The heartbreak of losing a Seeing Eye Dog

If you are an animal lover you’ll understand the heartbreak of losing a dog. When you trust your life to that dog, that loss is even more profound.

Therese has suffered a number of losses in her life. She lost her husband and she lost her sight at a very young age after a terrible accident…

It was from an injury I had in a car crash. Even now, I’m in so much pain that some days it makes me physically sick.’

But when Bessie, her Seeing Eye Dog, came into her life nearly a decade ago, Therese regained the confidence she’d been missing for so long.

Bessie made me happy…I could feel the love coming from her. You just get so close’, she shares.

But when Bessie began to develop her own vision problems, along with arthritis in her hips as many older dogs do, she became too frightened to go out with the responsibility of looking after Therese.

And when Bessie was scared, so was Therese.

It was time for Bessie to retire. Just thinking about that was devastating for Therese, and left her wondering whether she’d be able to keep up her busy, active lifestyle without Bessie.

This is why your support today is so important.

Many people like Therese are facing the uncertainty and fear of their faithful companion retiring. And others are still waiting for their very first Seeing Eye Dog.

We urgently need to raise $500,000 to meet the growing demand around Australia for Seeing Eye Dogs to help support people who are blind or have low vision, like Therese.

Your generous support will help to ensure that more pups can be trained so that people like Therese don’t have to struggle without a Seeing Eye Dog by their side.

Thankfully, Therese was able to keep Bessie in retirement and with the generous support of people like you, Therese welcomed her next Seeing Eye Dog, Yael, into her family. 

Yael has settled in really well. At first, when Yael was getting his harness put on ready for work, Bessie would come up to have her harness put on too. She was still getting used to retirement.’

The importance of having Yael by her side was magnified when poor Bessie recently passed away. 

Therese told us 'I became really worried about her as she was reluctant to eat and when she did she could not keep any food down’.

Therese called the vet and after examining Bessie he suspected that she had cancer. Due to her old age, arthritis and now illness, the vet and Therese had to make the heartbreaking decision to let Bessie pass rather than operate.

Therese is devastated and is still mourning the loss of her good friend and much loved companion Bessie. 

Therese told us ‘We had such a strong bond and I miss Bessie so much. She helped me through the toughest time and let me live my life without having to rely on others. I’m so grateful for the time we had together. I’ve been cuddling Yael every morning.

Now more than ever Therese feels incredibly lucky to have Yael by her side. ‘I’m very fortunate to have received another Seeing Eye Dog just after Bessie retired. Yael will help me to get through this period, in the same way Bessie helped me when my husband Geoff passed away’. 

The loss of Bessie has been hard for Therese, but thanks to kind supporters like yourself it is easier with Yael by her side. 

Therese asked us to pass along her thanks to all of the supporters who help us train Seeing Eye Dogs. ‘Bessie and Yael have made such a difference to my life. It’s hard to explain just how much both my dogs mean to me! I’m blessed to have their friendship, please thank everyone that helps you train more of these amazing creatures’.

We are truly grateful for your generosity and compassion.  It is only because of your kind support that we are able to continue to train Seeing Eye Dogs for those who are blind or have low vision.