“Pause”: How the pandemic affects sending guide dogs to those who need them

Toronto-During the pandemic, the demand for guide dogs has surged, but border closures and COVID-19 restrictions have prevented most foreign-trained dogs from entering Canada and delayed domestic training, which is harder to change than ever Life partnership.

Alex Ivic, the development manager of the Canadian Guide Dog Association for the Blind (CGDB), told CTV News: “We may be one or two months behind now than usual.”

He said people currently on the CGDB waiting list may have to wait 3 to 12 months to complete the process and get a guide dog.

The pandemic has closed the border for training dogs in the United States. It also promotes domestic guide dog providers to reduce face-to-face courses, which teach owners how to adapt to their new companions.

Some people who are looking for guide dogs worry about going to the CGDB headquarters in Ottawa to work with guide dogs and have to cancel indefinitely.

“It affects some people,” Ivic said, and lamented how people “really put on hold before everything becomes safer.”

Guide dogs provide independence, confidence and security for the visually impaired. Their training may take five months to two years, depending on the dog and organization.

Mike Fulton entered the list of receiving dogs in August. He said that no one, he was basically confined at home during the pandemic.

“I totally rely on sighted guides to pick me up and take me anywhere,” Fulton said. “Since everyone is so paranoid about COVID-19, they just don’t want to go out.”

Fulton is working with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), which is plagued by greater delays and demand has increased by 300%.

CNIB dogs were born and bred in Australia. Currently, 11 dogs are temporarily kept there.

CNIB President Diane Bergeron told CTV News: “The border closure prevents us from bringing these dogs into Canada.” “So our supply has decreased and our demand has increased.”

Despite the challenges, Fulton finally met his new furry partner Eric this month.

“He will be my new comrade-in-arms,” ??Fulton said. “It would be great.”

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