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“I can’t imagine where I'd be without Lacey. She has just made such a massive impact on my life and there are so many things I’ve been able to do with her, so many experiences we’ve shared together that I will never forget.”

Lizzie was born with an eye condition called Septo-optic dysplasia, meaning the optic nerve between her eyes and brain did not fully develop. This means Lizzie has been totally blind her whole life. She was first introduced to Vision Australia whilst studying piano during high school, where she reached out to the Vision Australia Library to help transcribe her music sheets into brail. It wasn’t until early 2014 that Lizzie decided to apply for a Seeing Eye Dog and was matched with Lacey in July 2015.   

“The first time I patted her and knelt down to give her a hug, she just jumped all over me. You know when you get those moments in life when you just know. I just knew instantly that this was my dog,” Lizzie explains.  

Lizzie describes Lacey as “one in a million”, a ball of energy who is always playful and full of joy, much like Lizzie herself. She reflects on the impact Lacey has had on her life; “The biggest thing is the confidence to travel independently. When I used a cane, it was such an anxiety-provoking experience for me that I would have panic attacks before leaving the house. There was no confidence there. Having Lacey meant I could walk at my own, usual speed, without having to worry about the cane.” 

Aside from music being a big passion in her life, Lizzie has always had the ambition to be able to hike, something she says she is now able to do thanks to Lacey. “Being able to have Lacey there, walking beside me and guiding me on different surfaces whilst enjoying nature with me is special. It’s something that we’ve owned together,” she explains.  

“She's been really beneficial to my mental health. I have mental health issues and having Lacey has allowed me to have companionship and friendship. She gives me another reason to get up in the morning and go about my day,” Lizzie continues.  

Lizzie has a message of thanks for Petbarn and Seeing Eye Dogs supporters: “Thank you for all your hard work and continued support with helping to raise funds for Seeing Eye Dogs. You can’t put a price on the impact that the Seeing Eye Dogs have on our lives. You can't put a price on the confidence, independence, freedom of travel and companionship they give,” she says.

Lizzie is standing outside the Vision Australia Radio offices, with her Seeing Eye Dog Lacey seated beside her.
Lizzie and Lacey