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VANCOUVER – Two of Western Canada’s newest guide dogs in training have been named in honor of British Columbia’s top doctor.
British Columbia and Alberta Guide Dogs said two of its 10 newborn Labrador puppies were named Bonnie and Henry in honor of provincial health worker Dr Bonnie Henry.
“Dr. Henry has been a wonderful presence of calm and guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic, ”said Bill Thornton, CEO of British Columbia and Alberta Guide Dogs on Tuesday.
“Our organization felt 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 advice and support to someone in need.
The dogs will be trained to be guide dogs for the 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 breeders” who will help them train them until they are ready for the next stage of their training.
“It is an honor to have two such adorable namesakes,” Henry said in the statement.
She also thanked the organization for helping British Columbians and wished them every success during what she described as “a difficult time for all of us”.
“Taking a moment to enjoy the joy of two little puppies is really welcome,” she added.
Henry’s leadership during the coronavirus pandemic has inspired everything from online fan clubs to tributes to song.
Shoe designer John Fluevog even created and named a shoe for Henry after noticing she was wearing her shoes during her COVID-19 briefings.
A personalized Henry doll was made for a two-year-old boy from Victoria, whose family said he often listened to his coronavirus briefings before his afternoon naps.