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Editions

Jaxon is a super puppy

02 Aug 2011

Jaxon is a super puppy Image

Super puppy Jaxon was in Docklands on July 16 taking his first steps to becoming an assistance dog who will make a huge difference to the life of a disabled person.

The 12-week old Labrador is embarking on 18 months initial training with Lynn James-Siddle before heading for six months intensive “finishing school” in Sydney.

If he makes the grade, Jaxon will spend his life opening doors, pushing buttons at pedestrian lights and generally improving the quality of life of a disabled person.

Trainer Kristen Papay said assistance dogs were not as well recognised as seeing-eye dogs but fulfilled an equally worthwhile role.

She said Assistance Dogs Australia trained Labradors and golden retrievers to an extremely high level.  A volunteer herself, Kristen will visit Lynn once a week to advise on best way to get the most out of Jaxon over the next 18 months.

And Lynn knows about dogs.  She and her husband Robert own PETstock South Melbourne and run their own puppy classes.

It is estimated that it costs $25,000 to raise and train each dog.

Jaxon’s socialisation started with a “meet and greet” between trainers, puppy-raisers, puppy-sitters and disabled assistance dog recipients at Harbour Town on July 16.

Ms James-Siddle said Jaxon would be with her day and night for the next 18 months.

“My two cats have cleared out since he arrived, but hopefully they will soon get used to the idea of having him around,” she said.

Jaxon is the third puppy to be sponsored by a PETstock store.  Others have been taken in by franchise owners in Adelaide and Port Macquarie.

Robert Siddle is president of the PETstock foundation, which gives to charities that involve a relationship between people and animals, such as Riding for the Disabled.

“Taking on an assistance puppy is a great match for our business,” Mr Siddle said.

Ms Papay said Assistance Dogs Australia was interested in hearing from any Docklander willing to help raise a puppy.  She said an indoor, apartment environment was ideal for the task.

Further information can be obtained from Lynn James-Siddle at PETstock, 211 Ferrars St, South Melbourne or from http://www.assistancedogs.org.au.

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