Ex-service dog Buddy will be celebrating his retirement by giving back to the community.
The 12-year-old Golden Retriever will paddleboard around Lake Simcoe in Ontario, Canada, a trip that spans almost 150 miles, with his owner, Jane Boake, on July 29. The trip is estimated to take over a week to complete.
The goal is to raise $10,000 for COPE Service Dogs--the organization Buddy was a part of for many years. Buddy was mostly involved in Canines in the Classroom, where he was an emotional support dog for both elementary and high school students.
COPE Service Dogs raises and trains service dogs to assist students and people with mobility issues. Their mission is to empower individuals to overcome their challenges with the help of their pups.
Buddy Paddles Simcoe spokesperson, Sylvia Stark, told Global News, “Students who have worked with Buddy over the years say they’ve really made a difference, they’ve gained self-confidence, they’ve become more social, they’ve been able to make friends.”
Stark added, “I spoke with a student a couple of weeks ago that actually said he never would have graduated high school if it wasn’t for Buddy. So he’s had quite an impact on students throughout the area,” she said.
Boake, the founder of COPE service dogs, wanted to have this charity event to celebrate and raise money for “student mental health through COPE Service Dogs,” Stark said. According to Stark, Buddy has been paddleboarding since he was a puppy and “really enjoys it.”
Buddy and Boake will start their paddleboarding adventure at Innisfil Beach Park on July 29th with plans to land in Barrie for Kempenfest on August 5th, which will also be Buddy’s 13th birthday.
Image via Facebook/Buddy Paddles Simcoe
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