The story of Sherry and Cheryl
HADDON resident Cheryl Marshall is loving her retired lifestyle, with the help of a special furry friend.
Blind since the age of seven, Mrs Marshall has lived with the support of six seeing eye dogs over the last 58 years, including her latest buddy, Sherry.
“Having a seeing eye dog gives me a sense of freedom. I don’t have to rely on anyone else. Sherry gives me my independence back and means I can do things myself,” she said.
“When you’re out with a seeing eye dog, people seem to look upon you as an individual a bit more.
“If I’m out with my husband, but without Sherry, I find people will try to communicate with him rather than me. When you’ve got a seeing eye dog with you, people seem to realise you’re still your own person.”
Formerly travelling to and from Melbourne for work daily, transcribing books and printed materials into braille, Mrs Marshall said life is a bit different with Sherry – who joined her earlier in 2021 – than with her the dogs she had before.
“Sherry’s had to get used to doing a lot of different things and be able to do them well. She comes with me to Probus Club meetings, my book clubs and my walking group,” she said.
“She really gets me out and about, and out talking to people.”
But not only is Sherry excellent in her role assisting Mrs Marshall, she’s also a wonderful “cuddly” dog.
“I love the fact that when you’re sitting down she’ll come around and lie across your feet. If people come to visit, the first thing she does is go and get her toy llama, and parade it about for everyone to see,” she said.
“We live on five acres, so she has plenty of space to play, though I’m not sure she’s convinced about the neighbour’s sheep yet.”