DOG GUIDE: Esther Watson with her seeing eye dog Rusty.
DOG GUIDE: Esther Watson with her seeing eye dog Rusty. Amy Lyne

Seeing eye dog Rusty guides Esther to safety

A LAIDLEY resident knows firsthand the difference a seeing eye dog can make.

Esther Watson is a Seeing Eye Dogs Australia client who has recently been matched with her second dog, Rusty, who is 21 months old.

Her previous dog, Ultimate, now eight years old, could no longer assist Esther due to arthritis, but she adopted him as a pet.

Esther said having a dog meant her life was independent.

"When your independence is gone you don't have much," she said.

Esther suffers from retinitis pigmentosa, she got it in her mid-20s and lost the remainder of her sight in her 50s.

"He takes me wherever I want to go," she said.

Seeing Eye Dogs cost about $30,000 to train.

SEDA has no government funding and community support is essential to their success and their contribution to other people's lives.

Puppy sponsors can help turn a puppy into a life-changing seeing eye dog.

Information of SEDA's puppy sponsorship program can be found at SEDA or phone 1800 037 773.


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