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A boy walking with a white cane and Golden Retriever.

Puppy Tales: Meet Mason & Queenie

A Buddy Dog Partnership in Ontario

By Karin McArthur, Lead, Marketing & Communications, CNIB Foundation Ontario

Mason, a 9-year-old boy with sight loss, couldn't wait to meet his Buddy Dog, a Golden Retriever named Queenie. The night before she arrived, he was so restless with anticipation that he could hardly sleep.

The bond was immediate. After spending five minutes together at his home in London, he exclaimed: “I love Queenie!"

The Buddy Dog Partnership provides Mason with an opportunity to learn the ropes of caring for a well-trained dog and builds a unique bond to help him transition into a Guide Dog Partnership in the future. Mason is already providing basic obedience training for her.

After learning about pre-existing medical conditions with Queenie, Mason and his Mom were offered an opportunity to have a different Buddy Dog, but they declined.

“I was born with special needs like Queenie, and here I am! I will take care of her. We will take care of her," says Mason.

Mason loves to play with Queenie – he was eager to introduce her to all the new toys he bought at the pet store.

"Queenie slept in Mason’s room right from the get-go. Door open and all – she stayed in her bed until he got up in the morning," says Miriam Mas, Lead, Buddy Dog Program, CNIB Guide Dogs. "A good sign that indicates they are both on the right track to create a beautiful lifelong bond."