Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Lions Foundation of Canada – Dog Guides

The question "How much do you get paid for fostering a Dog Guide puppy?" has been asked a few times lately, and I feel that I should mention that here.

Foster homes do not get paid, but all vetting is covered by the organization and food is donated by Purina. The foster homes pay for collars, leashes, toys. They pay for cleaning supplies & grooming as well. There is also a $100 deposit for a crate and vest when you pick up your puppy. This money is returned when the dog is recalled, or it can be transferred to another puppy.

Dog Guides are always looking for new foster homes. If you've ever admired the cute puppies in malls and wished you could do it too, there is a big possibility you can!

You don't need to have any dog experience. The Dog Guide staff tell you anything you need to know, are always a phone call away and have monthly classes to cover any concerns. They do require that you have the ability to attend the monthly classes and vet appointments. These are held at the Breslau Kennel or the Oakville office. I'd say half of them are held on a weekday so you have to take a vacation day or have the ability to move your schedule around. The schedule is handed out the day you pick up your puppy so you have all year to prepare for these classes.

Your main goal is to teach basic obedience and to get the puppy exposed to everything in life, from people to escalators.

To become a foster family you must contact Dog Guides, fill out the application and be approved. (Applications can be found on

Once approved you wait for your puppy. I got Cyder a week or two after I applied, I wasn't expecting it to happen that quickly! On the other hand I waited nearly a year for Kwik because there weren't any Poodle litters the times I could foster. The Dog Guide breeding program focuses on Labs, Poodles and Border Terriers, yet many other breeds are donated by breeders.

"But how do you give them up at the end?!" This one can be hard, but you know it's for a good cause and you foster your puppy knowing it isn't yours. Some foster families overlap their dogs, as one is recalled they are working on puppy training another. There is always the opportunity to get them back if they disqualify, a bitter-sweet situation for many I'm sure. In the end we all want the dogs to pass and go onto a life of service.

It's very satisfying to know you've played a part in helping someone live a more independent life.


Foster a puppy

Adopt a disqualified dog - Dogs are disqualified at all stages of their training for many reasons. Often the foster family can't adopt them because they have too many dogs, or want to keep fostering puppies, so the dog needs to find another home. The adoption fee is based on why they are disqualified. Contact Dog Guides for an application.

Sponsor a team or make a donation

Encourage corporate involvement

Organize or participate in your local Purina Walk for Dog Guides.


1-800-768-3030 • 905-842-2891

Friday, February 23, 2007


Bring your dog to work

One of the top reasons for working where I do is the fact that we can bring our dogs to work with us. We don't abuse this priviledge and we take turns, but there is often a dog here almost every day. The question "do you like dogs" is asked during interviews. If your answer is no... well, you better have some serious strengths in every other way. Thankfully it hasn't happened yet :)

Here is Bella the Pug sunning herself & relaxing the day away:

Little Miss Priss

As often as I've complained about Kwik... Yes it's true, I have complained about little miss priss.

She’s a very busy puppy, spastic really. The energy isn’t easily channeled which I find frustrating. It doesn’t help that she’s not very toy driven and that she could care less about food. I'm working on creating a motivating toy and she's getting excited about it, and I've found that she prefers bread over meat, go figure.

She also objects very noisily to being left by herself. This includes being crated, going outside by herself to pee and us leaving the room for a second. Thankfully this is passing after only TWO months!

Her newest thing is nearly as irritating though. While she house-trained very quickly, she’s now dribbling pee when she’s excited, and it doesn’t take much to get her excited. I know this will pass, but it's hard not to transfer my frustration through to her when she does this.

Her pros?

She’s very cute, athletic and happy all the time. Her tails always going like a metronome.

Will she pass and become a working girl?

If I were a betting woman I’d say no! I’ll do my best, but I’m doubtful. Maybe she’ll surprise me as she matures.

So where was I? Oh yes. As often as I’ve complained about Kwik, Kevin thinks that she might become our favorite. I don’t know if I’d go that far, but I will say she’ll always be remembered, that’s for sure.

DogGuide Buddy!

Kwik and I have a new friend to train with! His name is Kringle, and he's a baby chocolate lab. Karen, his new mom, is very excited at training her first DogGuide puppy. Hopefully Kringle is the first of many.

Welcome Karen with Kringle into the DogGuide puppy-raisers family!

I tried to get a picture of the puppies together, but they kept moving and Kwik kept straddling poor Kringle. I told her to wait a few weeks, she won't be able to do that much longer.

Training picts

Thanks to Karen for these, I have very few training pictures.

My schutzhund dog


Sometimes Bullet & Glory look very much alike.

Bullet thinks...

"What a little pest!"

Kwik growth chart

3 months old...

She's getting bigger but she's still little compared to the schnauzers:

Sledding with Bullet