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Flinn, a Labrador-retriever cross running through a field with his ears flapping in the wind.

Raising Flinn

Suzanne Ullyot applied to CNIB Guide Dogs after a friend told her she saw an ad in the paper for puppy raisers in Winnipeg. Suzanne applied and received Flinn, a Labrador-retriever cross, in September 2018.

“Flinn was very good natured and very calm. He was never timid about new places and loved new people,” says Suzanne. "He was quick to learn things, and he loved to put his head in my lap when he wanted attention. He was just charming.”

Suzanne had a two-year-old golden retriever, Lucy, when Flinn arrived. The two got along very well and better than Suzanne had expected. The duo would swim and play with the grandkids and other people who visited the lake at Suzanne’s cottage.

Suzanne never had to worry about him making a fuss in the shopping mall or grocery store.

“He did almost everything I asked, and I knew I could trust him,” says Suzanne.

Suzanne even took Flinn to her choir practices.

“It was three hours once a week. He was quite good, but he would make noises and try to sniff water bottles or music sheets once in awhile,” says Suzanne.

Flinn graduated in April 2021 as a buddy dog for a boy in Newfoundland.

“I wish him well and think of him often," says Suzanne. "He was the first puppy I raised for CNIB Guide Dogs, and we learned a lot from each other."

After raising a second future guide dog, Bonnie – who is now completing intensive training at CNIB’s Canine Campus – Suzanne is eager to raise another.