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Dani and George sitting on her living room floor; Dani has her arm around George and both are smiling for the camera

Puppy Tales: Dani meets her buddy dog, George

By Miriam Mas, Program Lead, Buddy Dogs & Ambassador Dogs

In October 2019, George, a CNIB Buddy Dog, walked into Dani's home for the first time. Dani and her family had been instructed to patiently sit in the living room and allow George to investigate his new home environment before warming up and greeting them. Most dogs in this scenario walk along the perimetre of their new environment and make sure it’s safe before greeting anybody.

George, however, immediately went to Dani, laid down by her feet with his belly in the air, inviting her to pet him. Their connection was clear from day one.

Dani became legally blind nearly a year before meeting George. She has had difficulty adjusting to this unexpected change. George is quick to pick up on when Dani is feeling down or is in need of a cuddle buddy and will automatically go to her and place his head on her lap.

"For Dani to have her buddy dog, George, is amazing! I’ve seen firsthand the difference George has made for Dani and the love he has brought into our home,” says Dani’s mom, Liz. “George has settled in with the whole family and he continues to amaze us every day.”

Dani is an athletic young girl who participates in many sports. She loves rock climbing, biking, hiking nature trails, skiing and more. She has even been sponsored by a local ski shop in her community and has been chosen to be part of the para-alpine team with the Canadian Sport Institute – Pacific. 

Recently, Dani and George participated in a nature walk at Kokanee Park, British Columbia, where they met another participant with sight loss, Kolby, walking the trail with her guide dog, Richard. Dani and Kolby walked side by side, without George even once pulling toward Richard to play.

“Every morning, George likes to wake Dani up at 7 a.m. on the nose to go to the bathroom and for his breakfast,” jokes Liz. “It’s perfect, because she has to wake up at 7 for school, too.”