If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to turn a playful puppy into a responsible working guide dog, Wet Nose Day - hosted by Guide Dogs NSW/ACT in Parramatta Park from 10am to 4pm on Sunday 20 November - will have all the answers.
The free event will showcase the entire puppy-to-guide dog journey as part of a fun-filled day for the whole family that also offers great entertainment, kids’ activities and tasty food options.
“Wet Nose Day will give Sydneysiders the complete guide dog experience,” said Dr Graeme White, CEO of Guide Dogs NSW/ACT.
“Visitors can gain a unique insight into the amazing journey a puppy goes on, as it’s raised and trained to work as a guide dog to help someone with impaired vision get around safely and independently.
“They will experience some puppy love, get to see guide dogs in action and hear inspiring stories from people about how their guide dogs have transformed their lives.”
Wet Nose Day will also feature a range of fun activities for the kids including: face painting, a guide dog colouring-in competition, a jumping castle and a blindfold cane challenge to give visitors the chance to experience what it would be like to have no or limited vision.
With Christmas just around the corner, visitors can also learn about how they can give back to the organisation, which doesn’t receive any government funding.
“We’re encouraging all Sydneysiders to come and join in the fun at this year’s Wet Nose Day. Bring along your family and friends to this free event and support the good work we do in providing free training services in how to use mobility aids like guide dogs that change people’s lives,” said Dr White.
For Sydney mum and psychologist Leonie Wolff, whose sight has deteriorated due to an eye condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa, having a guide dog has given her back her independence.
“If it wasn’t for Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, I don’t think I’d have a proper life,” says Leonie, who will be speaking at Wet Nose Day with her second guide dog Desiree. “I used to feel like I was in jail at home, but having a guide dog has opened up my world and I now have the confidence to get out on my own.”
A highlight of Wet Nose Day will be the opportunity to meet Guide Dogs NSW/ACT’s first custom bred litter of guide dog puppies.
Known as the ‘M’ litter, the six puppies mark the start of the organisation’s plans to create its own Puppy Breeding Colony in 2012 with the objective of doubling the number of guide dogs graduating by 2015.
“By 2020, around 300,000 NSW and ACT residents will be affected by vision loss*, so we’re planning now how we can better meet growing demand for our guide dogs, both from people looking to replace a retiring guide dog and from those waiting to be matched with their first guide dog.”
WET NOSE DAY EVENT DETAILS
WHEN: 10am – 4pm, Sunday 20 November
WHERE: Parramatta Park, Park Avenue, Parramatta
For more information call 9412 9300 or visit Guide Dogs.