For 50 years Bruce and Olive Heider have volunteered for Guide Dogs Victoria, raising puppies and raising funds. It’s with fond memories they’re saying goodbye.

By Sue Turpie

 

Whether you look at it as five decades, half a century or 50 years … it’s an impressive amount of time. For Bruce and Olive Heider it’s been a labour of love volunteering for Guide Dogs Victoria for that long. However, the couple has decided it’s time to say goodbye.
It was catching an advertisement on 3BO that led Bruce and Olive to this calling. Their own dog had just passed away and it seemed a natural progression to give that love to another furry friend. Or three, or four, or five …
“They wanted people to take these puppies, guide dogs, and look after them for 12 months,” Olive says. “So we put our name down.”
A representative from the organisation visited their home to ensure it was suitable, and it wasn’t long before the couple had its first puppy. Many furry friends have slept on the doggy beds in the sunroom of their family home since.
“That was in 1966,” quips Bruce. “We’ve had 25 pups over a period of more than 25 years, but as well we’ve had mature dogs that have needed to have a holiday. They come up for maybe a week. All up we did that for about 30 years.”
For Bruce and Olive, the time frame for hosting the dogs slotted in well with their work schedules …