Ashley and Danson (a black Lab/Golden Retriever Cross) and Danika and Ulysses (a Golden Retriever). The dogs are wearing graduation caps.

Danika and Ulysses

Main Content

On November 7th, 2018, I navigated Toronto Pearson Airport alone with my cane. That morning I thought about how much easier it is to navigate that busy airport with a guide dog, something I had done a few weeks prior with my first, now retired, guide dog. A few hours later I was handed the leash of a handsome golden retriever yellow lab cross named Ulysses. He promptly licked my entire face, in that moment I fell in love and knew he was mine. The first time he guided me I knew he was the perfect match for me. To me holding that harness and being guided around obstacles makes me feel like I am flying.

I have always found it difficult to express what a guide dog gives to me, I have been a guide dog user for about 7 years, since I was 16 years old. Ulysses gives me a sense of freedom, increased confidence, friendship, and the feeling that with him by my side we can take on the world. Ulysses attends my university lectures with me, helps me navigate the University of Waterloo campus, accompanies me on transit (planes, trains, subways, and busses), and comes to work with me.

I never thought I would love and trust my second dog as much as my first. I was very wrong, Ulysses is a confident and competent guide dog. He weaves me in and out of crowds with ease. On the days when my eyes are in pain or tired I know I can shut them and get where I need to go safely.

Becoming a guide dog user has changed my life, it has given me confidence in my mobility, a sense of freedom and the partnership with two amazing guide dogs. It was an honour being part of CNIB’s first guide dog class. I can’t put into words how thankful I am to the CNIB Guide dog team, Ulysses’s puppy raiser, and his sponsor. I don’t think these people know just how much their love, care, and time can truly change a life.

More News