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Arnold Cook Society

By supporting VisAbility or Guide Dogs WA in your will, you’ll receive a free invitation to the Arnold Cook Society.

Members are invited to special events such as Guide Dog graduations, kept up to date with the latest news via PawPrints and Visionary, and receive birthday cards, Christmas cards and Guide Dog calendars—as well as other special gifts.

Dog paw prints in the beach sandWe want to recognise your foresight, generosity and commitment to leaving a bequest to Guide Dogs WA, and celebrate the impact you will make.

Why I chose to leave a Bequest

Judith, an Arnold Cook Society member and passionate supporter of Guide Dogs WA

“My uncle lost his vision later on in life, and whilst he did not have a Guide Dog, I saw first-hand the effect vision loss can have on someone’s life. I have chosen to leave a bequest in my Will. I’m proud to know that I can help someone else enjoy life as much as I do; that they can still experience everything I get to experience even though they might not be able to see as well.” – Judith, Arnold Cook Society member and passionate supporter of Guide Dogs WA.

Who is Arnold Cook?

The Arnold Cook Society honours Dr. Arnold Cook’s pioneering work in bringing formal Guide Dog training to Australia. He was a visionary West Australian, who also happened to be blind.

Arnold was an avid student of Economics. In 1948, his academic achievements became postgraduate study in London. During his time in London, Arnold reached out to the British Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. He dreamed of a Guide Dog to help with mobility, and to provide him with independence as he travelled with his studies.

Miss Betty Bridge, a Guide Dog trainer in Exeter, became aware of Arnold’s situation. Betty had previously trained a black Labrador, Dreena, and decided to partner her with Arnold. Dr. Cook then brought Dreena to Western Australia from England in 1950, and as the first professionally trained Guide Dog in Australia, Dreena’s arrival created high interest in the community.

With his new Guide Dog leading the way, Dr. Cook established Australia’s first Guide Dog organisation in Perth in 1951. Within the first year, the first professionally Australian-trained Guide Dog, Beau, was working with his owner Elsie Mead. Dr. Cook’s successful efforts led to what is now Guide Dogs WA.

Arnold believed that people who were blind and vision impaired could branch out into other types of work with a Guide Dog by their side, just as Dreena had done for him. At Guide Dogs WA, we share in this belief.

If you, too, share in this belief, you can help us continue to provide life-changing Guide Dogs for West Australians living with blindness or vision impairment by leaving a bequest in your Will.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of making a gift to VisAbility Guide Dogs WA, our Bequest Officers are here to help you. Please call on (08) 9331 8202 or email bequests@guidedogswa.com.au for information and assistance.

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