What do you get if you put close to 200 dog lovers and approximately 20 cute, beautiful, adorable dogs (can you tell I’m one of those dog lovers?) into the ballroom of Kelvin Grove, in Cape Town?
You get an amazing evening of fun and inspiration that results in sufficient donations to train 8 more guide dogs in the Cape Town area. Sure, you get a little chaos with that number of dogs, but they’re all under the watchful eyes of their humans and the trainers so it’s fairly constrained.
The SA Guide-Dogs Association receives no government funding, nor is it able to benefit from the lottery since… apparently… it is considered an animal charity rather than a human charity. So this kind of fund-raising event is key to the continuing good work being done by Guide-Dogs.
I was privileged to be asked to be the guest speaker at the dinner and loved every second of the event. It’s certainly the first time I’ve ever been heckled by a dog while speaking. But that added to the fun!
Fiji really enjoyed socializing with the many other guide dogs and guide dogs-in-training that attended – from Andy, an adorable 12-week old Labrador who managed to fall asleep while he was making his stage debut, to the more refined gentleman, O’Reilly who is a lot older but still a fine working dog and is a dedicated member of the Guide-Dogs PR team, as is his human Pieter.
and, of course, Fiji loved being able to greet all the young, boisterous and energetic guide dogs of around her own age.
I want to commend SA Guide-Dogs Association in Cape Town for this marvelous event. I was truly proud to be a part of it and of the guide dogs community.
With thanks to Margaret Hirsch for the photograph of me speaking!
PS: There are rumours of an audio recording of my speech… but Fiji and I will need to investigate so don’t tell anyone yet