Source: Fourways Review (Extract)
Posted: May 11, 2023

A Sunninghill couple shared their experience in raising another future guide dog.

Ryan and Vicky Oettle have been puppy-raising for the past three years and currently have young Fling under their wing. Fling is not the first guide dog puppy they are raising and they have shown joy and love in raising her.

The South African Guide-Dogs Association regularly asks community members to assist in raising future guide dogs for the visually or physically impaired, and the Oettle’s jumped at the chance.

“I don’t think we’d have a normal pet dog…the project of raising a guide dog is such enormous fun,” Ryan said.

“We’ve got room for one dog at home, so we’re in it to win it. It is unfortunate that we only have the capacity for one dog. So we just bring one in, train them up, hand them over and then bring the next one home.”

Ryan said there was a positive in being able to take the dogs to various places for training.

“You don’t want to make people uncomfortable. There is a fine line between accessibility and being cognisant of people’s fears or possibly phobias, but the dogs need to be able to cope anyway. So you don’t want to deny the dogs that experience.”