In The Driver’s Seat National recognition

by Zeus, Canine Correspondant
10th June 2024

(Zeus portrait Olga Wahnich)

AS MANY OF you know I am an assistance dog.
I’ve done lots of training over the years to help my owner.
In the “trained dog” world, the canines I admire most are the guide dogs for the vision impaired.
Unlike me, they are very serious (but still lovable) characters who strictly abide by all the rules.
Recently, I picked up some great news from my canine companions.
Our Lions Club in Warrandyte has received an Australia-wide award for helping visually impaired people (VIPs).
Their project, “In the Driver’s Seat,” was recently announced by the Lions Australia Global Service Team coordinator, John Muller, in Darwin as the Top Lions Club Service Project for 2023–24.
Now running for over 25 years, the project involves giving vision-impaired people the opportunity to drive a car around Sandown Racetrack.
For some, the sudden or gradual loss of vision means they can no longer enjoy the simple pleasure of driving.
Our Warrandyte Lions use qualified driving instructors and dual-operated vehicles to offer our VIPs this enriching and thrilling experience.
The VIPs also have the opportunity to ride in racing cars, custom-line classic cars, and even on motorbikes.
Peter Watts, who was also vision-impaired, from the Warrandyte Lions Club had the initial idea.
I remember meeting Peter fondly.
We communicated by touch, voice, and scent.
Sadly, Peter passed away recently, but his legacy lives on.
In The Driver’s Seat is on again on July 14 at the Sandown Racetrack.
It will be great to catch up with all my guide dog mates.
A short video about the program, produced by 42K Media for Warrandyte Lions, is available on the Warrandyte Lions website warrandyte-lions.org/in-the-drivers-seat.

Newsflash As In The Driver’s Seat has won the National award, Warrandyte Lions is up for a Regional award, so my human is off to Bali in September to attend the ANZI Asia Pacific awards.