"To have a guide dog is priceless."
That's according to Suzie Brodie who has been on a mission with her companion Luna for the month of August.
Suzie has been legally blind since birth, and what people with full vision can see in 60 metres, she sees in 2 metres.
For the month of August, Suzie and her guide dog Luna have been doing their fair share of steps to take part in the Guide Dogs fundraiser, Pawgust.
Suzie also has night blindness, and while she can see a full moon, she has never seen a star. But, she said she wouldn't undergo surgery if it meant losing what she has - "what I have is what I've always had."
Luna arrived in Suzie's life on September 2, 2019 and has been more than a dog to her owner.
"She's 100 per cent an important part of my life. It's much nicer to go for a walk and have someone to talk to," she said.
Some people can wait six months on a waiting list because there's only so many dogs they can train with their funding. The more funding there is, the more chances that someone is going to get a dog.- Suzie Brodie on the need for funding
"It's amazing to have a guide dog, the independence you get from using one compared to a cane is so much more because you don't have to worry about obstacles, the dogs dodge all of them.
"Whereas, if you're using a cane, the only time you're going to know that something is there is when it hits it on the ground.
"You can go into new areas and not know anything about it but be confident that your dog is going to get you to your destination, whereas if you're using a cane in your new area you couldn't do it on your own.
"It's just freedom, confidence and independence."
According to Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, it takes two years and over $50,000 from public donations, with less than 10 per cent of income from government funding, to train a dog to be a companion for a person who is vision impaired.
Throughout her life, Suzie has had three guide dogs, including Luna, which is a significant reason why she felt compelled to participate in Pawgust.
"It's something I wanted to do because I've had three guide dogs and wanted to give something back to the organisation for the amazing work they do because without them, my lifestyle would be much more restricted," she said.
"Some people can wait six months on a waiting list because there's only so many dogs they can train with their funding.
"The more funding there is, the more chances that someone is going to get a dog.
"If I can help to fund for someone to have a guide dog like Luna, that would be wonderful."
At the time of publication, Suzie and Luna have walked 530 kilometres and raised $3,082.90, well above the required 30 minutes for 30 days target - "we've been doing much more than that."
Suzie is hoping members of the public could support her and Luna on their mission, with donations accepted until October 1.
"It would be wonderful, I know how supportive Mudgee is, they get behind their community so hopefully some people can get behind us," she said.
To lend your support and donate, head to https://www.pawgust.com.au/fundraiser/suzannebrodie.
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