Isabella and Penny – side by side

11 July 2023

When Isabella’s first working dog was nearing retirement, Isabella knew she needed a new plan. Working in the CBD using a white cane had not been ideal for her.

‘When you travel with a white cane, you have to find the obstacles, then move around. I just got very tired. A dog allows you to move freely around obstacles. Handling a dog and a cane is so different – a world apart.’

Isabella, who is legally blind, has a work/life balance that she loves. She is currently working for Queensland Health as a project officer in the Office of Precision Medicine and Research, while also attending University of Southern Queensland to study law. Isabella is also a keen adventurer, so she needed a Seeing Eye Dog who was ready to get up and go!

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

Isabella is so delighted by her match with Seeing Eye Dog Penny, a small and energetic black Labrador retriever. Everywhere Isabella goes, Penny goes too.

Penny has been very patient in attending Isabella’s uni classes, despite finding them ‘very boring’. She actually prefers to be with Isabella at work. ‘She likes the office where people talk to her and we’re up and moving!’

In her leisure time, Isabella enjoys travelling – and so does Penny! They recently travelled to Queensland and also had an exciting trip to Melbourne to enjoy Hamilton – the musical.

‘For my trip to Emerald, where the gem mine is located, it involved flying across Queensland in a small plane. The person booking the ticket had never booked a dog guide on that type of plane,’ Isabella says.

Isabella also plays blind tennis with a special ball. ‘Penny sits on the side of the court and – with admirable restraint for a dog – happily watches the balls go past.’

lsabella is so grateful to you for helping to make perfect matches possible. She encourages Seeing Eye Dogs supporters to donate, volunteer or raise a puppy if they can.

Isabella adds, ‘Without people like you, we wouldn’t have the Seeing Eye Dogs that give us so much freedom!’