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The backs of Austin and his CNIB Buddy Dog Dickson, a golden retriever, sitting on an outdoor backstep looking out; Austin is petting Dickson’s back.

Children with CNIB Buddy Dogs: Austin & Dickson

“I felt so excited, nervous, and lucky when I met Dickson for the first time in July 2019. After reading about CNIB Buddy Dogs with my family, I couldn’t wait to meet my new Golden Retriever! Before Dickson, my family only ever had one dog named Nellie, a miniature American Eskimo dog, so my older sister and I needed some help getting comfortable around big dogs. And Dickson has absolutely helped! He is so gentle and loves attention and enjoys playing almost as much as being petted – by anyone. His favourite toy is a stuffed monkey that he likes to “show off” to everyone who visits us. Dickson gives hugs to people in his own special way, by burying his head between your knees. One of my favourite things to do with Dickson is practice his verbal cues, like sit, down or come. We also like to play catch with a ball or Frisbee. Having Dickson in our lives has meant my family spends more time together outside, going for walks and playing with him. Everyone loves him to pieces – and Dickson soaks up every moment of it.”

-Austin, age: 10

A buddy dog is partnered with a child who is living with sight loss. Whether it’s feeding, grooming or walking this well-trained family pet, this will give the child an opportunity to care for a dog, and make it easier to transition into a guide dog partnership in some cases. If you think your child could benefit from being partnered with a CNIB Buddy Dog, please contact Miriam Mas, Program Lead, Buddy Dogs & Ambassador Dogs.