K9 Buddies for Visually Impaired Youth

Used with permission of Guide Dogs for the Blind

We believe that a dog can make a remarkable difference in any child’s life by fostering a sense of caring, companionship, and a sense of responsibility through the human/animal bond.

Our K9 Buddy Program matches specially selected dogs to become wonderful pets as companions to visually impaired children and young adults. A dog can contribute to heightening of sensory development, motivating a child to learn and enhancing self esteem.

The dogs come from Guide Dogs’ own colony, but are not qualified to work as mobility assistance dogs.

Is your child ready for a K9 Buddy?

The K9 Buddy program matches dogs with blind youth under 18 years of age who have been diagnosed by an ophthalmologist as legally blind or with a degenerative eye disease that will render them legally blind.

A K9 Buddy might be a good choice for a blind youth who exhibits the emotional stability and maturity needed to care for the dog (feeding, grooming, exercising) and will treat it humanely.

happy girl and dog laying in the grass

A good candidate would be one who has a personal interest in having a K9 Buddy dog.

The applicant and family agree to be the primary care providers for the dog and to monitor and encourage the applicant to actively participate in the care of the dog.

The applicant’s home must have a secure backyard or dog run and be a safe environment for a dog.

Families interested in applying for a K9 Buddy will be interviewed in their home to evaluate the environment as well as to determine the particular traits the family is looking for in a dog so an appropriate match can be made.

After matching the family with a dog, the family will receive training and guidance from a Guide Dogs for the Blind staff member. Ownership of the K9 Buddy by the family will be granted after completion of the course of training.

K9 Buddies are considered pets. They are not service dogs and do not have the access rights granted to service dogs by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

If you would like to find out more about the K9 Buddy Program and how to apply, please call the Outreach office at Guide Dogs for the Blind, at 800-295-4050.

The article above was used with the permission of Guide Dogs for the Blind
Guide Dogs for the Blind
San Rafael, CA.

A True Dog Story

A lady was enjoying a meal in a restaurant. Her guide dog was lying under the table with its head facing out.

As a waitress walked by, a piece of bacon fell from the plate she was carrying. The bacon fell right in front of the dog’s nose.

The dog quickly placed both front paws over its muzzle as if to resist temptation and remained that way until the bacon was removed.