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Puppy Raising: a new family experience

Not quite king of the pride lands, Guide Dog Puppy Simba is the king of his home!

Puppy Raiser Jo smiles at the camera as she cuddles Simba at Puppy Class

Simba with Puppy Raiser Jo

Born in October 2016, Simba arrived at Guide Dogs WA just before Christmas. His brother Harley also came with him, and they’ve both been doing well in their Guide Dog training so far.

Simba’s Puppy Raiser Jo shared with us a bit about her reasons for becoming a Puppy Raiser, and her experience with Simba so far…

“Puppy Raising is something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but wanted to wait until [my youngest son] was old enough to have a puppy in the house and he would be able to know the rules. I just felt like I’d like to give back, for it to be about other people, to help other people, to show the children and contribute back.”

A young Guide Dog in training Simba sits in his yellow training coat outside a Coles store“We were sitting in [the Guide Dogs WA] reception one day and saw a few people with working dogs and afterwards the kids said to me: ‘Mum, we can see the difference he’s going to make, and we can’t wait’. I just can’t wait to see him as a working dog one day and know we’ve helped him along that journey.”

“Simba’s got a really cheeky personality. He’s very confident; he just wants to explore everything. He’s always tilting his head to the side when we’re talking to him, always trying to understand. He’s clever and inquisitive. His favourite game is putting both of his paws in his water bowl and digging the water out so it goes everywhere. It’s a great game when it’s hot!”

“Our family – the kids are so lucky, we want to make a difference in someone else’s life, someone less fortunate. It’s just a really small way to make a difference to someone else’s life. I’ve already been asked so many times how I’m going to give him up. But he’s not mine. I’m looking after him for someone else, he’s not mine to keep.”

“I love everything about having a Guide Dog Puppy. We get to watch him grow and teach him new things. You can see he’s so keen and eager to learn. Every time we take him somewhere new we get to watch his reaction to all these new experiences and it’s just so great to see.”

We met up with Jo at the International Guide Dog Day Street Appeal back in April to see how Simba was going – check out the video below for an update!

You can learn more about what’s involved in Puppy Raising, check out if you’re eligible, and apply online!

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