Guide Dog Gypsie Graduates
On Friday 4 November 2016, PLC Sydney’s Guide Dog, Gypsie, graduated!
The graduation ceremony took place at the Guide Dogs Centre in Glossodia, NSW where all those involved in their training – from puppy raisers to trainers – watched them parade down a red carpet. PLC Sydney Year 9 students attended in support of Gypsie, the school’s first Guide Dog to graduate.
‘The red carpet was rolled out and we watched as Gypsie was fitted with her harness and lead to join the graduating class. The Guide Dogs Association showcased the intellectual ability of the dogs with a series of demonstrations, including scenarios such as selecting an unoccupied seat.’ Alexandra Raleigh
PLC Sydney has been raising funds for Guide Dogs NSW/ACT through an annual event called Pet Show. Pet Show is a PLC Sydney tradition dating from the early 1950s and is a Year 9 Service Learning initiative. The key value of the project is learning that through service you can make a difference in the world and that through contributing to the community you fulfil the obligations and responsibilities of citizenship.
‘Overall, this experience was extremely rewarding and we definitely recommend it to future students in Year 9.’ Alexandra Raleigh
It takes 2 years and over $35 000 to breed, raise and transform puppies into amazing Guide Dogs! At eight weeks old, puppies are placed with their volunteer Puppy Raisers where they will learn basic obedience and social skills. Before they can become qualified Guide Dogs, selected puppies go through 5 months of intensive training, and must be healthy, eager to work, display good concentration, and be able to control the temptation to be distracted by food and other animals. These intelligent dogs will be matched with amazing people who are leading active and happy lives and overcoming the challenges of vision loss.
Congratulations on your graduation Gypsie!
See photos of the ceremony on our facebook page.
Visit the Guide Dogs website for more information on becoming a Puppy Trainer or donating to this amazing organisation.
Image (from left): Year 9 students Tamsyn Sharpe, Ling Ling Lin, Brianna Neowhouse, Christina Shi and Alexandra Raleigh with our new Guide Dog graduate, Gypsie.