Puppy love: Guide Dogs Australia tips hat to Calliope
CALLIOPE was lent a nod from Guide Dogs Australia this week, after a pup in the organisation's newest litter was named after the town.
Known previously as the 'C litter', all five Labrador pups pay tribute to regional and remote parts of Queensland.
The four boys in the litter are all named after Queensland towns, while the only girl's new name pays tribute to their mum's hometown of California but can also after Calliope.
The new names are Coola, (after Coolangatta on the Gold Coast), Cook (after Cooktown in far north Queensland), Charlie (after Charleville in outback Queensland), Clifton (after the town of Clifton in the Darling Downs, Cal (after California, where mum Valisa called home before joining Guide Dogs in late 2019, also for Calliope in central Queensland).
From 3,442 name suggestions, the final five were chosen to best match the puppies' personalities by the team who had been looking after the pups in the Guide Dogs Nursery.
Nursery Co-ordinator Fiona Kachel said it was a tough job selecting the perfect names for the pups, but the overwhelming theme and spirit of Queensland was loud and clear.
"Queensland towns were suggested by so many of the people who entered, and we just couldn't resist," Ms Kachel explained.
"We thought this was a really special way of acknowledging that these pups will hopefully grow up to become life-changing guide dogs for people with vision loss all over Queensland.
"There is also a special recognition of mum Valisa's hometown of California, with the only little girl in the litter being named Cali, but we also like to think she represents Calliope, near Gladstone."
Guide Dogs Queensland Chief Executive Officer Michael Kightley thanked the thousands of Queenslanders who took part in the unique opportunity to name a litter of puppies, a right usually reserved only for sponsors.
"Sticking with the Queensland theme was also a way to thank all Queenslanders - from far up north, out west, right down to the border, and everywhere in between - who have supported Guide Dogs Queensland since we formed in 1960, over 60 years ago," Mr Kightley said.
"Guide Dogs relies on the generosity of community donations for more than 90% of our funding each year.
"It's fair to say then that many of the people who suggested these names are the reason why we've been able to offer the range of support and services we have to Queenslanders with vision loss for the past 60 years."
The puppies are now preparing to leave the Nursery to begin the next stage of their training with volunteer Puppy Raisers.
Their training will take another 12-18 months before hopefully qualifying as a guide dog and being paired with a Queenslander living with vision loss.
To find out more visit www.guidedogsqld.com.au