Electric vehicles are silent and can be deadly.
If you’re blind, like Dave Fraser, you can’t see or hear one coming.
That’s where Seeing Eye Dog Levi comes in.
“We had to cross a road that had no lights. I’m listening and went to take a step,” he said. “There was a body across my legs, he stopped me. There was an electric vehicle. My mate was there.”
Retired teacher Dave has lived with low vision for his whole life. When the remaining sight was lost in June 2021, he found himself limited to the local area he had memorised.
With the help of Levi getting out and about is more than possible, it’s part of daily life.
Dave’s local community has been so welcoming of the team.
Seeing Eye Dogs and their handlers are legally allowed into public places like shops, restaurants and cafes and public transport.
“The way we’re treated here by local businesses is phenomenal,” Dave said.
“They know him, they love him and the work he does.”
Dave’s whole family has noticed a difference in him since being paired with the dog.
“They just can’t believe what Levi has done for me and family,” he said. “He’s just given back my mobility and my whole wellbeing. Without him, I’d hate to think about where I’d be. It’s not only independence and mobility, it’s giving people a life.” Dave was walking over 10kms a day with his white cane. Having to navigate focusing on the tactile information, listening and feeling the sun was tiring for Dave.
“With Levi, we can move and I can be relaxed,” he said.
“With the trust between the two of us, we’re going to get there and achieve what we set out to do.”
When Levi is not working, he can be found at home lying across Dave’s feet, or galloping around the garden. It’s clear that he loves working for his handler.
“When I pick up the harness I feel the whole back half of him sway,” Dave said. “He’s busting to get into it. It comes through him, in the harness and back to me.”