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Joshua walking outside on the sidewalk with his white cane with a family member and his Buddy Dog Felix; Joshua sitting on the floor in his living room with Felix laying in his lap.

Children with CNIB Buddy Dogs: Joshua & Felix

“Meeting Felix for the first time in October 2021 was an amazing day – I was so excited that it was all finally happening! When we heard about the CNIB Buddy Dog Program, we knew it was the right fit for us. We’ve had a family dog before, but we wanted a buddy dog that would help me with my anxiety and comfort levels. My buddy dog will also help me better prepare for the possibility of a guide dog in my future. As a two-year-old golden retriever, Felix is cuddly, sensitive, and he is so fun to be around. He has made me more responsible, and he makes me happy every day. I love that he always wants to be with me. We love to play fetch, hide and seek, and snuggle. Having Felix in our family has been beneficial to us all – he has unconditional love for everyone. Our friends and family admire how fortunate we are to have the opportunity to have Felix in our lives and that he is so well trained. If I could tell Felix one thing, it would be that I love him, and that he has improved my life.” –Joshua, age 13 

UPDATE: Joshua and his buddy dog Felix will be graduating as part of CNIB Guide Dogs’ class of 2022 on April 27. 

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.