Assistance dogs provide a new lease on life

10 Sep 2017

Ciaran Burke knows first-hand the difference an assistance dog makes in an individual’s life. Ciaran, from Macquarie’s Dublin office saw his autistic nephew Aaron flourish when he became the owner of an assistance dog at six years old.

“With the help of an assistance dog simple things became possible for Aaron and his family; like going for a walk, going to the shops or a restaurant,” he says. “It's that feeling of protection, companionship and security that makes such a huge difference in their daily life.”

The Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind train puppies to provide support to blind and vision impaired people and families of children with autism. Ciaran wanted to raise some funds for the organisation so they could help more families like his. Together with colleague Rachael O’Brien, they organised a charity golf day which attracted over 240 golfers. Many other guests participated by buying raffle tickets and getting involved in the auction of prizes donated by local businesses. The golf day raised €18,875, which was matched by Macquarie Group Foundation.

The funding will be used to train a puppy over a 24 month period, who will then provide assistance to someone in need for around eight years.

Staff recently had the pleasure of meeting the eight week old puppy and deciding on a name for him, so they ran a competition across their office. “A lot of people suggested Mac (for Macquarie) which we really liked, but we also wanted his name to reflect the Dublin office so we decided on MacDub!’ says Rachael.

MacDub will be given to his new owners once he has finished his training.

Image caption: MacDub, the assistance dog who will be trained using funds raised by Macquarie staff.