The International Women´s Club has chosen a new charity project: in the next two years the women will pay for the training of an urgently needed guide dog.
Some of the members visited the dog school in Csepel last Friday to find out exactly what they are supporting.
Director of the school Mónika Schiff told them that ten guide dogs a year are trained there but the demand is far greater because each year around 70 requests for them are received.
HUF 2 million per dog
The training, however, is extremely lengthy, difficult and, above all, expensive. The International Women´s Club has donated HUF 2 million (EUR 7,121), which will cover the two-year training of one of the small Labrador crossbred dogs.
The guide dogs are prepared for all possible and almost-impossible situations. One important element of their training is the so-called cat room. The dog school provides a loving home not only to retired guide dogs but also to a handful of small cats, which the dogs are repeatedly taken to see. It is important that they learn not to give in to the urge to give chase or let themselves be provoked.
In addition to acting as a retirement home for dogs that are no longer in service, the school trains up the next generation of guide dogs. Two female dogs are looking after their puppies in the spacious garden and waiting for them to be able to begin the tough but loving training.
Flóra is a five-year-old female Labrador and is being trained by her blind owner Iris. Flóra is already Iris’ third guide dog and the two understand each other with few words.
The director of the school explains that guide dogs can be in active service for around five years before they are “worn out”.
Not your typical dog’s life
In fact, guide dogs die around two years earlier than their peers. The reason is the great mental exhaustion that their work entails. However, and this is instantly clear even to the layperson, “the dogs love their work, they love the interaction with people and want to help”, Schiff says.
Flóra is an extraordinary example of this. On the dog school’s obstacle course, Flóra guides Iris safely around all hazards. What is more, ahead of every bump, step or kerb Flóra places herself in front of her owner and protects her with her body.
“We haven’t taught her that,” Schiff says, with no little pride. “Flóra does it of her own accord.”
The ladies of the International Women´s Club were visibly enthused and pleased to be helping such a valuable project. Expect more visits by them to the dog school.
Hungarian Federation of the Blind and Partially Sighted
1146, Hermina út 47.
Tel.: +36-1 384-8440
www.mvgyosz.hu (in English)
International Women’s Club of Budapest
1065, Hajos Utca 1,