AUSTIN (KXAN) — Guide dogs help people who are blind or visually impaired navigate the world around them, but before they can do that they must go through training.

“Her job is just to stay focused on where we are going,” said Paul Fontaine, a volunteer with Austin’s chapter of Guide Dogs for the Blind, which is a national organization that trains and places dogs for the blind and visually impaired.

At 11 months old, Trixie, a yellow lab, will soon be guiding someone around, so Fontaine is making sure she can handle all the pressure.

Fontaine is in charge of getting Austin’s chapter off the ground. He’s starting with Trixie, but hopes to add more dogs and volunteers soon.

“We are starting from the ground up right now,” said Fontaine. “We are looking for volunteers. We need puppy raisers. We need puppy sitters.”

To become a volunteer, there is a process that includes vetting and making sure the candidate will be a good fit and be able to care for the puppy.

“Walking them around, learning and teaching them common manners and socializing them, so when they are in the real world working with someone who is visually impaired they ignore everything else,” said Fontaine.

After a bout a year with the puppy they will go back to Guide Dogs for the Blind for additional training.

Fontaine said it can be hard knowing the puppy will eventually leave, but he knows the puppy will change someone’s life.

“You get to give back to your community,” said Fontaine.

Not every dog passes the training. Some end up helping with other organizations who aid people in need.

Fontaine said if you see a dog like Trixie with their owner out and about, it is best not to approach and pet the dog, especially when they just began training.

Fontaine said they are currently looking for volunteers.

For more information on the Austin chapter check out its Facebook page.