“My dad is allergic to dogs, so we didn’t think I would be able to get a CNIB Buddy Dog. Since my dad started taking allergy pills, we were invited to visit the Canine Campus in Carleton Place to interact with some of the guide dogs in training. He didn’t have any reaction to the visit, so we had an opportunity to host Cooper, an ambassador dog, in our house for a week! We had a great time with Cooper and my dad didn’t have reactions, so CNIB put us on the buddy dog waiting list. Within a month, we were told that CNIB had a dog that would be a good match for me. June is a black Lab who was on her way to becoming a guide dog but that wasn't the best career option for her because she has a misaligned leg. I also have a leg that turns in, so we knew that it was meant to be! I wanted a buddy dog so I could have a new best friend and learn how to take care of dogs, so I’ll be ready to have a guide dog when I’m old enough. She is very easy-going, calm, and quiet, but she gets really happy when she sees me. When I come home from school, she comes right to the door to greet me and her tail wags. When I’m sad, June cheers me up! She comes over, licks me, and stays with me until I’m happier. June helps me keep active because I walk her every day and take her to the dog park. She is always excited to see other dogs and meet new people. She likes to run around, and she really likes when other dogs chase her. She comes back to me when I blow my whistle. I give her treats and tell her she’s a good girl. Everyone thinks she is so cute and such a good dog. I’m looking forward to introducing her to my cousins when we go to the cottage together! I want June to know that she’s so cute and kind, and I love her so much!”
– Connor, age 14
A buddy dog is partnered with a child/youth between the ages of 7 and 16 who is living with sight loss. Whether it’s feeding, grooming or walking this well-trained family pet, this will give the child an opportunity to care for a dog, and make it easier to transition into a guide dog partnership in some cases. If you think your child could benefit from being partnered with a CNIB Buddy Dog, please contact Miriam Mas, Program Lead, Buddy Dogs & Ambassador Dogs.