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Tracy and his guide dog, Marion, standing on grass in front of a lake on a sunny day, smiling for the camera.

Humans with CNIB Guide Dogs: Tracy & Marion

“I was matched with Marion in July of 2019. When I first met her, it was like a part of me was missing, and now I was complete. Marion has such a kind soul – she just wants to be with me all the time. She's so cute and cuddly. I love playing with her and giving her an opportunity to exercise. But, when the harness goes on, she knows she has an important job to do. I have found that having a guide dog makes me more spontaneous. I'm more likely to visit new places and try new things because I have gained so much confidence and independence. Marion is such an important aspect of my life. Guide dogs belong everywhere, but not everyone understands it's against the law to deny access to a guide dog partnership. I’ve been asked to leave places, yelled at and treated like garbage at times. It’s very humiliating and embarrassing – and, when it affects my family, it really hurts. When my two sons were young, we were asked to leave one of their favourite restaurants. I felt like a bad dad, you know? Like I disappointed them. In that moment, I wanted to have vision, so my family wouldn’t have to deal with that ever again. You question your purpose in life, but you pick yourself up because you have to, and you do everything you can to make sure it doesn’t happen again. You educate people and explain why you have a right to bring your guide dog with you. In one case, a restaurant was fined, and the staff had to attend an etiquette course.  We've all learned something in the end. My kids have learned that life can be tough – not everything can be a breeze.” -Tracy