The owner of one of the seven guide dogs in Northland says her dog has opened up her world.

Mhairi Collins of Whangarei said she'd had her dog, Peace, for about six years.

Mrs Collins said she had loss of peripheral vision and Peace helps her get around and prevents her from bumping into things or tripping on kerbs.

Peace knows the way to banks, the hairdresser and Paper Plus. She just had to tell Peace where they were going and she would take them there.


"She's been awesome. Just totally opens your world up, opens it right up. It's unbelievable."

Mrs Collins said she didn't necessarily look blind so the dog gave others a heads up. That was important so people wouldn't think she was being careless if she bumped into them.

Blind Foundation guide dogs adoption programme coordinator Fiona Notton said the foundation had seven guide dogs in the Northland area. The foundation is urging people to contribute during the Red Puppy Appeal street collection on April 1 and 2. The annual appeal raises funds for the breeding and training of guide dogs.

The foundation said guide dogs gave people who were blind or had low vision the freedom and confidence to live an independent life.

Blind Foundation spokeswoman Alison Wheatley said guide dog puppies went through two years of rigorous training before they graduated. Once assigned, their working life averaged 8 to 10 years.

"We don't charge people to receive a guide dog - all the costs for breeding and training are met by public donations. That's why the Red Puppy Appeal is so important," said Ms Wheatley.

People can donate online at or text PUPPIES to 305 to donate $3.