Their mission statement is simple: assist Canadians with a medical or physical disability by providing them dog guides at no cost. The mission itself is nothing short of a miracle. Teams of volunteers train puppies at the Lions Foundation Dog Guides Canada – a college of sorts for the guide dogs in training. Here, the dogs go through training that will eventually prepare them to open doors… dryer doors. They’ll learn to pull out laundry, place it in a basket and then pull that basket to a dresser and put away the clothing. These dogs can activate alert systems, dial telephones, and on a lighter note, tug off your clothes and help you get into your pajamas.
A typical dog guide will spend 8 years in service to their handlers, after which they retire with full benefits (belly rubs, and long walks in the park!). Retired dogs are either adopted by families on waiting lists (of course everybody wants to welcome home a hero!) but often times the handlers like to keep them – understandable because these dogs become family.
Our work with Lions Foundation
JDFF toured the facilities in 2014 and were not only impressed with the intelligence of the dog guides, but also with the patience and kindness of the trainers. The time and commitment shown to guide these dogs through their training is remarkable.
This year, JDFF chose to participate in Lions Foundation’s ‘Opening Doors to Independence’ campaign – a program that aims to add additional training spaces for clients. JDFF awarded a grant to build an additional classroom at the facility. This room will enable the foundation to accommodate more clients simultaneously.
For more information on Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides please visit their website