'Puppy Raiser'. It sounds like a job that a naive six-year-old would invent before the realities of the world come crashing in. Surely there is no situation in which ordinary people can become mum or dad to a labrador puppy and not even have to pay for the privilege.
Except there totally is. Future Puppy Raisers, step right this way.
Guide Dogs Victoria is expecting a puppy boom this spring (the cutest of all booms), and needs extra Puppy Raisers to meet the demand. They’re from the ‘P’ litter, and they’re little blonde balls of loveliness who just want a temporary home before they go out into the world and make the lives of blind people so, so much better.
If you’re not sure what becoming a Puppy Raiser entails, then read on: we asked Guide Dogs Australia for five things you might not know about having the best job in the world.
1. You can take your puppy to work. “Oh hello boss, can I please have a raise? No? HOW ABOUT NOW?"
2. You can still go on holidays. Planned a sweet trip to Thailand this summer? No worries: Guide Dogs Victoria will look after your wet-nosed friend while you’re away (if you can bear to leave them).
3. It’s a short-term commitment. Adopting a dog means you should be willing to commit to years of stability for your canine pal. If you’re not sure you can do that just now, then no worries; a guide dog puppy is yours for a maximum of 12 months.
4. You won’t have to pay very much. Owning a dog isn’t always cheap. With a guide dog puppy, you can be sure that Guide Dogs Australia will pay for all your pup’s expenses. Good luck resisting the urge to shower them in treats, though.
5. You’ll make new friends. Part of your job as a Puppy Raiser is taking your four-legged friend to classes, so he or she will be the best guide dog they can be. What better way to meet like-minded individuals than amongst more labradors than you’ve ever seen in one place?
So there you have it, puppy fans. To learn more about adopting a guide dog puppy, visit the website. And while you're waiting until your puppy is big enough to adopt, please enjoy this video of the 'P' litter.