Seeing Eye Dog - Ulrick
Belgian Shepherd Dogs have been used for many years as Therapy
and Assistance Dogs for people with physical or sensory
disabilities. In Australia, being a relatively new breed (in
comparison to many others), they have only recently been
recognised as able to perform these tasks.
In the last couple of years Seeing Eye Dogs Australia have included a small number of Belgian Shepherds (Groenendaels & Malinois) in their training program, to date two Groenendaels have successfully completed training and are now fully working Seeing Eye Dogs.
Mirribandi Xtra Vision
Dam: Aust Ch Mirribandi Kiara Vision x Sire: Aust Ch Fakaiser's Ulrick d'Unforgettable (Imp Nor)
10th April 2002 to 17/03/2012
|Ulrick (named after his dad) and his handler have a very exciting life, he and his handler have been able to visit some entertainment venues in 2004.|
"Melbourne International Comedy Festival" Debra
tells me Ulrick amazed and impressed comedians, comedy
festival staff and crowds with his good looks and
beautiful behaviour. He became a bit of a star himself
with everyone talking about him and stopping to watch as
he walked by. Some people even chased them down the
street to find out more about him and the breed.
The comedy trio GUD (Paul McDermott and a couple of friends) fell completely in love with him and were thrilled to have them at 2 of their shows. Ulrick made his stage debut (and loved it!) and the guys were very keen to show him off to the crowds after the gigs and to pose with him for photos. He loved every second of it and it was a good chance to make people aware that Belgian Shepherds are being used as service dogs.
Ulrick won hearts again at the ABC filming of the dance show "Strictly Dancing". Ulrick was a bit of a distraction for all the camera crue and studio team because they just couldn't stop looking at him or finding excuses to walk past and give him a quick pat. Luckily it was just his good looks that were distracting, he didn't move or cause any trouble all night.
He was perfectly behaved, lay quietly while there were people, cameras, loud music, coloured lights and all sorts of TV studio equipment all around him.
At the "Melbourne Fringe Festival" Ulrick and his handler worked in the information centre, meeting the public and promoting the festival and the shows. Ulrick was a hit and made heaps of new friends. Debra says "He's a real festival and gig dog, loves attention, loves making friends and loves being right in the centre of all the action".
Update January 2007
"Ulrick was introduced to the concept of an office job (and so was I) at the beginning of October. This isn't an experience either of us is overly enjoying but it does pay the bills and give us money to play with. Ulrick has been fairly good (well he could be a lot worse) about lying under the desk while I sort through and answer hundreds of emails, (ahhh! the joys of work!). When we first started he used to entertain the office with renditions of the "I'm bored, why can't we go home?" and "I want to go home right now" songs but luckily he's given up his singing career and even manages to get in 40 winks while I work, when he's not using me as his own personal chew toy. I think he can tell the time cos as soon as it hits home time, he's up and hassling me to get going, he gets particularly annoyed with me if we have to work late and is very vocal about it. Everyone at the office loves him but as he's a "Dog with responsibilities" he refuses to socialise unless he's told it's OK and even then it's not for long.
He enjoys playing silly games every morning on the way to work to see if he can convince me we shouldn't go, the most frequent of which is to walk past the building, but unfortunately for him I'm wise to it so he never succeeds. It is great to have a cheeky pup with a sense of humour, it makes the hour of travel in the morning much more bareable. Of course we have found a workmate who lives just up the road so we often get a lift which makes the furry one much happier and the day a lot shorter. This workmate also has 2 beagles so not only did we find a ride to work but Ulrick has 2 new playmates."
Update April 2012
RIP Special Boy
He led the life he was meant to lead while on this earth, his memory will live forever in everyone whose lives he touched and was lucky enough to meet him.
Some words from his owner -
Ulrick passed away peacefully surrounded by his most favourite people after lymphoma took over his body. It was just under a month from diagnosis to end and he was never in any pain or allowed to suffer.
Everyone who knew my gorgeous pup couldn't help falling in love with him and we have all been changed for the good by knowing him.
He was the best guide and companion ever and he will never be forgotten.Ulo was a truly exceptional dog and did amazing things as a guide. He had the most wicked sense of humour and loved showing off and being the centre of attention. He had many adventures with me during his nearly 10 years and I hope he loved every second of it.
Thank you to all who helped breed, train and love my fluffy boy! Carry him in your hearts forever.