Eye dog Ida graduates

ida and owner a happy pair
ida and owner a happy pair

Last month, Mr Pullinger and Ida graduated from guide dog training at the Victoria Park-based Guide Dogs WA headquarters after completing an intensive course that taught them how to travel safely in different types of environments.

Mr Pullinger, who has retinitis pigmentosa, said Ida was his first guide dog and she had already done herself proud accompanying him at the National Championships for the Australian Blind Bowlers Association where he won silver and bronze.

Diagnosed at the age of 31, Mr Pullinger and Ida have formed an unbreakable bond since they began training together in March.

‘My field of vision is very much restricted and is now less than five degrees,’ he said.

‘I am gradually losing my central vision. I am now 63, and quite fortunate that the deterioration of my eye sight has taken some time.

‘Ida has been the best thing to happen to me since my marriage to my wife Dawn ” who Ida adores.

‘The training was intense yet terribly rewarding. With my eyes closed I let Ida guide me. I can now walk with my head high in the air and not having to look at my feet when walking.

‘I love her so much and I know she loves me. Ida has been a wonderful addition to our family, although the cat still thinks she is an alien.’

There are only three eligibility requirements to apply for a guide dog: meet the criteria for legal blindness, be at least 17 years old and live in WA.

To apply for a guide dog, contact Guide Dogs WA on 9311 8202 or visit website www.guidedogs wa.com.au.