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World’s first live Guide Dog stream today

12 July, 2012

Ally with the phone mounted ready for live streamingToday, ninemsn will live stream a world first 'day in the life of a Guide Dog'. Through a phone mounted to Ally the golden Labrador's harness, ninemsn viewers will see life from a dog's perspective, as she guides her owner Sarah Hirst, who is vision impaired, around Sydney.

The four-hour live stream will follow Sarah and Guide Dog Ally as they go about their day - travelling from Macquarie University into the city - where Ally's skills will help Sarah manage busy footpaths, crowds and road crossings as well as guide her on trains, buses and ferries. All of the things most people take for granted.

Click here to read the story on ninemsn, from where the live stream will be aired from 10.30am AEST.

The 'dogstream' will end in Waverley where Ally will be let off the harness to have a run around and a rest, while Sarah gives a talk about her and Ally's life together and the role of a guide dog at the Future Vets Kids Camp.

Sarah, 24, who has been legally blind since birth due to a genetic condition, is currently studying a Bachelor of Social Science at Macquarie University, having already completed an Arts degree (majoring in English Literature) and a public relations course at TAFE.

Sarah also works for Guide Dogs NSW/ACT as a public speaker, which sees her and Ally regularly travel around Sydney giving talks to corporate, community and industry groups about the role the organisation plays.

With only a small amount of remaining vision, Sarah gets around independently with Ally, who she describes as "a fantastic guide and best friend, but definitely a dog with attitude".

"Ally and I are extremely excited about being involved with such an innovative world-first," says Sarah.

"I love the idea that the public will get to see the amazing job that guide dogs do in enhancing the independence of people with impaired vision, and the special bond between a guide dog and their handler."

Sarah has been receiving assistance from Guide Dogs NSW/ACT since she was 11, when an Orientation and Mobility instructor taught her how to cross the road safely. Sarah was later taught to use a long cane, before being matched with Ally five years ago.

"The ninemsn live stream will give the public a rare insight into how a guide dog works and navigates through the streets and around obstacles to ensure that someone who can't see gets around safely. Seeing how the dog goes about its job will help the viewers appreciate how the breeding and training costs $30,000 for each guide dog," said Dr Graeme White, CEO Guide Dogs NSW/ACT.

"It also highlights why it is so important that guide dogs can legally go anywhere with their owners."

ninemsn's Managing Director Alex Parsons says, "This is a fantastic chance to show our audience how important guide dogs are. We anticipate people will be really intrigued by this unique opportunity to see things from the perspective of a dog who is entrusted with a huge responsibility every day."

'Day in the life of a Guide Dog' live stream details:
Day:
Thursday 12 July 2012
Time: 10.30am - 2.30pm
Where: ninemsn.com.au

Media: For ninemsn.com.au contact Ebony Beaton on 02 8001 4202 or 0438 724 048 orebony.beaton@ninemsnc.com.au

For Guide Dogs NSW/ACT contact Sally Edgar on 0413 753 241 or media@guidedogs.com.au


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