What do S A Guide Dogs and my mum have in common? They both turned 60 this year. And? ME! They have me in common. I am a Service Dog trained by S A Guide Dogs specifically for my mum, Dawn. We've been together for three years now and what fun we have had. My mum is a bit of an oddball, and luckily so am I.
Before I came into mum's life she had become a bit of a recluse. Her disability limited her ability to get out and about without help. She's very independent and had problems asking for help. Well then I came along, and she had to agree to walk me every day. Because of this she got her trusty disability scooter and a new chapter began in her life. We are now out and about in our neighbourhood most days.
In 2010, during the world cup, my Service jacket got transformed by mum into a South African flag. My jacket is my uniform and my persona changes when I have it on (mostly). I am 'on duty' and become a vigilant service dog rather than a wild puppy. We spent many hours at our local restaurant sitting in the sun selling raffle tickets and in our first year together raised a whopping R53,000. Mum met many of the locals and neighbours for the first time because of me. If you are on facebook you can read our 2010 Note here:https://www.facebook.com/notes/dawn-pilatowicz/my-service-dog-shyann/408444113159
Mum is more relaxed now and lets everyone just love me. That's my main job now, to ooze love to everyone. We've visited old age homes, church groups, schools and women's groups and I often come home with lipstick marks all over my head.
S A Guide Dogs was founded in 1953 by Gladys Evans. This was also an auspicious year for my mum, because she was born that year. What a special birthday we had this year to celebrate her 60th. It started off with a trip up Table Mountain, which I have to say didn’t start off too well. I refused to do a ‘busy’ before we left home. Mum didn’t feed me before we left because I am nervous of cars and get a little car sick. Unfortunately, while we were in line for the tickets, I had a little mishap. Mum always has handy poo-bags in her scooter bag, so the problem was soon solved.
Then we had the scary trip in the cable car. I lay down next to a nice solid inner pole - but it started moving while we were going up into the air! A lot of the passengers, who were meant to be looking out at the view were more interested in me, so I had lots of cuddles on the way up. On top of the mountain I happily trotted next to mum’s scooter along all the paths, taking a lot of interest in the people, being photographed with quite a few and trying to get closer to the big lizards.
Later on in the day we had a birthday ceremony for mum where she was crowned as a crone. I also had a part in the ceremony and also got crowned, much to the delight of the guests. I have to be very thankful she decided to leave me at home when she went micro lighting! I had a good rest.
Would you like to help someone else benefit from what my mum calls 'Shyann love'? Please support S A Guide dogs, my trainers. It costs R10,000 to train each of us and all the costs are paid via donations.
I invite you to buy a raffle ticket for R20, or even a book of tickets for R400, and help a blind or differently-abled person achieve a modicum of independence.
The PRIZES: A Honda BRIO
and 2nd and 3rd prizes too this year!
The COST: R20 per ticket
Closing date: 31 Oct 2013
Draw date: 6 Dec 2013
Dawn collects the money, emails you details of your ticket numbers and then gives the money plus all the ticket stubs over to Guide Dogs.
PS Look out for us as the May pinup in the Guide Dog 2013 calendar.