Meet The Newest Family Member…

So as I said in my last post there has been great excitement in our household since been given the actual date of picking up our foster guide dog puppy. The count down to 10th January 2019 has begun and Christmas has taken second place this year as the number of sleeps are being counted until the due date arrives. We can now add a dog to our ever-increasing family size, as we got a horse last year!!


Guide Dog NSW sent us a photo of Zabel when she was 6 weeks old, I got this printed out and we gave it to D2 as a little stocking filler for Christmas. Little did we expect the reaction and the tears of joy that we got when she opened the envelope with the photo – it was priceless and will remain a great memory with us to have forever. Luckily we captured the moment on video.


As well as getting the garden ready there has also been getting the house ready and where will the puppy sleep etc – we have all agreed on the laundry. While Guide Dogs NSW do supply a lot of stuff for the puppy you do still have to supply a bed, toys and treats – they cover pretty much everything else including

  • Travel Crate
  • Crate
  • Food
  • Vaccinations
  • Leads
  • Tick control
  • All vet fees
  • Training


The 10th January finally arrived and we all made the trip to Guide Dogs NSW HQ in Glossodia which is about an hour and a half drive west of Sydney in a beautiful rural setting.

Foster a puppy Guide Dogs NSW

Before picking Zabel up we were brought through a presentation and some tips and tricks etc as well as shown access to Puppy Central which is full of training tips and advice. There were 3 other families also picking their guide dog puppy at the same time. The excitement was building as we were led down to the kennels to finally see Zabel in the flesh. Followed by a few tears as D2 finally got to hold her – the excitement of having her dream come through overwhelmed her.

Guide Dog puppy raising

Zabel (far left) and her little friends…little did they know what was in store that day..

Guide dog puppy raising
                                                            Zabel is the one on the left…


Why the name Zabel you may ask, good question, you don’t get to name your puppy. Guide Dog NSW name the litter in alphabetical order and Zabel was in the Z litter, there was also Zane and Zale her brothers.


The long trip home was easier than expected, no accidents in the car and she slept a fair bit of the journey home. When we got her home she went outside to do a wee and a poo otherwise now called a “Quick Quick”.


At Guide Dogs NSW, they say “quick quick” when dogs toilet. If we do this, the puppy will learn “quick quick” as the command for toileting. This is helpful for when we want Zabel to toilet before a long drive, before walking or before bedtime. This makes complete sense, as part of the training for the future for when a visually impaired person has Zabel they need to be able to control when and where she goes to the loo.


The first night went without too many tears and hiccups from the dog I mean!! You do have to remember that this is their first time away from their mother and their litter but little Zabel was fine. She cried for maybe five minutes then settled down. And just like a baby, we do have to get up during the night to let her out for a “Quick Quick” as pups need to go the loo frequently.


Check back soon to see how our first week as a Guide Dog puppy raising family went…


Did you know

Every day 28 Australians are diagnosed with uncorrectable vision loss, including nine who become blind. The tragedy is, right now, three out of every four people who need a Guide Dog don’t have one.

There are lots of way in which you can help make sure that anyone who needs a Guide Dog does not have to go without. Every puppy that you help train will mean a new life for a person with sight loss – a life filled with freedom, independence and the love of a loyal and trusted companion.

To find out more about the range of ways you can help or become a guide dog puppy raiser family just like we did visit this page. Or contact your local Guide Dog Assoc. in your local state, territory or country