Apr 1, 2022

Qualico Communities Calgary Sponsor Canine Vision Dog Training

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Calgary, AB – As part of its corporate giving and sponsorship, Qualico Communities Calgary has sponsored a Canine Vision Dog through the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides program with a $6,000 donation that is being used to train a dog named Beacon.

The Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides program provides dog guides to Canadians with disabilities to help them navigate day-to-day activities with confidence and gain greater independence. Canine Vision Dogs are trained to assist their handlers in navigating obstacles typically found on most daily routes, including curbs, steps, and crowds, allowing handlers the freedom and self-assurance to pursue education, careers, and activities in their communities.

The dog guides are provided at no cost to the handlers, and once a dog and handler have been paired up, the program provides continued support for both when needed. The Lions Foundation receives no government funding and relies on donations from individuals and organizations like Qualico.

Emily Smith, Manager, Marketing and Customer Care, Qualico Communities Calgary, said once the decision had been made to sponsor the training of a dog guide, the team had another task to tackle – coming up with a suitable name for the furry trainee.

“Our illustrious Executive Assistant to the VP, Heather Holt, came up with a naming contest for our office,” she said. “We had a presentation of the contest, naming teams, a lot of dog puns, and a fun event to celebrate the final name, decided on by the Lions team in Oakville.”

The naming celebration event included things like pup-corn (popcorn), pup-cakes (cupcakes), and even mugs with Beacon’s image on them.

Qualico Communities Calgary receives ongoing updates on how Beacon is doing with his training, which the team posts on social media and shares with the Lions Foundation team. The Lions Foundation team also shares these updates in their newsletter and with other corporate groups.

Beacon’s trainer, Greg, has been busy training Beacon with lots of fun and exciting new tasks over the past few months, including teaching Beacon to walk into his harness and to start behaving appropriately while the harness is on (ignoring other dogs, people, and small animals).

Greg has worked with Beacon at the mall, Pet Valu, Costco, and the Go Train station. According to Greg, Beacon is progressing well with his training and is very eager to learn new tasks. He’s also a very social dog with his kennel mates and other dogs.

Once Beacon’s training is completed, he will graduate from the program and go on to help enrich the life of a Canadian who is blind or visually impaired.

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