Two of western Canada’s newest guide dogs in training have been named after B.C.’s top doctor.
BC and Alberta Guide Dogs says two of its 10 newborn Labrador puppies have been named Bonnie and Henry in honour of provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
“Dr. Henry has been a wonderful presence of calm and guidance through the COVID-19 pandemic,” Bill Thornton, CEO of BC and Alberta Guide Dogs, said in a statement Tuesday.
“Our organization felt that it was a fitting tribute to name these little puppies after her, as they will one day grow up to provide those same qualities of guidance and support to someone in need.”
The dogs will be trained to become guide dogs for people who are visually impaired, children with autism and veterans and first responders living with post-traumatic stress disorder and operational stress injuries.
When the puppies are eight weeks old, they will be placed with volunteer “puppy raisers” who will help to train them until they’re ready for the next stage of their training.
“It is an honour to have two such adorable namesakes,” Henry said in the statement.
She also thanked the organization for helping British Columbians and wished them success during what she described as a “difficult time for all of us.”
“Taking a moment to appreciate the joy of two little puppies is so welcome,” she added.
Henry’s leadership during the coronavirus pandemic has inspired everything from an online fan club to song tributes.
Shoe designer John Fluevog even created and named a shoe for Henry after noticing she wore his shoes at her COVID-19 briefings.
A custom doll of Henry was made for a two-year-old Victoria boy, whose family said he often listened to her coronavirus briefings before his afternoon naps.