LOUD labradors were at Rockingham City Shopping Centre last Wednesday for Assistance Dogs Australia.
Barking their excitement to passing shoppers, the puppies were there to welcome newly named assistance dog Rosco.
Rosco was particularly thrilled to meet Mandurah resident Bonnie Tuck. Bonnie submitted the dog’s name as part of an online competition and was delighted to hear that she was the winner.
“I first came across the group when they had a set-up at the forum,” she said. “I bought a fluffy dog and grabbed a pamphlet.
“I got on their website and discovered the competition; I thought Rosco would be the sweetest name for an assistance dog.”
Bonnie said she saw many assistance dogs at the pet shop where she worked.
“I have cats so I can’t have a dog,” she said. “When people come into our shop, I promote assistance dogs to customers; it’s my way of doing what I can.
“There is a lot you can do without having a dog. It is just such a fantastic cause, giving people a chance of a normal life.”
Rosco will be one of the puppies in the Sponsor a Puppy program at Assistance Dogs Australia.
He currently lives with Medina resident and volunteer puppy educator Christina Macaulay.
She takes him to work with her each day, as well as shopping trips, outings to restaurants, libraries and family fun days. It is about getting him used to different smells, sounds and sights, a crucial part of his training.
He is still figuring out other animals though.
“Rosco was very intrigued by the goats in the petting zoo,” Christina said.
Once he has completed his training, he could be matched with a child with autism, someone with a physical disability, or a sufferer of post-traumatic stress.