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AUCKLAND CITY HARBOUR NEWS, APRIL 5, 2013
Puppies preparing for a partnership
By ANNA LOREN
Top dog: 7-week-old Keaton has an
important job ahead of him, Guide Dog
Services head Paul Metcalf says.
Photos: ANNA LOREN
Go to aucklandcityharbournews.
co.nz and click Latest Edition to
see a video on guide dog puppies.
Keaton might be small, but he s got
The 7-week-old golden retriever
puppy will grow up to be a blind or
vision-impaired person s eyes.
He ll help them to negotiate traf-
fic and other hazards, travel on pub-
lic transport and get to the super-
market, office or school.
Keaton is one of a litter of six
potential guide dogs who have been
bred at the country s only guide dog
centre in Manurewa.
It costs around $25,000 for the
centre to breed and fully train each
dog and the pups preparations
begin at day one.
We teach them social obedience
right from the day they re born,
Guide Dog Services head Paul
After weaning, Keaton and his
brothers and sisters will be sent to
live with volunteer puppy walkers
who will teach them obedience,
basic commands and how to stay
calm in crowds.
The pups will return to the centre
when they re a year old and will
undergo an intensive five-month
training course before they re asses-
sed and matched with a human
The guide dog service made 45 of
those matches last year and 1200 in
total since it was established in
Most of the dogs it produces are
labradors and golden retrievers like
Keaton, breeds that Mr Metcalf
describes as the mainstay of guide
dogs around the world.
They re good solid dogs with the
right temperament to learn the
tasks they need to do, Mr Metcalf
Prospective guide dog handlers
are also assessed carefully before
being matched with a canine
It s a big responsibility to have a
guide dog, Mr Metcalf says.
It s very much a partnership, he
RED PUPPY APPEAL
Big future: This little pup's cute
with a purpose.
Guide Dog Services is part of the
Royal New Zealand Foundation of
the Blind which receives around
25 per cent of its funding from the
Government but is entirely reliant
on public donations to breed and
train guide dogs.
The foundation will be holding
its annual Red Puppy Appeal
today and tomorrow and
collectors will be shaking buckets
all over the streets of Auckland to
raise funds to train pups like
Mr Metcalf is also encouraging
sweet toothed-individuals to
bake, sell or buy biscuits for Red
Puppy Bikkie Day, with all the
proceeds going straight to Guide
Go to redpuppy.org.nz to sign
up, donate or get more
information on the guide dog
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This quality development is now complete and open for viewing.
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one and two bedroom and two bedroom with study apartment options,
apartment lounges and new community centre.
Open for viewing from Monday to Friday.
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The minimum age of entry for residents is 65 years.
Meadowbank and Eden Villages are part of the Oceania
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Booking an appointment to view is strongly recommended. We can't
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Please contact Norma Charlton on 027 283 2558 or 0800 628 757.
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