There’s a puppy boom this spring and Guide Dogs Victoria is looking for help. It’s offering you what can only be described as the world’s best job: a puppy raiser.
Over the next few weeks it’s expected 30 new puppies will be born. Over the year 180 will arrive to accommodate the long waiting list of those in need of guide dogs.
Your job? Nurture the cuddly creatures from seven weeks old so they become well socialised, confident and not readily distracted. This prepares them for their official guide-dog training, which starts when they are 12 months old.
To be a successful puppy-raiser applicant, there are prerequisites (don’t forget, they’re hard work as well as cute). These include having a fenced-off backyard, a moderate fitness level, access to a passenger vehicle and a space for the puppy to sleep indoors. You must also live in metropolitan Melbourne, Geelong or Ballarat in order to visit Guide Dog Victoria campuses for vet appointments and Puppy Raising classes. Most importantly, you must be able to dedicate time to the puppies (they shouldn’t be left alone for more than three hours a day).
If you’re eligible, the process is free. You’ll receive the puppy at no cost, with free food, veterinary care and trainers. Once you’ve sent your puppy off, you’ll be assigned another one to look after if you’re up for it.
While it may be sad to see the puppy off after those 12 months, CEO of Guide Dogs Australia, Karen Hayes stresses the importance of the process.
“I guarantee there’s always tears, but it’s important to focus on the fact that the puppies have a bigger role in life – and that’s to become guide dogs.”
Interested? Here are a few handy facts from Guide Dogs Victoria to help convince you.
You can take your puppy to work
You’re encouraged to take them wherever you go – shopping, the cinema, even dinner dates.
You can still go on holidays
There’s no need to cancel your time off, because Guide Dogs Victoria will look after your puppy while you’re away.
Guide Dogs Victoria will pay for all your puppy expenses.
The experience can act as a try-before-you-buy
If you’re in the market for your own pooch, raising a guide-dog puppy is a great way to road test whether you can handle the full-time commitment.
Your social life will thank you
Try walking down the street with one of the adorable pups without making new friends. Regular puppy classes are a great way to meet other puppy-loving people.
If you’re interested in caring for a puppy more infomation is available here.