For nearly five months, Ashley Nemeth used a reed after his dog, which was struck by a cyclist and forced to retire.
But now she is a proud new robot of Boston's two-year-old Danson, one of six newest Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) canine specialists.
"I just feel that I can move faster and freer with a dog guide," said Nemeth, a CNIB program for southern Saskatchewan, CTV Regina said on Friday.
She was without a guide when her ex-business dog Rick was forced to retire after his paw was captured by a cyclist in July.
"He was my first driver and I felt I could go anywhere and do everything," she said in the summer.
The crash made Rick suffer from anxiety and stress and be forced to retire at an early age. And although the dog was sent to a good new home, it left Nemeth in ties.
"To be able to travel safely, I have to confront things to know where I am, so fire hydrants, poles, cracks on the sidewalk, I have to find these things to move," she said.
But now with Danson on her side, Nemeth should not worry about these things.
Danson is trained to avoid obstacles and lead her. He also helps her with everyday tasks such as going to work and taking her kids to school.
"Sandwich boards on the sidewalks, people who do not crowd on their sidewalks … All these things that constantly hinder you are big dangers with a white cane," says Nemeth. they are there because they just avoid them. "
Despite all the help that Danson offers after being at home, he is out of the clock and Nemeth says, "He will play with the kids and just be a dog."
But at work, Nemeth warns people that although Danson and other trained guides may look petty-tempting: "neglect the dog completely."
"This includes separation, barking, attracting some attention. If your dog sees you, they are not focused on their work, "explains Nemeth." "I should never win my white cane, so please do not worry about your dog.
Although the CNIB has been working for more than a hundred years, it has only introduced a new school management program 18 months ago. CNIB told CTV Regina that it wants to offer more opportunities in Canada specifically for visual and visually impaired customers.
The general choice for disability-aided dogs is Labrador and Golden Retrievers because trainers say they are easily adaptable, enjoyable, and have a strong work ethic.
But public perception also plays a role.
"People will probably be more likely to help someone who may have a lab or a gold retriever other than maybe a breed that they are not familiar with or feel uncomfortable," said Regina.
CNIB reports that it plans to continue the new program by next year.
With CTV report Regina Colton Wiens