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Kaiden has his eyes closed and is leaning into Flinn and giving him a big hug;  Flinn, a black lab, is sitting looking at the camera.

Children with CNIB Buddy Dogs: Kaiden & Flinn

“My mom tricked me! She told me we were heading to CNIB in St. John's to fill out forms for a buddy dog before going to a movie. No forms, no movie…just my new best friend Flinn! How I met my new buddy dog will always be special to me. Flinn is a black lab. He is extremely friendly, quiet, and a great listener. I am legally blind, and I may need a guide dog in the future, so my mom thought it would be a great idea for me to get a buddy dog. Flinn has helped me learn about responsibility and caring for a dog. Flinn has also brought my brother and me closer. He helps me with Flinn when I need it. Even my nan who doesn’t like dogs loves Flinn a lot! Flinn and I have a lot of fun playing hide and seek, tug of war, going for walks, and playing fetch…making me work to get his ball or toys back from him. Best of all, Flinn isn't like any other dog. He has never barked, but he moos – just like a cow! Flinn will always be the biggest surprise I ever got. My mom, CNIB Guide Dogs, and Wheels for Wishes worked very hard to get Flinn here during Covid. Flinn has become my best friend. He knows when I'm not feeling well and he's always there for me, no matter what. I love you Flinn, you're my best friend forever.”

-Kaiden, age 11

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.