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Photo of Ashley and her guide dog Danson walking in a crosswalk on a cloudy day.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Ashley & Danson

“I had one other dog before Danson. After my first dog retired, it was hard to picture myself loving another dog the same way. But I was so excited to be part of a new partnership, and feel the harness in my hand again. Danson is a stubborn, loving dog. He doesn’t give out affection quickly – you have to earn it. Once you have it, he’s a very loveable, cuddly dog. Having a guide dog makes me feel like I’m whole. I have so much confidence when I have a harness in my hand and Danson by my side. He allows me to live the life I want, at the pace that I choose. Sometimes though, that pace gets slowed down by individuals who don’t know the rights surrounding guide dogs and their handlers. I’ve been denied access a few times in my eight years of having a guide dog. One of the times that stands out the most was when I was at a restaurant with my kids. We were taking them to this place as a reward for good behaviour. When we went inside, the young man at the door said we couldn’t bring the dog inside with us. I told him that he was a guide dog and he was allowed in, but we only made it about 10 feet before the manager stopped us. He threatened to call the police, despite my efforts to educate him. We ended up leaving – my two kids were so upset. What bothers me the most is that there were so many people in that restaurant who watched what happened and did nothing. They just stood by and let it happen. That’s always the hardest part. I wish more people would stand up for what's right and support guide dog teams when we're denied access or refused service. Guide dogs are allowed everywhere. It's the law. My dog is my freedom. Without him, I’m not able to live the life that I want." -Ashley