Dogs That Change People’s Lives
Paul Lapensée and Dominique Ménard, shell retirees, share their #fuellingkindness story on the Mira Foundation and dogs that change people’s lives.
Founded in 1981, Mira is a non-profit organization that offers free guide dogs and service dogs to those in need. It was the first francophone centre for guide dogs in Canada and the first school in the world to give guide dogs to youth under 15 years of age. Mira has given more than 3,000 guide-dogs and service dogs to beneficiaries living in Canada. From the age of 9 weeks old until retirement, the dogs play a critical role in their owner’s lives.
Fostering Guide Dogs
“Dominique and I have had the privilege of fostering guide dogs for Mira for over 10 years. Our task is to raise the dogs from puppyhood, for 12 to 18 months, and then return them to the Foundation for their formal training. Our first dog, Kappa, was assigned to a visually impaired teenage boy, who he accompanied through high school and then on to law school. Our second dog, Rocky, faithfully assisted a visually impaired young woman with her daily routine for over 5 years. We are currently fostering and socializing Balko, a four-monthold, very energetic, intelligent and incredibly loving Labernese.
Seeing the impact that Kappa and Rocky had on their beneficiaries provides us with all the motivation we need to carry out our mission for Mira. We chose Mira because we love dogs and are amazed at what Mira can accomplish with them. Please check out their website at www.mira.ca
Give a Part of Yourself
The first question we get asked about our work with Mira is always: how can you give up these amazing dogs after raising them for 12 to 18 months? Our view is that the essence of volunteer work is to give a part of yourself in order to improve someone else’s life. Through the Mira dogs we foster, we feel that we accomplish that big time!” says Paul.
Mira Foundation’s managing director, Nicolas St-Pierre appreciates the support. "Thanks to foster families like Paul Lapensée and Dominique Ménard who help our puppies become socialized in the first year of their lives, we are able to continue to make a difference by offering free guide dogs and service dogs to people living with visual impairments, physical disabilities or to youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).”