adjustment emotionally. Everything you do in life changes. Everything.”
As she grew older she became increasingly housebound, dependent on others to do what most take for granted – a quick trip to the shops, a walk around the block, or even collecting the mail.
“All my friends and family were working and I couldn’t leave my house by myself. It was very frustrating.”
The challenges she faced were many. Janine couldn’t drive, couldn’t “walk into work and sit at a computer… [or] sit and read a book”.
Eight months ago, everything changed again – but this time in a surprising and wonderful way. Guide Dog Tom entered Janine’s life and made a remarkable difference from the moment they met.
“I went from being frustrated, feeling sad and trapped in my home to feeling free. Tom didn’t just give me independence; he has opened up my world.”
Tom is described as quite the gentleman (or gentle dog!). He finds the door, always leads the way, helps Janine feel protected and starts lots of conversations.
The pair are regularly seen navigating the streets of Claremont together. Janine enjoys taking the train from Claremont to the city, a ride which is not only possible thanks to Tom’s guidance, but now much more social, too. He’s become a regular local attraction, helping Janine to make new friends.
Thanks to Tom, Janine sees life differently now. She no longer has to struggle with the same isolation and dependence on others she once felt – a frustration that began nearly 40 years ago.
“His eyes are my eyes.”
Now, Janine wants others to feel the same way she does: “Please donate, as it will change someone’s life incredibly.”
There are more people depending on their friends and relatives like Janine did. By helping us to deliver more Guide Dogs to West Australians, your donation can give them their freedom and independence back.
Donate today and open up someone’s world.