Liz & Poppi's Story | Guide Dogs NSW/ACT

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Liz & Poppi's Story

Image of Liz walking down a footpath with her Guide Dog Poppi

For a person who is blind or vision impaired, one of the best gifts they could ever receive is a Guide Dog. One person who knows this to be true is Liz Wheeler.

Two years ago, when a degenerative eye disease began to profoundly affect her sight, Liz was left feeling uncertain and anxious.

“I lost a lot of self-confidence and was afraid to leave the house,” she said.

While Liz received orientation and mobility training with a cane from Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, she never fully regained her confidence.

“Even with my cane, I struggled a lot in public areas. I still found catching public transport really quite frightening.”

Eventually, Liz requested a Guide Dog and was matched with a beautiful blond Labrador named Poppi.

Poppi as a 10 week old puppy

It cost more than $50,000 and took two years to breed, raise and train Poppi from a gorgeous Labrador pup into a fully working Guide Dog.

This amazing journey was made possible through a generous gift that a supporter left to Guide Dogs NSW/ACT in their Will. In fact, currently two out of every three Guide Dogs are made possible through these life-changing gifts.

Thanks to this most treasured gift, with Poppi by her side, Liz’s confidence has grown exponentially.  

“I love that Poppi is such an energetic dog. She demands to leave the house, which has helped a lot with my self-confidence,” Liz said. “But she’s also incredibly affectionate, which has helped with my anxiety. Sometimes she just comes over and puts her head on my lap. She’s been such a great support.”

Poppi wearing a harness on grass

Poppi has been able to give Liz the gift of self-confidence. For Liz, having a Guide Dog means not being afraid to leave the house or catch public transport; simple tasks that we often take for granted.

So when you next review your will please consider Guide Dogs, Australia's Most Trusted Charity. The generous gift left in a Will helps to train more amazing Guide Dogs like Poppi and ensure that when someone loses their sight, they don't lose their freedom and independence as well.