Goulds Lions remember pal with a dog named Dougie

Lions Clubs across Canada recently held their annual Walk for Dog Guides, including the club in the Goulds, which raised some $2,582.35 as a tribute to former long time member Doug Harvey, who passed away last year.
The Goulds walk took place on Sunday May 31. About fifty people participated and walked from St. Kevin’s High School to the Goulds Lions Club. Appropriately enough, some of the participants brought their dogs with them. After the walk, folks went to Tim Horton’s for coffee.
The event, one of some 200 held across Canada, is sponsored by Purina Pet Foods.
“The Goulds Lions Club decided to dedicate this year’s Dog Walk in memory of Doug Harvey,” said Lion Pat McGrath.
“Lion Doug was an active member of our Lions Club for 36 years,” added Lion Gord Warford, who chaired this year’s walk. “He served as Treasurer, Secretary, twice as President and Zone Chairperson. He was President in 2004, when our Leo Club was formed. He helped with all projects, but was most known for calling bingo and participating in our Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guide walk. Doug was extremely busy with family and work commitments, but he always made time to help with our Lions projects. He was the recipient of the Judge Brian Stevenson Fellowship Award and the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award, the highest awards given to volunteer Lions members.”
Harvey is survived by his widow Lynn, and children Katherine, Karen and Stephen.
All the money raised by the Goulds Lions Club walk goes to the Lions Foundation Dog Guide Program, which serves Canadians with visual impairments. The program provides eligible Canadians with a trained dog guide at no cost. Since its beginnings, the program has grown to include dog guide programs for hearing ear, seizure response, autism assistance, and diabetic alert.
“We don’t know where the dog we sponsor will go,” said McGrath. “But we do have some input into naming the dog. The dog guide we sponsor this year will be named Dougie in memory of Lion Doug Harvey and trained for a person with autism.”
Dog Guides profoundly impact the lives of those with disabilities, improving their safety, mobility and independence, Warford noted.
The Goulds Lions Club pledged to raise $12,000 over three years for the program.
Helping children ages three to 18, Autism Assistance Dog Guides provide safety, companionship and unconditional love,” said Warford. “These Dog Guides provide a calming relief for children in high anxiety situations and reduce the stress commonly experienced in public places. The bond that develops between the Dog Guide and child allows for increased social interaction for the family and the child.”
The Lions Foundation of Canada operates a national training school and charity that assists people with disabilities through dog guide programs. Canadian citizens in any province or territory may apply for a dog guide, and if eligible, they will receive a trained dog at no cost to them, even though it costs approximately $25,000 to train and place a dog. The money needed to breed, train and place dogs comes solely through individual donations, service clubs, foundations and corporations. The Lions’ breeding andtraining facility is located in Breslau, Ontario. It is the largest dog school of its kind in Canada.
All the dog guides are trained with a basic set of skills, useful to all handlers. But there may be training tailored to meet the specific needs of the client. The final stages of the dog guide training involves the client meeting their dog guide. Client and dog then live and train together for two to four weeks at the Oakville Facility to prepare them for going home.
For additional information on Dog Guides, contact any member of Goulds Lions Club or visit www.dogguides.com.

Posted on June 24, 2015 .