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Pigs Might Fly- But Guide Dog Puppies Do!

Upper North Island guide dog puppies are soon to have the ride of their lives when they complete a scenic aeroplane flight over Auckland with their puppy walkers in tow.

On Saturday 6th July, thirty of the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind’s (RNZFB) guide dog puppies will be experiencing the thrill of flying on a plane chartered from Air New Zealand’s link operator, Air Nelson.

The purpose of the flight is to give the puppies an opportunity to get used to travelling in the air prior to teaming up with blind or sight-impaired people who may use air flights for travel.

The flight will be a first for most upper North Island puppies who do not have the experience that many of their southern colleagues do.

“This is a chance for our Auckland and upper North Island regional puppies to fly in a plane,” says Paula Gemmell, Puppy Development Manager, Guide Dog Services.

“Many of the puppies south of this region get flown down to their puppy walkers and then back up to Guide Dog Services in Auckland when the time comes to begin their next stage of training. It’s important that all of the puppies get used to flying.”

“Puppy walkers have often mentioned that they never have the opportunity themselves to do a flight with the puppies, so away we go! It wouldn’t be possible without the support from puppy walkers, Air Nelson and Air New Zealand,” says Ms Gemmell.

The puppy flight will depart at 12.30pm and fly over Auckland for half an hour.

RNZFB’s Guide Dog Services hope to make the “puppy flight” an annual training event, as long as the response is good and all involved are finding it worthwhile.
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