Kayla Aolick has known her guide dog Shadow is No. 1 in her heart since the first time she met him in Oakville, Ont. at the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides program.
The Port Alberni woman, 24, was honoured when earlier this year, following a social media campaign, Shadow won a Purina Better Together award.
Now, she wants to give such a rewarding experience to someone else who might need a seizure guide dog.
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Aolick has suffered from seizures since she was 12, when she had a cancerous brain tumour removed. Shadow has given her back her freedom.
“If you’re someone that didn’t get to have a proper independence before, like with me for example, the dog guide gives you your independence back. It makes you feel normal,” she said.
Each dog costs approximately $25,000 to train and team up with a client, Aolick said. Shadow has meant so much to her, that she would like to bring that sense of freedom to someone else. So she is raising money to pay for a seizure dog.
Her first fundraiser is a birthday party for Shadow on Saturday, Feb. 20, 1–3:30 p.m. at Gyro Youth Centre, 3245 Seventh Ave. (behind the curling club). Admission is $2 per person ($1 for kids 12 and under). There will be a silent auction and donations are welcome. No gifts, please.