JOAN Wellard has lived a dog’s life but she couldn’t be happier.
The Clifton Springs retiree has devotedly bred, trained and donated guide dogs to the blind since 1960.
“A lot of people have asked over the years how we could bare to depart with them when they go back to the centre for their intensive training,” she said.
“But we did our crying when they failed.
“It was in our heads that this was what we were doing.”
Joan is this week’s recipient of the Alcoa Community Heroes Award, sponsored by the Independent.
She is now in the running for an annual prize of $3000 and an interstate holiday.
Joan’s charity work over time has included stints with the RSPCA for 15 years, Delta Pet Partners, Geelong Animal Welfare and auxiliary group Willow, which she formed with guide dog owners.
To nominate someone for a Community Heroes award, visit Geelong Visitor Resource Centre or www.communityheroes.com.au.