Zoom has become a popular platform for meetings, virtual happy hours, and other online events as COVID-19 unfolds, but now the teleconferencing app is being used to gather a cadre of adorable dogs on April 29 in honor of International Guide Dogs Day.
This virtual event, which is being hosted by Guide Dogs Australia, is intended to build awareness about how guide dogs can help humans suffering from limited vision or blindness. One of the participating puppies is even named Zoom after the ubiquitous app, according to Country Living, which also reported that more than 1,200 dog-lovers have already signed up to attend the call.
“To celebrate International Guide Dog Day on Wednesday 29th April, we’re inviting you to join our first (and cutest) Zoom puppy meeting!” the non-profit wrote on Facebook. “Tune in on your lunch break (12:00-12:30pm UTC) to meet our Guide Dogs and learn about the special role they play in the lives of people.”
Guide Dogs Australia, which collaborates with guide-dog based groups around the country, usually celebrates International Guide Dog Day with a full day of community celebrations. But this year, social distancing guidelines associated with the rapidly unfolding pandemic forced the Queensland-based charity to improvise.
“COVID-19 hasn’t stopped the clients’ need for a working dog, and once a puppy is born it’s important we get them on the path to becoming a quality seeing eye dog as soon as possible,” Jane Bradley, a development manager working with Vision Australia’s Seeing Eye Dogs, which partners with Guide Dogs Australia, told The Daily Mail.
“We’ve quickly had to become experts in training our people and dogs via video conferencing,” she said.
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The only catch is that this adorable call starts early for American viewers, who will have to tune in at 8am EST on April 29, 2020, or even earlier depending on their time zone. Regardless, we can’t think of a better way to kick off International Guide Dog on April 29! See you Wednesday?
You can attend the world’s cutest conference call (and meet Zoom the puppy!) by tuning into the April 29, 2020, conference call here.
J. Swanson is a writer, traveler, and animal-enthusiast based in Seattle, an appropriately pet-crazed city where dog or cat ownership even outweighs the number of kids. When the weather permits, she likes to get outside and explore the rest of the Pacific Northwest, always with a coffee in hand.