Harper's Newsletter

Happy New Year 2015, Australia Day and Chinese New Year!

Trangie Australia Day Ambassador

What a mouthful! Lindy and I just spent a Tremendous Australia Day in Trangie. Doesn’t everyone know someone from ….. Trangie?

I (actually Lindy) was the Australia Day Ambassador for Trangie. Louisa (Lindy’s niece) accompanied us on this trip. We flew from Canberra to Sydney, then from Sydney to Dubbo. Craig Davies, a local councillor, picked us up from the airport and drove us to Trangie. After a 50 minute car ride, we were met at the local club for dinner by the Narromine Mayor Bill McAnally and members of the Trangie Action Group.

The Australia Day breakfast at the Bowling Club the next morning was attended by over 100 locals. It was a huge turnout considering the town has a population of around 800 people. This is the first time that I have attended an Australia Day breakfast as an ambassador, where over 12% of the population has turned up. As it was an inside venue, none of the four legged residents came! However I didn’t mind being the only dog there.

Lindy gave her Australia Day address while I had a snooze, then I gave her a paw for the photos when she presented the Community and Citizen of the Year awards.

The people of Trangie were really friendly and made us all very welcome. They looked after us extremely well, especially my tummy. Special thanks to our hosts Craig and Lyn, and the ladies who made us quilts. Lindy got one for her bed and I got one for mine and it even had my name on it.

Coastrek 55km Trek in 2015

Wild Women Sydney Coastrek 5/3/2015

Some of you might recall that Lindy and her Sydney Achilles Team did the Coastrek 50km night walk from Balmoral Beach to Coogee Beach in 2013.

Well, Lindy is doing it again. This time it is a 55km walk under the Achilles Canberra banner. For some unknown reason, the land mass now appears to be 5km further apart. I will do some research in the next few weeks to find out how the land has expanded in two years. Maybe it is climate change? Maybe there has been a land shift? I should have the answer in the next newsletter.

On the 6th March, Lindy will walk with team mates Cathy (from Dubai) and Jamie and Stephen (from Canberra). The walk will start at 6am instead of 6pm and will be in the reverse the direction from two years ago. Although Lindy has lost more sight over the last two years, the early morning start means more day light hours. This should make it easier for Lindy and her team. Lindy will also be able to take in the beautiful view of the Sydney Foreshore, because at least her guides and teammates will be able to take in the view and describe it to her!

This Coastrek walk is to raise money for the Fred Hollows Foundation, to restore sight to people who are needlessly blind. Do you know that 4 out of 5 people who are blind don’t need to be? Although a cure is still to be found for Lindy’s condition, there are many others who can be cured now from avoidable blindness. $25 will help to restore sight.

Happy Chinese New Year – the Year of the Sheep

This year is the year of the sheep. I am sure I am related to the sheep family a long way back. I love to graze on the grass whenever I have the opportunity to do so. When I first teamed up with Lindy, I did a residential training with three of my school mates and their handlers. One afternoon, while Lindy and the other handlers were busy listening to the Guide Dog Instructors, we took the opportunity to graze on the lawn. When the instructor spotted us, she told the blind handlers that they had a mob of sheep instead of dogs! So I would claim that they named this year for me as well.

That’s about it for this month’s message from the Black Labrador.

Remember: Nothing would happen until you take the first step.