Thanks to all who attended our Annual Trunk Show! A portion of the proceeds are going to our sponsorship of two guide dogs for 2017.
Talula II has just started her formal training at Training Centre.
Daphne II, a Yellow Lab, is living with her volunteer puppy walker; she is in basic training and socialization.
Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind operates nationally from one location. The National Training Centre is located in Manotick (Ottawa), Ontario.
Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind has its’ own breeding program. The breeding stock dogs are homed and cared for by volunteers on a long-term basis. When pups are old enough to leave their Mum they are placed into foster homes.
Their fostering program is referred to as Puppy Walking, but is really puppy raising. The Puppy Walking Program is active in Ottawa and eastern Ontario, and the Greater Toronto Area. The intention is for the pup to be introduced to as many different situations and environments as possible, teaching socialization and obedience, ensuring they become a “good dog” before entering into formal training.
When the dog is ready for formal training it is sent back to the National Training Centre, at which point a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor will take on the responsibility of training the dog to become a working guide dog. The dog is eventually matched with an applicant. The applicant and the dog will train together for four weeks before going home as a working guide dog team. The full training for the dog will take approximately two years.
As you can imagine, the veterinary expenses are very large during the first two years of each dog’s life, which is the duration of the training program.
With the vast size of the country and being a national organization, another major expense for the organization is travel. While travel is expensive, it is still much more efficient operating from one Training Centre. Travel includes in-home visits to applicants for an assessment and interview process that will determine their specific mobility requirements and whether they require a guide dog. For clients that are accepted into training, the organization pays for the expense of the client to travel to and from our Training Centre from wherever they live in Canada. There is no cost to the client for travel, accommodations, or the dog. These services are provided free to our clients.
Upon graduation of the four week training program, the client returns home with their new guide dog. The Guide Dog Mobility Instructor will also travel to the client’s home community for a further short training period, ensuring that the new guide dog team becomes familiar with regular routes and working in their own community.
Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind also operates an aftercare program. They visit clients on an annual basis in their community to ensure that the dog is working well and being cared for.
We are so happy to raise funds for such a fantastic organization aiding those with vision loss. Thank you again for being part of this special evening!