For nearly four years, seeing-eye dog Iris has been standing by her owner – Jodie Jamieson’s – side.
But, next week she will have $4000 surgery on her back left leg’s cruciate ligament.
Iris will be out of action for more than two months.
“I’m so used to having her beside me all the time, it’s just going to be weird,” Mrs Jamieson said.
“She is very important. She is basically my eyes now and helps me get out and about.”
Mrs Jamieson is undergoing cane training to prepare for Iris’ absence.
“I’m just so used to Iris so I don’t feel as confident. I just don’t feel as safe going out by myself with the cane,” she said.
“I have 100 per cent trust in Iris and she knows my routines and my places.
“I just say I want to go to school to the boy’s classrooms and she’ll take me there.”
When Mrs Jamieson found out about Iris’ ligament said she was devastated.
“She just woke up one morning limping and we took her to the vet and they found out that’s what she had,” she said.
“I was a bit up set about it because we work as a team now, and she loves working as well.
Iris waits at the door waiting for Mrs Jamieson as soon as she picks her handbag up.
“At the moment I have to say no to her because she can’t help me,” she said.
“She’s a bit confused at the moment. She doesn’t get why I’m leaving her. She knows she has a sore leg, but doesn’t want to stop.”
Iris will have to travel to Hobart for the surgery and for recovery.
Guide Dogs Tasmania has started an every day hero fundraising page for Iris.
The organisation’s communications and marketing coordinator Zoe Polacik said it’s a huge cost to have to cover.
“Our dogs are generally very healthy dogs, we get them from breeding stocks that are bred to be very healthy,” Ms Polacik said.
“We can’t just have a back up guide dog ready to go, there was a matching process just to get Iris with Jodie.”
To donate, visit give.everydayhero.com/au/guide-dog-iris-needs-your-help.