Rowan, is so much more than a Seeing Eye Dog, he is family.
There are so many reasons why Melissa is grateful to have Seeing Eye Dog, Rowan by her side. Rowan has given Melissa companionship, confidence, safety, independence – and even helped her meet her husband.
Melissa has glaucoma and started to lose her sight when she was just a little girl of nine years of age. Today, at 37, she has lost all vision in her left eye, and can now only see shadows in her right eye.
Before Melissa had Rowan, she had to rely on a long white cane to get around.
‘I remember when I had a cane I just didn’t feel very confident. I noticed as soon as I got my Seeing Eye Dog, Rowan that I felt much more independent. I was like, “‘Wow, I'm out in the community now”. Rowan gave me my self confidence back and a sense of worth.’
Melissa said without the confidence to get out and about, she may have never met her husband, Michael.
‘Five years ago I was having lunch, and my future husband happened to be sitting at the table next to me. Michael felt a nudge on his leg, and he looked down and saw Rowan looking up at him.
Michael fell in love with my dog, and then we fell in love with each other.’
Rowan was the ring bearer and by Melissa’s side when she married Micheal. He was also there when Melissa had her daughter Jennifer. He slept right there under the bed throughout the 5 hours of labour but he woke up as soon as she was born.
This is just one of the amazing Seeing Eye Dog stories that we hear every day. Seeing Eye Dogs are trained to be guides and companions.
But it turns out they can also be cupids as well!
As amazing as Melissa story is, sadly there are many Australians who are still waiting for a dog just like Rowan to transform their lives.
Melissa’s lovely story reminds us that Seeing Eye Dogs give more than just physical support – they make their humans’ lives better in the most surprising ways.