Sign In

Pups Are Training And Graduating

July 23, 2020

Four soon-to-be Seeing Eye dogs are ready to move on to the next phase of their training after spending almost a year in Saskatchewan.

Indy, Percy, Wallace and Lulu are four black lab puppies who have spent the last 11 months doing the basic Seeing Eye dog training with the Canadian Institute for the Blind (CNIB).

The four pups arrived in Saskatchewan in August 2019. Indy and Percy have now graduated and are moving to Carleton Place, ON, to begin the next phase of formal training. Wallace and Lulu will move in the fall.

Kerry Macdonald volunteered to raise Indy and has been with him for the last year.

“Stay. Keeping off the couch – all the things they want us to teach – always a challenge,” said Macdonald. “But the great thing about it was a sense of accomplishment every time you got to a new stage – they suddenly start doing what they’re supposed to be doing – you’re like, ‘yes! Let’s go!’”

“They’re still puppies,” said puppy raising supervisor Kezia Gray. “We just really want the volunteers to lay a foundation. At the end of it, we just want a happy, fairly well behaved, puppy and that’s what we’ve got

Guide dogs allow for blind or partially sighted people to have independence they would not otherwise have.

“Being able to get up and go out of your home independently and not rely on someone to guide you or to rely on your white cane,” said Christall Beaudry, Executive Director for CNIB Saskatchewan. “But to have this companion with you that you trust and will take you around – it’s a huge support.”

Beaudry says raising the dogs in Saskatchewan better equips them for the harsh Canadian climate. CNIB is also hoping to get more puppies in the fall.

“We started our program only two years ago,” said Beaudry. “We’ve slowly been expanding and we’re looking forward to expanding in our province.”

Gray says only about 50 per cent of the guide dogs around the world who enter the next phase of training become full Seeing Eye dogs. Others become service dogs elsewhere. However, dogs who have training through CNIB see a 65 per cent graduation rate.

Macdonald is sad to have his time with Indy end, but knows he is off to help someone who is in need.

“He loves to train. He loves to be active. I think he’s going to excel at being a guide dog. Someone’s going to get a great dog.”

CNIB is looking for volunteers to raise puppies as they continue to expand their guide dog program. They say raising a guide dog is more intensive than raising a normal pet and the time needed to invest into the dog is more demanding.

Register Your Dog

  • Most Recent News

    Students Get Therapy Dog

    When middle school students return to class on Jan. 11, they’ll find a new face at the door: Daisy. Daisy is a therapy dog and the personal pet of Rob Kreger, principal of the Rock L. Butler Middle School. The five-year-old golden retriever is not a school pet or mascot, but rather a working dog […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogtor

    Last March, Caroline Benzel, a third-year medical student, began to notice the stress and discomfort her nurse friends were feeling from the pressures of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. “[Personal protective equipment] can be really rough on the skin,” Benzel, 31, tells PEOPLE. Benzel and her 3-year-old Rottweiler, Loki (who’s also a therapy dog) hatched a […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Pups

    When Stanley the miniature fox terrier’s owner passed away, the little dog started a ‘paw-some’ new role – bringing puppy love to some of the Gold Coast’s oldest residents. After Carinity Cedarbrook Diversional Therapist Julianne Staff adopted Stanley, he began visiting the aged care community at Mudgeeraba as a therapy dog. Therapy dogs help to […]

    Read more

    Puppy Cams

    A nonprofit is providing an unusual form of therapy for those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic – puppy cams! “You spend five minutes with a puppy and try not to smile,” said registered nurse Robin Lingg Lagrone. Lingg Lagrone says watching little furballs wag their tails and prance on their paws helps […]

    Read more

    Pet Committee

    When Moore County’s school doors were abruptly closed earlier in 2020, two- and four-legged volunteers from the Moore County Citizens’ Pet Responsibility Committee (PRC) were in their 12th year of presenting a six-session Pet Responsibility Education Program for fourth-graders. The PRC quickly shifted gears and placed its program materials online as part of a home […]

    Read more

    The Right Rescue Dog

    If your New Year’s resolution is to add a canine family member, good for you. Somewhere out there is the perfect puppy or adult dog for your family. You have a lot of things to think about when you begin to look for that new family member, puppy or dog? Large or small? Purebred or […]

    Read more