~ Colina and Will ~
In 2019, Guide Dog puppy, Will, was born. Since then, Will did become a guide dog but is now happily living his best life with Colina. The two are now best friends and help each other immensely in their lives.
Will was born through Guide Dogs New Zealand as part of the W litter. When Will was 9 weeks old, he was introduced to puppy raiser, Colina. When guide dog puppies are born, they spend their first 9 weeks simply just socialising and growing. After this, they undergo formal training so they can become working dogs for those who are blind or visually impaired.
For the first year, Guide Dog puppies live with puppy raisers. Puppy raisers help to not only raise the puppy but to help them properly develop through socialisation and education. This includes taking the dog out to different places, meeting a variety of people and different animals, and more.
During this period, dogs are monitored in their progress. If they do not meet certain criteria, they may then be moved into a different role, such as a mobility or assistance dog, or be adopted out. In Will’s case, he unfortunately did not pass his formal training.
While he couldn’t become a working guide dog, Will was able to be adopted by Colina. At this time, Colina and her family were struggling with the loss of their 12-year-old dog, Charlie. Having Will was immensely helpful and they were thrilled to welcome him into their family. He could bring a smile to anyone’s face and, no matter what, he is always there for his family.
Having Will has helped Colina a lot. Will brings so much happiness to Colina and her family. He brings a sense of calm, even when Colina may be feeling anxious. Not only this, but Will is very gentle and wants to show everyone kindness.
When Colina may feel a bit anxious or stressed, Will reminds her to be present in the moment. He is very intuitive when it comes to others’ emotions, too, so always knows who needs an extra hug!
Both Colina and Will love their time together. They both go out every morning for their daily walk, often along the nearby beach. Occasionally, while at the beach, Colina will set up doggy-playdates for Will. He will happily play in the sand and in the water. He has a mischievous side to him and loves to race around, sometimes with a favourite toy!
The bond between Colina and Will is a very special one. He has become very well known in their community. No matter what, he brings smiles to the faces of anyone who meets him. Will is very loyal, loving and is always happy to be by Colina’s side, through thick and thin. The love between him and Colina is so strong and you can see how much they care for one another.