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Puppy Tales: A brotherly bond

A collage of three images. Image 1: Ruggles and George at the airport waiting in the terminal. Image 2: Dani poses with and  Buddy Dog, George. Landon poses with Buddy Dog, Ruggles

By Miriam Mas, Lead, Ambassador Dog & Buddy Dog programs, CNIB Guide Dogs 

It was 4 a.m. airport wakeup calls for George and his brother, Ruggles. The two Golden Retrievers were heading to British Columbia to be partnered with children living with sight loss. 

Before they boarded the plane, George and Ruggles trained for their Buddy Dog job in Ottawa. During that time, I taught them how to walk nicely on the leash for a child; to be respectful of furniture; good house manners, and solid basic obedience. When necessary, I also helped them overcome any anxiety or behavioural issues. Whether it’s feeding, grooming or walking these well-trained family pets, Buddy Dogs teach children how to care for dogs to make it easier to transition into guide dog partnerships in the future.

Brothers at heart, I often found George and Ruggles sitting side by side in the same posture, eating their meals at the same speed, and playing with the same toy. 

On our way to British Columbia, travellers couldn't stop smiling and snapping pictures of the gorgeous duo.  

When we arrived, George was matched with Dani, an 11-year-old-girl from Nelson, BC. Within seconds, the two of them connected. George was at Dani's feet and looking for a belly rub! 

Ruggles was matched with Landon, an 11-year-old-boy from Agassiz, BC. It didn't take long before Landon exclaimed, "he's so nice!", as he gently petted Ruggles with both hands. 

While travelling with two dogs, a large crate and a suitcase were physically challenging, witnessing these two young children bond with their Buddy Dogs made it all worthwhile.