Please take a moment to read about these two outstanding programs that are in place to help those who are mentally and/or physically challenged, as well as those who are in nursing homes who otherwise would not be able to have contact with these wonderful canine friends.
We have donated 2 dogs to The Lions Foundation of Canada Dogs Guides. Peppercorn and Keith graduated in May 2001.
With great pride, we announce the graduation and certification of 2 dogs from the St John Ambulance program. Both dogs were bred by Jaunenoir Labradors, but trained, handled, and loved by their respective owners. Sherman is owned by Beth and Roger Grant, and Maggie by Sylvie and Brian Bloome.
|152 Wilson Street - PO
Box 907 - OAKVILLE - ON - L6J 5E8 - CANADA
Voice (905) 842-2891 - Voice 1-800-768-3030
Having donated two wonderful black males to The Lion's Foundation in January 2000, I was overwhelmed when I received a telephone call in May 2001, offering an invitation to the graduations of JAUNENOIR'S EBONY JACKSON (Keith), and JAUNENOIR'S BLAZIN' PEPPERCORN (Peppercorn)! It was such a great feeling of worthiness, and gratitude to these young boys for having the temperament, soundness, stamina and commitment to becoming someone's life line! Canadian Championships, Working Certificates or Obedience titles are all very self rewarding achievements, but to be honoured with a breeding that produced these 2 boys, is a feeling of being truly Blessed!
Canine Vision Dog
Special Skills Dog
I received a recent update from the Foundation that reads as follows:
Peppercorn was placed with a gentleman from London, Ontario. He had a brain aneurysm and has right side paralysis. Peppercorn is a Special Skills Dog that will assist him with many tasks, such as fetching items (phone, keys, dropped things), opening and closing doors, and turning light switches off and on.
Keith now lives with his handler in Newfoundland and is a Canine Vision Dog. His partner is a woman who is visually impaired that must find safe methods of mobility. Keith has been trained to guide her through streets of traffic, people, obstacles and other stumbling blocks. He makes these tasks easier for her, as he is specially trained to deal with dangerous street situations, navigate stairs, revolving doors, escalators and other things encountered on most daily routes.
Thank you, Heather, for all of your support and continued generosity.
Together we are making a difference!
Article written by: Heather Dobson (Jaunenoir Kennels Reg'd)
Mary Stephens (Lions Foundation of Canada)
Excerpts from the Lions Foundation of Canada website with permission to use from Mary Stephens.
The Lions Foundation of Canada Guide Dogs is an organization located in Oakville, Ontario. They are devoted to the training of dogs specific to the needs of individuals living in Canada who are legally blind, physically disabled or hearing impaired. Since its creation in 1983, Lions Foundation of Canada has enriched the lives of many women, men and children by providing the services of a specially trained Dog Guide. Its mission is to provide service to Canadians with disabilities in the areas of safety, mobility and independence, with no expense to the prospective individual. The Foundation retains ownership of the dog until it retires to ensure the dog is being used as it was intended. Each client is assessed prior to being accepted to the school. After graduation and entering into the community as a team, the Lions Foundation provides follow up training to ensure the Dog Guide team is solid. The adoption of the dog once it retires, usually after 8 to 10 years of service, is also approved by the Foundation.
Ralston Purina Canada Inc. donates the dog food required for the programs, and the Lions Foundation covers routine medical expenses, and provides Foster Puppy classes to assist the Foster family with basic obedience.
The Lions Foundation has its own breeding program that assists in the overwhelming demand of individuals in need, but also depends greatly on the generous donations of young puppies made by breeders. The Lions Foundation has found that Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Standard Poodles are well suited to the needs of Canine Vision Canada and Special Skills Dogs of Canada, while the smaller breeds are best suited to the needs of Hearing Ear Dogs of Canada.
The process begins early with the puppy being placed in a Foster home until the age of 10-18 months. These Foster homes are very important in the early development and socialization of future Dog Guides. The Foster families are accepted by completing an application along with letters of reference. Their role is to socialize the dog and provide exposure to many different situations, and to teach proper house manners and basic obedience. The dogs return to the Lions Foundation for formal training, medical testing and program assessments. If the dogs pass these assessments, they enter into an intensive 6 months training course specific to one of the three Dog Guide categories - Canine Vision Canada Dog, Special Skills Dog of Canada, or Hearing Ear Dog of Canada. Here the trainers build the dog's natural instincts and abilities. They use repetition and positive reinforcement to train the dogs. Once the dogs are fully trained, the applicant is carefully selected to ensure the prospective team's dispositions are compatible.
Canadians who are blind or visually impaired must find safe methods of mobility. On the streets, the blind must deal with cars, people, obstacles such as hydro poles and curbs and other stumbling blocks. Blind, or visually impaired people must keep track of where they are in their environment at all times. For the client to reach a goal of higher independence and mobility, both the dog and the client need to be trained. The qualified applicant spends 26 days at our facility in Oakville, Ontario, learning to handle, trust and bond with the already trained dog. The client and the Dog Guide then graduate as a team and can be identified by the now familiar CVC monogrammed black leather harness and leash. The Lions Foundation maintains contact with the team during the early post graduate period to ensure all is well with the team and will always be on-hand to be of help and assistance. An annual follow-up visit is provided.
Special Skills Dogs work with clients who are physically or medically disabled with mobility concerns. The dogs will be trained to operate light switches, open and close doors (interior, exterior), open fridge door, dryer door, drawers, retrieve items on floor, assist with client transfers from chair to bed, assist with roll over in bed, and go for, or bark for help and/or activate an alert system known as a Life Line. A Special Skills Dog provides independence, dignity, and confidence to the handler. These dogs become part of the client's family and are often dependent on other members of the family for their daily care and needs. Praise and rewards are given by the client to establish the loving and working relationship. Prior to the teams graduation, the Special Skills Dog trainer, the dog and client work together for a 3 week period to master techniques and permit bonding. These Dog Guides can be recognized by the black leather SSD harness and leash, and saddle bags.
Hearing Ear Dogs alert deaf and hard of hearing people to important sound signals and bring an independence and new confidence to their silent lives. The dog is taught to make physical contact with handler on hearing specific or unusual noises, and leads handler to source of noise. The dog responds to telephone ring, door bell ring or knock, voice calls, baby crying, kettle boiling, other household sounds and will respond to hand signals if the new owner cannot speak clearly enough to give verbal commands. Successful applicants undertake a 2 week program to learn how to work the dog properly, and bond with their new Dog Guide partner.
The Lions Foundation of Canada is in constant need of puppy donations. There is such a great demand of individuals seeking Guide Dogs, and the Foundations breeding program cannot keep up. If you would like to offer a generous puppy donation, please contact the Lions Foundation at 1-800-768-3030. Its worth it!
JOHN THERAPY DOGS
St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program
1199 Deyell 3rd Line, Milbrook, Ontario L0A 1G0
JAUNENOIR'S ROMP'N MICKEY
The St. John Ambulance Therapy Dogs are a relatively new program, but their popularity has skyrocketed, and so has the acceptance of therapy dogs into the institutions where they are needed. Any dog can be a therapy dog. Almost every breed is represented in this program, including purebreds and mutts.
There is no "Therapy dog training," but in order to be certified as a Therapy Dog, dogs must be well behaved and able to cope with strange and sometimes stressful situations. All dogs should therefore be well-socialized before being accepted into the program, and most have completed some form of obedience training. This is evaluated through a ten part test:
The only requirements for therapy dog handlers is that they be willing and able to commit a few hours a week to visiting a hospital or home with their dogs. It's a highly rewarding form of community service.
The benefits that Therapy Dog handlers receive by being a part of St. John Ambulance are: