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Kathleen, wearing a parka while walking down a snowy trail in the forest with her CNIB Guide Dog, Lily

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Kathleen & Lily

“When I first met Lily, I had not been formally matched with her. She was busy playing with another dog when I was with my trainer, so I was able to learn a bit about both dogs. I intentionally didn’t engage with either of them because I didn’t want to become attached if they weren’t going to be mine. Next thing I know, Lily sat down in front of me. Within a few minutes, she put her head in my lap – I figured I couldn’t not pet her at that point! It felt like she chose me, and I was thrilled once we were formally matched. To this day, she lets me know I’m her person! Lily’s nickname is Silly Lily. She is the most playful, hilarious dog I’ve known. She loves all of her toys but her favourite thing to play with is a blanket, or a towel. She has blankets laying all over our house and regularly runs up to me pulling one behind her. She constantly entertains herself with them. Also, Lily may only be a quarter golden retriever, but she is 100 per cent sass! She is so stubborn – she knows what she wants, and she doesn’t hesitate to let me know. While this can be frustrating, her intelligence and willingness to please, combined with her stubbornness, gives me confidence in her decision making and I know she will keep me safe. Lily and I were matched during COVID, and she has been my lifeline throughout this pandemic. I can’t imagine living alone and working from home without her. Her silly personality makes me laugh every day and her enthusiasm for guiding gets me out of the house even when there isn’t anywhere to go.” - Kathleen