Not many kids can say their dogs walk them to kindy.

But 4-year-old Ella Ferri has not only her mum, Jess, by her side but also her mum's guide dog, Jade.

It's probably an act that most people take for granted, but for Jess as a handler, it's a massive achievement to notch up in less than a year together.

Ferri, of Hamilton, has been blind since she was 18 days old.

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The now 33-year-old told the Herald she lost her sight because of a medical misadventure when she was given too much oxygen during an operation, which detached the retina from the back of the eye.

She managed with a cane as a youngster before getting her first guide dog aged 14.

It was a step that not only helped her independence but also her ability to get to know other kids at school.

"It made a huge difference to me back then. It broke the ice too, with the high school kids. It gave them something to talk about with me because they didn't have a lot to talk about; they didn't know how to interact."

Ferri is speaking out in the lead up to Red Puppy Street Appeal on Friday and Saturday.

More than 30,000 Kiwis are blind or have low vision and the funds raised go towards training guide dogs.

Ferri said the benefits of a guide dog were endless.

Jess Ferri and her daughter, Ella Ferri, 4, walking through the streets of Hamilton with guide dog Jade. Jess has been blind since just 18 days old. Photo / Alan Gibson
Jess Ferri and her daughter, Ella Ferri, 4, walking through the streets of Hamilton with guide dog Jade. Jess has been blind since just 18 days old. Photo / Alan Gibson

"The bond between guide dog and handler is certainly a special bond. It's amazing how quickly she bonded to me.

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"I would be lost without her.

"Having a guide dog just makes thing so much easier. I'm out walking and I find that with a white cane I feel vulnerable but with Jade I don't feel as vulnerable."

After being together just one day, Jade had begun looking out for her, wondering where she was.

By October last year, they had grown so close that they were able to walk Ella to school together.

"It's brilliant. It's a very big deal, considering it's taken until Ella turned 4 that I've been able to go out with her by myself, independently, that's a big, big deal."

Jade has also accompanied her on flights around the country.

As for fundraising, Ferri thanked people who had donated in the past and to those who plan to donate this month.

"I wouldn't have this beautiful dog here if it weren't for them."

* Anyone wishing to donate can head here