Our stories

John and Seeing Eye Dog Umali

Hi, my name is John and I lost my sight overnight 7 years ago. I literally woke up one morning thinking it was still dark outside.

The specialists told me that I suffer from a number of conditions including Diabetic Retinopathy and Diabetic Macular Degeneration, so I’m totally blind in my left eye and have only 3% vision in my right.

I was matched with my Seeing Eye Dog, Umali. She immediately bonded with the whole family and on the first weekend she followed me around everywhere.

Even without her harness on, she never left my side and we’ve been inseparable ever since.

I’m a Business Development Director for a transport company so I attend a lot of meetings and travel around a fair bit. Before Umali, I had to rely on others to help.

Umali has already become my arms, my legs, my everything. I’ve learnt to trust my Seeing Eye Dog which is a bigger step than you might think. She keeps me safe and I can’t ask for more than that. I know that there are a lot of people waiting for a Seeing Eye Dog, so I ask that you please support Vision Australia so that they can keeptraining more dogs and help give people with blindness the gift of mobility, independence and safety.

John is sitting chair outside with black labrador, Seeing Eye Dog, Umali
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