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05 July, 2017

World’s largest Guide Dog visits Yamba for Museum exhibition

Gulliver the giant Guide Dog parked on a road by the water

During the second week of July, Gulliver, the world’s largest Guide Dog will roll into town to celebrate a special exhibition at Yamba Museum.

The 4.3 metres tall, 690 kilogram fibreglass yellow Labrador will be parked outside the Museum as part of Guide Dogs NSW/ACT’s display at the ‘Animals & Us’ exhibition.

The trusting bond between a person who is vision impaired and their Guide Dog will be a highlight of the exhibition, which aims to explore the relationship between humans and animals from a range of different perspectives.

“Guide Dogs play an important role in providing a person with sight loss the freedom to get around safely and independently, so they can live the life they choose,” Guide Dogs NSW/ACT Regional Manager, Jeremy Hill said.

In addition to Gulliver the giant Guide Dog, the organisation will showcase a variety of life-size model collection dogs, historical photos of Guide Dogs in Australia and informative posters that show the process of breeding, raising and training a Guide Dog.

On Wednesday 12 July, the community is also invited to a special afternoon tea where a representative from Guide Dogs NSW/ACT will describe the puppy-to-Guide Dog journey.  

“The process of transforming a playful puppy into a responsible working Guide Dog that will change the life of someone who is blind or vision impaired is no walk in the park,” Mr Hill said.

“It takes over two years and costs more than $35,000 to breed, raise and train one Guide Dog. We are looking forward to sharing with the Yamba community what is involved in getting each dog to the all-important working stage of their life.”  

Guide Dogs NSW/ACT is the leading provider of Guide Dogs and other services that enable people with impaired vision to get around their communities safely and independently. They rely on the support and generosity of the local community to be able to provide services to people with vision impairment as the organisation receives less than two per cent of its funding from the government.

“Every day 28 Australians are diagnosed with sight loss that cannot be corrected, including nine who will become blind,” Mr Hill said.

“With the demand for Guide Dogs’ services increasing due to growing numbers of people having trouble getting around as a result of sight loss, we’re incredibly grateful for the support we receive from the community.”  

For more information about Guide Dogs NSW/ACT’s free, local services visit www.guidedogs.com.au.