Kim, Obama's special bond

KIM Ritchie owes a lot to her seeing eye dog Obama. 

He gives her independence, confidence and makes it safer for her to travel on her own. 

Born completely blind, it is a friendship only Ms Ritchie and Obama know. 

"I wouldn't be where I was without him," she said. 

"He guides me around and makes sure I cross the road safely. 

"He breaks down the social barriers. 

"The bond, (we share), I can't explain.

"There are no words."

Ms Ritchie first met Obama about three years ago.

Before that she had two other guide dogs and used a cane. 

"(Having a seeing eye dog) has made life so much easier," she said. 

"Yes, you can fold up a cane and put it in a backpack.

"It doesn't have to be washed or fed twice a day but when you are walking down Mitchell Street and people are walking towards you with headphones in, a dog is able to guide you around them." 

Community members attended an information session in Bendigo yesterday put on by Seeing Eye Dogs Australia. 

The dogs work with clients on a daily basis to safely navigate them while out in public. 

Visit www.visionaustralia.org for more information about Seeing Eye Dogs Australia. 

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