The Story of a Mira Dog

From birth until retirement, a lot of time and resources go into raising a Mira dog. Here’s a glimpse of everything, and everyone, involved!

Mira Header Cycle De Vie
This section is a timeline of every steps that the dog will go through. This section has a lot of descriptions and also images that support them.

Birth

Making an entrance

It all begins at our nursery, the RBC Pavilion, in Sainte-Madeleine. Mira dogs are born here and stay by their mother’s side for 9 weeks.

A Bernese Mountain dog puppy walking in front of the Mira building
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A Labrador dog with a Mira scarf
Three Mira employees playing with dogs in the snow
Three Bernese Mountain female dogs intended for breeding
A Bernese Mountain male dog intended for breeding

Socialization

Foster family fun

At 9 weeks, the puppies are placed with foster families who are responsible for maintaining good health, developing appropriate behaviour, and socializing the dogs for 12 to 18 months.

A young woman from a foster family kisses her Mira dog
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Foster families receive veterinary care for free by Mira.

Two veterinarians look after a Mira dog

Dog food is offered free of charge by Mondou throughout the course of foster care.

A Labernese Mira puppy lying on the ground
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Evaluation & Training

Getting put to the test

By the time they’re 1 year old, the dogs return to Mira for a week. They’re evaluated by a trainer to determine which program is best suited for them. The dogs then undergo training for 3 to 6 months (depending on the program).

A Mira employee walks four Mira dogs in the countryside
Four Mira dogs waiting for their training
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Behavioural or health issues can keep dogs from passing the evaluation. If so, they’re offered to their foster family or the general public.

A Mira veterinarian prepares an operating room

Pairing

Class is in session!

The dogs are finally paired with their beneficiaries and will participate in 1 to 4 weeks of classes together. During this time, beneficiaries live at Mira where all services and room and board are provided for free.

Dog guide program group attends downtown training
A group of the guide dog program attends a training session

At Work

It takes two

Once class is over, the dogs move into their permanent homes. A Mira trainer accompanies them and their beneficiaries to ensure a smooth transition for everyone. The dogs will work for an average of 7 years.

A guide dog during a training session with his mistress and his trainer
A Labernese guide dog with his harness

When a Mira dog’s working, remember: don’t touch!

A service dog walks with his wheelchair mistress

Retirement

The golden years

Mira dogs retire when they can no longer perform their duties. They’re adopted by someone close to their beneficiaries, the initial foster family, or a member of the general public.

The average investment for raising and training a Mira dog.

$30,000

The average investment for raising and training a Mira dog.

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The average expense for Mira (so far)!