Peer Support

Peer Support

Guide Dog Users of Canada is a small charity that offers World class peer support. Imagine having access to a network of individuals who have several hundred years of combined experience living and working with guide dogs. That's what you get by subscribing to the Friends of GDUC email list, peer support at its finest! The list provides a safe and supportive environment in which our members and friends can exchange ideas and information on virtually any topic related to guide dogs and their human partners.

Who Can Subscribe?

If you currently work with a guide dog, previously worked with a guide dog, or are interested in, and potentially eligible to obtain a guide dog, then this list is for you. It is also for those of you who support GDUC and the well-being of Canadian guide dog handlers.

If you are able to send and receive email, then your computer skills are more than sufficient to participate in this forum. We manually approve all subscriptions to the list and take steps to ensure that all messages adhere to the principles of good communication.

How to Subscribe?

  • If you do not already have one, please Create a My GDUC Account and be sure to check the "Subscribe to Friends of GDUC email list" box
  • If you already have a My GDUC Account, please Log Into My GDUC and check the "Subscribe to Friends of GDUC email list" box on the resulting form

At this point our Member Services Committee may contact you to confirm your eligibility to subscribe.

List guidelines demand that each subscriber be treated with respect and courtesy. GDUC wants its members and friends to feel comfortable conversing about everything guide dog related, and we understand that communications can sometimes be of a highly personal and emotional nature.

What to Expect?

Individuals considering getting a guide can inquire about the process of selecting a School and going for training. While at school, the subscriber can write and tell others about their experiences with their first guide. Moving forward, the Friends list can offer moral support and tips for working with a dog or dealing with an access refusal. Advice given by list participants is based on what was learned at school and personal experience.

The Friends list provides a venue for handlers to brag about how well their dogs are working, or to swap funny stories about their guides. We console and encourage each other when a guide dog becomes ill or when it is time to retire a long serving canine partner.

"What food to use", "what toys to choose", "how to cope with winter weather", or "what to consider when traveling with a guide dog to a foreign country" are just some of the questions that have been discussed on the list. Chances are excellent that someone out there will be able to help - all you have to do is subscribe and reach out. Who knows, you might even make some new friends along the way!

Other Ways We Support Each Other

Our annual conference gives us a chance to meet face-to-face, support each other, and have a good time. Handlers are able to suggest topics of particular interest which are dealt with in detail at the sessions. We all come away from the weekend having learned something new and looking forward to next year.

Providing opportunities which enable our members and friends to explore and understand the unique bond between guide dog and handler is what GDUC's peer support is all about.