When Seeing Eye Dog Kingy started struggling with arthritis, Rhiannon McLeish knew it was time for her faithful companion to retire.
She applied for a new Seeing Eye Dog in 2021, and in a matter of weeks, she was matched with Yaffa.
In size and temperament, Yaffa, a small, tri-coloured Labrador, is the polar opposite to Kingy.
“It’s like an elephant playing with an ant,” Rhiannon explained.
But she loves working just as much.
“She does her job really well,” Rhiannon said.
“It’s nice to have a dog who loves working just as much as Kingy does.”
Introducing Yaffa into their lives was a huge change for both Rhiannon and Kingy.
Rhiannon not only had to adjust to a new Seeing Eye Dog, but she also had to help Kingy adjust to retirement.
Caption: Rhiannon and Yaffa love getting out and about in Wollongong.
It was not a change Kingy accepted quickly.
“He didn’t want to retire,” Rhiannon explained, “He loved working.”
After a career full of countless adventures with Rhiannon, and his 11th birthday fast approaching, Kingy’s retirement is one well deserved.
While Kingy enjoys his trips to the beach and his many naps in the sun, Rhiannon and Yaffa’s adventures have only just begun.
Rhiannon is in her final year of a degree in social work, but she hopes to travel with Yaffa in the future.
In the meantime, she’s focusing on completing her studies, working at Vision Australia, and getting involved in her local community.
“I like to look at what my community’s up to and all the fascinating new things that come out, and I decide if that’s something I’d like to be a part of.”
Kingy and Yaffa have given Rhiannon freedom and independence, and have allowed her to feel involved and included in her community.
“I just love being able to go out and do what I want to do.”
Could a Seeing Eye Dog support you? Find out about applying for a Seeing Eye Dog today!