Man’s best friend, or a woman’s for that matter, are incredibly smart animals and they provide a extremely valuable service to people with disabilities. Dog guides are not just used by those with visual impairments, they are trained for people hard of hearing, those with medical or physical disabilities and for people with epilepsy, autism and Type 1 diabetes.
These working dogs make a meaningful impact on the lives of the people they serve and make it possible for those with disabilities to have more independence and fun.
Dog guides are trained for specific responses to medical issues by the Lions Foundation for Canada Dog Guides. For those with type 1 diabetes with hypoglycemic unawareness the dogs can detect sudden drops in blood sugar through scent thereby alerting the handler to ingest something sweet. For autism, they provide unconditional love and calming relief for children in stressful situations. But training these helping dogs is not cheap. It cost $25,000 to train and place a dog guide and people who need their services get the dogs for free.
On Sunday, May 25, dog lovers and residents in Sooke have the opportunity to participate in the Sooke Purina Walk for Dog Guides at Whiffin Spit. The five kilometer walk is organized by the Sooke Harbourside Lions.
One hundred per cent of the funds raised goes towards providing dog guides to Canadians in need.
At the walk, participants have a chance to win a number of prizes including a year’s supply of pet food from Purina, two tickets to anywhere WestJet flies and a $500 Best Buy gift card.
And, the best part, you don’t have to have a dog to participate in the walk, you can join in or donate online at: www.purinawalkfordogguides.com