norah looking proud

Our beautiful Pupstar Norah is progressing really well and her puppy walker says she’s growing into a contented, confident pup. Norah just loves her toys and she’s often strutting proudly about the house with one tightly gripped in her mouth, exploring for anything new and exciting.

Norah is in the process of moving out of her sleeping crate, which takes a lot of trust on her puppy walker’s behalf. Still, Norah is wonderful at settling and sits patiently on her bed while her puppy walker carries the groceries in. Speaking of groceries, Norah’s puppy walker has enjoyed great success at the supermarket, she does the weekly shop with Norah and a toddler without anything getting nibbled along the way!

During the festive season, Norah will enjoy plenty of treats and tickles with the wider family and they’re all going to the beach. Norah’s puppy walker is anticipating quite a few ‘firsts’ too, including rides on the train, taxi, bus and the ferry, plus trips to new playgrounds, parks, beaches and maybe even Rainbow’s End – Norah will love it all!

Puppy yates sitting in the grass

Meet the newest puppy in training, Yates. He’s cute as a button, as are his three sisters and one brother – a gorgeous little family. This ‘Y litter’ was born at the same time as several other litters in the breeding centre, so it was a very busy and happy time.

Yates is growing up fast and has recently moved into his puppy walker’s home. His puppy walkers adore him and Yates couldn’t be happier with his new family – and all his colourful new soft toys.

Yates sitting outside
yates having a puppy nap
gordon at the beach

Gordon has settled in to his new place in Auckland and he is the perfect boy at home. He sleeps in and is so obedient for his puppy walker family. He is always on his best behaviour and is especially good at settling while out at cafés and restaurants.

Not only is Gordon much-loved at home, he is a real hit with his puppy walker’s tennis group, too! He’s very happy to sit and watch all the yellow balls flying around – but once you let him on the beach, he zooms off to play and play and play.

Just recently, Gordon took a trip to Waiheke Island with a walking group for the day. And as summer approaches, he’ll be out fishing and camping – he loves to get outdoors and into muddy puddles. Luckily, Gordon scrubs up pearly white, well, almost!

Hazel sitting by the pool

Happy-go-lucky Hazel recently celebrated her first birthday with a free run at the local botanical gardens with some of her siblings. Hazel’s brother Harley and his puppy walker also visited for a few days and they all had a ball.

Hazel just loves jumping in the car and heading to her puppy walker’s holiday bach. So she’ll be excited about the chance to board in Tauranga while her puppy walkers are holidaying in Europe. She’ll have a blast – she’s always at her happiest when she’s out and about, sniffing around to experience everything life has to offer.

Frankie the black lab

Frankie has been as busy as ever – enjoying two sleepovers with doggy friends in Cockle Bay and Howick in Auckland. She was very well-behaved and had such a great time playing that she needed a full day’s sleep to recover!

Frankie has recently undergone a breeding assessment, which would see her given the very special responsibility of carrying the next generation of guide dog puppies. Frankie has also had her 12-month breeding assessment video taken recently. We will keep you posted on the outcome, she would be such a lovely mum!

We can’t wait until a decision is made about whether Frankie will have puppies. In the meantime, Frankie will have a relaxed festive season with plenty of time outdoors and lots of nature walks.

Image of the Blind Foundation logo

The Blind Foundation is seeking interest from clients to participate in a business planning day with the Board, Consumer Groups and the Blind Foundation Leadership Team on Saturday 11 February 2017. The purpose of the day is to help the Blind Foundation determine the high level priorities and themes that will form the FY18 business plan.

We are looking for a range of interests and perspectives and will contact the successful clients in the New Year after expressions of interest have closed.

If this is something that interests you please email Marjorie Hawkings on mhawkings@blindfoundation.org.nz by Monday 16 January 2017.

Photo of Carol Conte

International Volunteer Day on 5 December is a great reason to celebrate and recognise volunteers around the world for the invaluable work they do.

From being a driver, fundraiser, to reading a book to someone, Blind Foundation volunteers make a huge difference to those who are blind or have low vision.

We share an entry below from one of our volunteers, Carol Conte, who celebrates 25 years of service this year:

“In February 1991, I approached the Blind Foundation to ask if I could become a volunteer reader. Later that year, I received my first assignment.

It has been my only one ever since and it has had a very positive impact on my life. I was also beginning my journey as a primary school teacher, and later on, also took on a part-time position as a stylist with Trelise Cooper.

My journey of 25 years has been a treasure-chest of sharing, learning, laughing and strengthening through times of sadness.

The best of the person I read to, has brought out the best in me. I have delved into the intricacies of politics, history, poetry and travel. I have been stumped trying to pronounce French, German and occasionally, English! We are yin and yang, stopping, starting, repeating or bursting out laughing at something I have read (or read incorrectly).

His wife calls me his Thursday girl. I love that! I have such respect for him. Never have I heard him complain about his lot, or the loss of his career. I am so proud of him. I am also grateful for the phone call from the Blind Foundation, asking me to take on the gift of reading to this man. This has enabled my voice to aid, inform, and enrich, a fellow New Zealander.”

Don’t forget to take a minute and acknowledge a volunteer if you meet them on 5 December!

Make a difference and sign up to volunteer.