Finn & Belinda Urgently Need Our Help!
Belinda is an incredible lady who runs a charitable trust, helps to train disability assist dogs, supports the community with a network of wonderful people and their therapy pets who visit hospitals and homes and teaches professionals like occupational therapists the amazing value that animals have in our society helping to make the world a better place.
She is a great inspiration doing all of this through great adversity since she is completely reliant on a disability assist dog to help her achieve basic tasks like walking/balancing, taking the washing out, picking up things that she drops and pushing her Medic Alert Button when needed.
Belinda has epilepsy and suffered a severe head injury when she was bowled by a car with her beloved Disability Assist dog Tana a couple of years ago. Tana was a rescue dog who came from the Montana Women’s Prison in the USA where rescue dogs are trained to become Assistance Dogs.
Doing a tremendous job of overcoming adversity, Belinda and Tana, a joyous and intelligent boy, have shared their story on the Good Morning show, in several magazines and newspapers, books and their outstanding efforts amongst the community earned them the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medallion for Volunteer Services for Animals in New Zealand in 2012.
Together with our wonderful team at Holistic Vets, I had the privilege and pleasure of looking after Belinda and Tana as they travelled from Auckland so that we could help treat Tana’s anxiety after their accident. He made great progress but sadly, a year ago he developed a tragic illness and despite our best efforts to save him, Tana died.
This loss was devastating. Not only had Belinda lost her incredible furry friend but without Tana at her side, she would be unable to live life, being unable to do basic tasks with her disabilities and unable to continue the amazing work that she does in our community.
Through a series of events, too perfect to be a coincidence, the week after Tana died, Belinda was offered the opportunity to be partnered with Finn, a 6 month old Huntaway cross rescue puppy who is part of the Purina Pound Pups to Dog Stars Series. Finn is smart and strong and was the perfect match to help Belinda but he too had had a rough start in life.
Finn and his litter-mates were drowned and he was one of the few to survive. This left him with some anxiety issues which have been an additional obstacle to overcome with the training that he has needed to be Belinda’s Disability Assist Dog.
He has made incredible progress over the last few months and brings Belinda her shoes, medication and phone; opens doors; wears a special harness to help Belinda to walk and balance without her crutches and to get up following falls; takes off her socks and helps to put her shoes on; pushes her medical alert alarm; and even alerts Belinda when she has an oncoming seizure and then problem solves to help her after a seizure which is very impressive for a young dog.
To finally become a Certified Disability Assist Dog so that he can give Belinda all the support that she needs to live a normal life, that so many of us take for granted, Finn needs some specialised training in Perth Australia to help him overcome his anxiety and the effects of the trauma early in his life.
A 9 week intensive training course with a specialist veterinary dog behaviourist and a specialist trainer who are both generously discounting their services will cost approximately $4000 but will give Finn and Belinda a new life.
We feel immeasurable respect and admiration for Belinda for all that she has achieved, touching the lives of so many people, in the face of her disabilities.
Please help an incredible lady to get her new disability assist dog Finn trained to make life do-able for Belinda and to help her continue to make a huge difference to the lives of people and animals. Donations can be made at their Give-A-Little page.