By Heather Walters
Usually, people take care of their dogs. However, in some cases, the dogs take care of their people.
Specially trained Dog Guides are expensive, but they are invaluable to people with physical limitations or medical impairments. There are a variety of dog guide programs these days. No longer just for the blind, there are now Hearing dogs, Seizure Response dogs, Autism Assistance dogs, and Diabetic dog guides.
The training of a dog guide is an intensive four to six month period, training one-on-one with a qualified trainer. Once fully trained, the dog is matched with its handler who then spends one to four weeks at the Oakville training facility, learning how to handle, trust and bond with their new Dog Guide.
These dogs learn to navigate busy streets, stairs, escalators, respond to sounds such as an alarm clock, fire alarm, or ringing phone and can open doors, retrieve items and call for help when necessary.
The Lions Foundation of Canada relies on donations from individuals, corporations and service clubs so that they can provide dog guides at no cost to identified recipients in their area. They have been doing this since 1983.
The Lioness of Port Dover have decided to help raise funds this year, initiating their first Dog Walking Fundraiser slated for Sunday, May 25.
They will meet at Silver Lake Park with registration for the walk at 11:00 a.m. and the walk starting at 1:00.
There will be two routes available around town, or laps around Silver Lake soccer field as well. People can participate with or without their dogs, and are encouraged to get sponsors, or to sponsor someone else. Any donation over $20 will receive a receipt for tax purposes.
For further information regarding this fundraiser, call Lioness Chairperson of the Walk, Catherine Forma at 519-583-0518. Donations towards the walk or a walker can also be made online at www.dogguides.com
By Heather Walters
Posted: May 23, 2014