There are dog-lovers and then there’s Claire Donovan.
The 84-year-old’s dedication to four-legged friends earned her a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2017 after fostering 78 guide dogs since 2001.
Claire loves every aspect of the work she does through Guide Dogs SA/NT.
“I teach the dogs to do various things—go to sporting events, walk up and down stairs and escalators, and walk the streets,” she said.
Claire is committed to training the dogs to help vision-impaired people, and is conscious of not becoming too attached.
“To see them giving somebody else a better life is worth it for me.”
Receiving an accolade in the Queen’s Birthday Honours came as a huge surprise, and brought her attention from media, friends and strangers alike.
“Within a couple of days of the announcement, I had 81 emails and phone calls from so many people,” she said.
Claire’s passion for canines isn’t cooling any time soon, and she plans to continue to take advantage of the pet-friendly policy at Glengowrie.
“Debbie, our village manager, was so good when I first asked about having a dog,” she said.
“Since then, they’ve all come into my home and my heart and I love them.”
For more information about Glengowrie Retirement Village, click here.