Darla is an adorable 8.5 month old yellow lab who is a guide dog in training from the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides in Oakville, which assists Canadians with a medical or physical disability by providing them Dog Guides at no cost. The preeminent national training school and charity assists individuals with disabilities through specialized Dog Guide programs.
Darla's "foster puppy raiser" is Peterborough's Julie Bryan, who started with Daria when the lab was 7 weeks old, and has her until she's 9 to 10 months old. Julie is responsible for basic training, socialization and some advanced training. Darla goes with Julie everywhere, including her classes at the University of Guelph and the Peterborough Lansdowne Place Mall. Darla can be recalled by Lions Foundation of Canada for any of 6 different needs including: Hearing, Vision, Autism, Epilepsy, Diabetes and Service. Once Darla is recalled, she will receive advanced training at the facility, followed by being placed with a person in need and working for one to 6 weeks with that person at the facility, before going home with their new owner.
Darla is the second dog Julie has trained. She also trained a lab named Wish, who was placed in the Service program and is living with her new owner in Waterloo, who is in a wheelchair.
Julie recently graduated from the University of Guelph with a bachelor of science, honours in biology, and this fall will be studying at St. Lawrence College for Veterinary Technology in Kingston.
In the meantime, she is enjoying this summer in Peterborough with Darla while she completes her training. More pics below...