By Miriam Mas, Buddy Dog Lead, CNIB Guide Dogs
In April, CNIB Guide Dogs launched its Buddy Dog program. Buddy Dogs are partnered with children to help them prepare for guide dog partnerships.
Today, we have seven Buddy Dog partnerships in Canada. All the Buddy Dogs have one thing in common – they're sensitive dogs. So far, we've only had Golden Retrievers in the program. Often, these dogs are very receptive to the energy around them. If their young partner has had a difficult day, their Buddy Dog may be aware. And, when there's a strong bond within the partnership, the dog may prefer cuddling to other activities. Sensitive dogs may be apprehensive when their environments change, so it may take them a few days to settle in. But, once they do, these dogs are very happy in their new homes.
"Dickson helps me stay away from bad dreams because he sleeps in my bedroom. He helps my family get active. He helps me not be scared of dogs. I love my Buddy Dog!" –Austin, Buddy Dog Partner, CNIB Guide Dogs.
Buddy Dogs hold a special place in the hearts of their partners. What can be better than coming home from a rough day and being greeted by a furry friend who listens, doesn't hold grudges and is always happy to see you?!
Together, we're making a positive difference in the lives of children with sight loss – one Buddy Dog at a time.