Meet Lisa and Floyd
Lisa is 38 years old and is blind. She was born with Optic Atrophy, an eye condition where the optic nerve fails to send messages to the brain properly. Unfortunately, the condition is not reversible and cannot be treated. Lisa also has Nystagmus, a vision condition in which the eyes make repetitive and uncontrolled movements.
Lisa lives in Adelaide with her six-year-old son, Leo. Leo has autism and has inherited the same vision conditions as his mum. Sadly, his vision is already significantly deteriorating. Despite the challenges that Lisa and Leo face, their home is a busy and happy one, with several much-loved pets and a very special Labrador, newly qualified Guide Dog, Floyd.
Floyd was matched with Lisa at the start of this year, and it’s wonderful to see the difference he is making already to Lisa and her family, thanks to the generosity of people like you.
Did you know that we rely on the generosity of the community to help us breed, raise and train a Guide Dog before it can be matched with a person in need?
Watch Lisa and Floyd in action
The video shows Guide Dogs SA/NT client, Lisa, walking through a suburban park in Adelaide, with her guide dog, Floyd. We then meet Lisa’s 6-year-old son Leo, and Dog Service Operations Manager, Cindy.
Your gift will support our life-changing work
It’s thanks to the generosity of people like you that our puppies undergo extensive training for two years before they are matched with their future handler, ensuring they develop the many skills required to enable their handler to be safe and independent.
Each Guide Dog and handler are matched to ensure they become a cohesive team. Walking pace, environment, height, age, lifestyle, pets and family situation are all taken into account before the pair graduate as a partnership.
Taylor, Senior Guide Dog Orientation & Mobility Instructor, knew straightaway that Floyd possessed all the attributes that Lisa required.
“Floyd is capable of handling all of the work requirements Lisa needs and I knew he’d easily fit into her life”, says Taylor. “It was important to find a dog that Lisa could easily manage around distractions, as Lisa needs time to also focus on Leo.”
Floyd was officially matched with Lisa earlier this year. They have been inseparable ever since. “I was delighted to see how quickly Floyd became part of Lisa’s family”, says Taylor. “With Floyd by her side, Lisa can do everything she wants without worrying about vision loss. Floyd quickly joined in with all the routines of family life – providing safety and reassurance to Lisa as she walks Leo to and from school each day.
“Floyd is the most gorgeous dog,” says Lisa. “He’s calm, attentive and sensitive. He’s also very protective of Leo and is always keeping an eye on him – they adore each other. When we’re at home and Floyd’s ‘off duty’ he’s a big goofball. Having Floyd has changed our lives. He’s making a difference to me, and in turn, to Leo. With Floyd we can do anything we want and go everywhere we need.”
It takes more than $50,000 to breed, raise and train a Guide Dog like Floyd, but the difference a Guide Dog makes to someone like Lisa is priceless.