The Summerland Kiwanis Club is still sponsoring a young guide dog in training, but now the dog is Tim instead of his sister Summer.
Summer got sick and had to be pulled from the program and placed as a pet rather than a guide dog. So her littermate Tim, who just turned one year old, is learning to be a guide dog.
The Labrador Retriever-Golden Retriever cross has been placed with a volunteer puppy raiser home in Qualicum Beach, B.C., where he will remain for the next few months.
During this time, he will become familiar with crowds, elevators, escalators, construction, buses and sky trains, and learn to stop and sit at every curb and stoplight.
Tim will also learn to ring a bell at the back door to let the humans know he has to go outside.
He will be expected to wait for a whistle to be blown before he eats his dinner. This is all part of the early discipline training intended to give Tim good habits.
Tim will wear a BC Guide Dog “Puppy in Training” jacket that allows him access to any place a human can go.
As well, Tim will attend obedience classes every two weeks where he will meet up with his siblings and other puppies in training.
Tim’s puppy raiser is a long-time volunteer with the BC Guide Dog Services; Tim is her sixth guide dog.
The family owns a pet food and grooming business where Tim is interacting with customers.
If it all goes as planned, Tim will one day help a blind or visually impaired master, or a family living with autism.
The Summerland Kiwanis Club supports the BC and Alberta Guide Dog Services Puppy Sponsorship Program, which turns out professionally trained guide dogs.