BARRY Murray is no stranger to the life-changing impact of a Guide Dog.
The Bentley resident, who was born blind has had guide dogs throughout his life, and the companions have seen him through his childhood, tertiary education and his admittance to the bar.
The barrister recently welcomed a new dog, Pluto, into his life after the retirement of his long-term guide dog Ike.
Mr Murray said having a guide dog was a confidence booster.
“My guide dogs have given me more confidence that I wouldn’t have had otherwise, and that permeates through every part of my life,” he said.
He said his work colleagues embraced his furry companions, and hoped to see Pluto equally welcomed in the corridors at work.
“My work embraced my last Guide Dog Ike and they’ve done the same with Pluto. Pluto and I have become team mates and partners,” he said.
Pluto helps Barry not only in getting to work, but Barry is also looking to take him in to the court room—just as he did with Ike.
“The dogs are great ice breakers when talking to witnesses, especially young ones.”
Last month, Mr Murray and Pluto took part in a major milestone together, graduating in a Babbingur Ceremony hosted by Guide Dogs WA.
Babbingur is a Nyoongar word that describes a ‘very loyal and devoted friendship.’
Mr Murray said it was a great way to celebrate their new union.
It takes at least two years and costs more than $35,000 to train a guide dog; Guide Dogs WA is reliant on the support of the community to fund the Guide Dog program.
“I’m so grateful to the donors,” Mr Murray said.
“Without them, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to work with a dog like Pluto. I would miss out on a lot. I owe my quality of life to them.”