Guide Dogs SA/NT came to TADSA to ask us if we could build a dog simulator for children so they could train with it before starting work with a real dog.
Guide Dogs SA/NT did have a simulator for children but they wanted one more like the simulator used by their adult clients.
One of TADSA’s newest volunteers, John Stevens, took up the challenge and using photographs of an existing simulator built the one pictured. John built the framework for the dog’s body while a family member clad the frame in material.
When in use, the simulator will have a harness fitted to it, which includes a leather handle that the client will hold onto, while a trainer will push and steer the dog from behind. The eyes, ears and nose were from an organ donor stuffed toy provided by Marilyn Rosenberg (wife of TADSA Project Coordinator Des).
Lisa Weil from Guide Dogs SA/NT said
“I wanted to say how pleased I am with how the dog simulator came out! It’s exactly what we were looking for. I was so pleasantly surprised when I saw it the first time. Can you let John know how happy we are and to give him a big THANK YOU for spending time on this project. We appreciate it so much! Thank you!”