Loving homes needed for future guide dogs

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Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind is looking for volunteer puppy raisers who can help raise and socialize future guide dogs in their homes.

Puppy Walkers, as they are known, are foster families who volunteer to take a young puppy into their home for 12 to 18 months, and provide them with basic obedience training, exposure to different environments, and lots of love and attention. This is a rewarding and fulfilling opportunity that will make a difference in the lives of people experiencing vision loss.

Volunteers are currently needed to provide homes for Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind’s upcoming litters of puppies. By volunteering as a Puppy Walker, you will not only help a puppy grow into a confident and well-behaved guide dog, but also support a fellow Canadian who is waiting for their new companion and mobility aid.

Puppy Walkers often work full-time, and some are even post-secondary students. As puppies get older, they can accompany volunteers to their workplace or classroom, as well as on errands and visits to local businesses. ‘Guide Dog in Training’ jackets are provided for the puppy to wear in public. Real world experiences are essential to raising well-adjusted guide dogs, and Puppy Walkers are encouraged to take the puppy everywhere they go.

Food, toys, supplies, and veterinary expenses are provided for as well. You’ll also receive expert guidance and training sessions from staff at Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind. All you need to provide is a safe and loving home, and a commitment to help a puppy reach its full potential.

The most difficult part of the journey is giving up the puppy when it is time to enter formal guide dog training, so it is important that volunteers enter the program with the mindset of doing something that benefits their community and provides freedom and mobility to an individual in need of assistance.

If you are interested in becoming a Puppy Walker, you can sign up for one of the upcoming monthly information sessions at www.guidedogs.ca/puppy-walking.

Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind was established as a registered charity in 1984. Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind provides professionally trained guide dogs to Canadians who are visually impaired from coast to coast.

To learn more about Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind visit www.guidedogs.ca, or phone 613-692-7777.

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