Guide Dogs Blog

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Celebrating the Amazing A Litter's Graduation

June 14th, 2018

On Thursday 7 June, we welcomed around 200 supporters of Guide Dogs SA/NT to help us celebrate the Graduation of our amazing A Litter! Thanks to Hotel Grand Chancellor for the warm welcome and for accommodating our dogs on their special day.

It seems only right that these special pups are graduating in 2018, which is the Chinese Zodiac Year of the Dog. Of course, at Guide Dogs, it’s always Year of the Dog! But the A Litter’s milestone is especially significant because it means they have reached the end of their Puppy Development program and are preparing for an exciting future. 

Executive Manager of Strategies and Projects at Guide Dogs SA/NT, Ollie Kratounis, said, “There can be no higher calling for a dog than to enable independence, safety, participation and inclusion for people living with disability.” We are so grateful to our Puppy Sponsors and Puppy Raisers who make this important work possible, and we thank them for sharing this celebration with us.
 
The love, time and energy invested in the training of Alaska, Atticus, Alvin, Apollo, Astra, Ace, and Aura has prepared them to reach their full potential. The A Litter have presented as confident and capable dogs throughout their assessments and, whatever their path, we’re very proud to see them graduate to the next stage of their careers. 

One of the A Litter, Aura, has opted to retire as a family pet, but with the benefits of much better manner than your average pooch! She has settled in with a loving new family, enjoying snuggles on the couch and long beachside walks – sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? 

We were also lucky to hear from Debbie, a Puppy Raiser volunteer, about her experience raising one of the A Litter puppies. Debbie raised Alvin from just 8 weeks old until nearly 2 years, giving him the confidence and socialisation he needed to progress into Basic Training. The dedication and passion of our Puppy Raisers is truly incredible. 

The A Litter’s Graduation was a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements of other dogs in various stages of the Guide Dog journey – from Tempo, who is training a potential Ambassadog, to Viva in Advanced Training. We also introduced Hunter who has found a rewarding new role as Therapy Dog at Seymour College.

The process of preparing a Guide Dog or Autism Assistance Dog ultimately leads to a very special moment: being matched with their new handler. To highlight this important milestone, we welcomed guest speaker Bob Pamment with his newly matched Guide Dog, Ocker. The team celebrated their Graduation Walk earlier this week and it’s clear that their bond is already strong.

Finally, our guests were introduced to the E litter. These seven adorable puppies are only 20 weeks old and are just beginning their incredible journey, each one eager to learn and already displaying positive traits. We look forward to sharing the E Litter’s development with our Puppy Sponsors through Pupdates and emails.

Ollie concluded the ceremony by sharing a word of thanks from our clients to supporters: “Please know that when you support Guide Dogs you're not just supporting a dog or a litter. You're investing in a better future for people living with disability. That's the power of what you do, so thank you.”

Enjoy some highlights of the day below, or visit our Facebook page for the full album of photographs.

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