For Hailey Lindermann, being matched with Seeing Eye Dog Tippi felt a long-time coming.
Hailey was born blind and up until late 2021 relied on a white cane as her primary mobility aid.
Now 30, the Brisbane resident feels more independent than ever after being paired with Tippi.
“I grew up around people with dog guides all around. I love the work they do and the bond,” Hailey said.
“Tippi’s work is amazing, it’s quite extraordinary really and her nature is really lovely, she’s a calm gentle dog and really affectionate,” she says
“Her little mind is always working very hard. I have so many dogs in my area and she’s so good at walking past, sometimes I don’t even know there’s a dog there which is something I really needed!”
Hailey is involved with churches in two locations, and Tippi makes the public transport and busy road crossings safer and easier.
Tippi’s skills of assessing obstacles like prams, slower walkers, stairs and other hazards means Hailey can navigate busy environments like shopping centres and airports, as well catch up with friends without the focus required for white cane travel.
“Tippi’s versatile with her work. Put her in any situation and she’ll shine.
“She’s got a sixth sense, she’s intuitive and picks up things really quickly. Even the smallest things like walking up stairs to a train station, she knows to slow down behind an old man, and takes her time. No prompting or anything, she just takes it upon herself and thinks ahead.”
A striking looking black Labrador cross Golden Retriever, Tippi attracts plenty of attention from those who come across her.
“She loves photos, she’s such a poser! I was warned she’d get more attention from the public attention because she’s so pretty.
“I know Seeing Eye Dogs are cute but please don’t pat them, as hard as it is! Please talk to the handler directly not just the dog, sometimes the human is just as important.”
While Tippi makes travelling around Brisbane much easier for Hailey, she’s also planning for them to travel further afield.
“I’m planning to take Tippi down to my family to Sydney and experience a plane trip with her. There are a lot more crowds down there so it’ll be interesting,” she says.
“I enjoy nature walks and bush walking, so I want to do some of that with her. She’s so cautious and careful it’d be interesting to see how she goes. I’ve done a bit of that with her and she’s been amazing.
“I like going to the Gold Coast a lot, I’m usually down there a lot along the beach and by the river. I’m excited to go on those bushwalks, she loves an adventure so she’ll love it.”
Hailey had a message to share thanking the donors and supporters of Seeing Eye Dogs.
“Donations really help the matching process and are so important in people like me being able to have the dogs that suit us so well and enrich our lives so much.”