Hailey and Tippi – a perfect match

11 July 2023

Seeing Eye Dog, Tippi, has completely transformed Hailey’s life – and Hailey is simply amazed at Tippi’s skills.

Hailey, who was born blind, spent until 2021 relying on a white cane to get around, but had always been familiar with the work of Seeing Eye Dogs. ‘I grew up around people with dog guides. I love the work they do and the bond between a handler and their dog, so it felt a natural next step for me to have a Seeing Eye Dog too,’ Hailey said.

Isabella is smiling at the camera while holding the harness of her black labrador Seeing Eye Dog, Penny

‘Tippi’s work is amazing, it’s quite extraordinary. She is so versatile - put her in any situation and she’ll shine. I love being with her, too. Her nature is really lovely, she’s a calm, gentle dog and really affectionate.’

A striking black Labrador cross Golden Retriever, Seeing Eye Dog Tippi attracts plenty of attention from those who come across her – but Tippi has an important message. ‘She’s such a poser! But please don’t pat,’ Hailey reminds us. ‘Please talk to the handler directly, not just the dog.’

It’s Tippi’s navigation skills and intuition that have been most valuable for Hailey – and this is why your support for training is so important.

Tippi helps Hailey navigate the busy roads between the two churches she’s involved with and picks up on the smallest of social cues from people around Hailey. As with every Seeing Eye Dog, Tippi is taught to navigate obstacles such as prams, slower walkers, stairs and other hazards, to keep their handler safe.

‘I like going to the Gold Coast a lot, along the beach and by the river. I’m excited to go on bushwalks too. Tippi is always up for an adventure, so she’ll love it!’

Hailey now understands the power of the very detailed matching process between Seeing Eye Dog and handler and is so thankful to have your kind support. ‘Donations really help the matching process and are so important. Thank you for helping people like me to be matched with a Seeing Eye Dog that suits me so well and enriches our lives so much.’