Guide dog owner story - Lucy and Olivia

Lucy only lost her sight four years ago. At 17, Lucy had her whole life planned out, when she was old enough she wanted to do a medical degree at university. Sadly she spent the next three years of her life in and out of hospital undergoing various medical procedures. She still has some usable vision but Olivia has greatly improved Lucy’s mobility.

Olivia is Lucy’s first guide dog. “We only fully qualified last week, the training was brilliant, and I really enjoyed the basic route walks,” Lucy explained. “I used to get a bit scared when I went into town, I don’t like drawing attention to myself and that’s hard because when you have a long cane you end up hitting bins and lamp posts and people stare at you. With Olivia no one can hear me coming; now I feel like a ninja!” Lucy laughed. “Olivia and I will be going to university which was always my dream. My field of study has changed slightly, to Psychology. I want to help people with sight loss, other people in the visual impaired community and people who suffer with depression,” Lucy told us.

Even though Lucy and Olivia have only been together for a short time they have still been out and about to many places! Lucy explained, “we have used lots of different transport from trains and buses to taxis and cars. I have been to a restaurant, a café and the local supermarket with Olivia already.” It sounds like there’s no stopping these two! 

We asked Lucy to describe Olivia’s personality and the bond they share, “she is very cheeky, very affectionate and loves her food. She is everything to me; I couldn’t be without her.” 

It is great to see our lovely Olivia reach this stage in her life changing journey. She is now helping Lucy maintain the independence to live her life to the fullest. 

Did you know?

  • Guide dogs are not only taught to look out for obstacles that are on the pavement, they’re also trained to avoid obstacles that may be at head height – such as over-hanging branches.
  • Some guide dogs are trained to find the box at a pelican crossing by jumping up and resting their paws on it. This is so the handler knows where the button is.