Freya’s more than a guide dog

Wendy Wright with Freya.
Wendy Wright with Freya.

The 49-year-old has managed her condition, known as retinopathy of prematurity, for decades, but now has a new-found freedom thanks to guide dog, Freya.

The mum of five has no peripheral vision, a result of her premature birth.

Ms Wright has had Freya (3) for six months and said it was ‘amazing’ how much of a difference the dog had made to her life.

Freya and Ms Wright graduated as a guide dog team on Tuesday.

Ms Wright, manager of the |Needle and Syringe Exchange Program, commutes to work in the Perth CBD by public transport with Freya every morning.

‘I can walk down the street, turn my head and look into a shop window without walking into the back of someone, if there’s a person there Freya will guide me around them,’ she said.

‘I had so much trouble using a white cane, I’d walk into people with their iPod headphones in and they’d get annoyed.

‘She’s also taken it upon herself to be my companion, which I didn’t expect, I had some very bad news recently and she didn’t leave my side ” that bond after six months just amazes me.’

In 2013 the Association for the Blind, which runs Guide Dogs WA, celebrates 100 years of service to the WA community.

It takes two years and costs $30,000 to train each guide dog and the association is totally reliant on community support to fund its Guide Dog Program. To donate, visit www.guidedogswa.com.au or call 1800 847 466.