Sunday, April 27

Guide dogs help deliver mail in Canada

Greetings. Here's another great guide dog related news story. Enjoy, and as always, please forgive any formatting errors.

Guide Dogs Help Deliver Mail With First-Ever Canadian
Braille Stamp

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 21, 2008) -
Canada Post will issue its first ever Canadian Braille
stamp featuring Guide Dogs. The domestic-rate stamp
will have the denomination in both print and in
Braille. The stamp is being issued to coincide with
the 100th anniversary of the Montreal Association for
the Blind which is also being recognized with a
Commemorative Envelope.

"Canada Post is committed to providing Canadians with
innovative and interesting products," says Bob Waite,
Chairman of the Canadian Stamp Advisory Committee
and Senior vice-president, Corporate Social
Responsibility, Canada Post. "We provide vital
communication links to all Canadian households and to
a Braille stamp reinforces our commitment to meet the
needs of all Canadians."

With thousands of soldiers returning from World War I
blinded by poison gas, a German doctor named Gerhard
Stalling explored the notion of training dogs
to guide the wounded men. His research in training
methods led to the opening of his first guide dog
school in Germany in 1916. The school prospered and
some 600 dogs were trained each year. Word spread and
soon trained dogs were assisting people with vision
loss in Britain, France, Spain, Italy, the USA,
Canada and Soviet Union.

The most common breeds of guide dogs are Labrador
Retrievers and Golden Retrievers; chosen for their
intelligence, size, and temperament. A calm
a high level of initiation, and a strong desire to
please are all characteristics expected of guide dogs.

Six to eight week old puppies head off to foster
families for their training. The foster families
expose the puppies to as many environments as possible
while testing their response to distractions. The
puppies will then spend four weeks with their future
partner, and then undergo final testing before
their certification. Guide Dogs often retire at age

Designers Stephen Boake and Andrew Perro of Toronto's
Designwerke sought to keep the stamp's design simple
and give prominence to the dog in order to reinforce
the intimate connection to the human partner. The
yellow Labrador Retriever on the stamp is a Canine
Vision Dog Guide from Lions Foundation of Canada Dog
Guides. The addition of Braille created various
printing challenges, as did the increase in font size
of the denomination, another incorporated element
to assist vision-impaired individuals. Additionally,
the text on the stamp booklet and Official First Day
cover were printed in a larger than usual typeface
in respect for the needs of individuals with varying
degrees of vision impairment.

The 52-cent stamp, available as of April 21, measures
38 mm x 27 mm (horizontal) with simulated
perforations. Lowe-Martin printed 3.5 million stamps,
be sold in booklets of ten. The self-adhesive stamp
will be printed using lithography in four colours on
Tullis Russel paper, with Braille embossing by
Montreal's Choquet Engraving Inc. They are general
tagged on all sides. The Official First Day Cover will
bear the cancel OTTAWA ON.

Additional information about Canadian stamps can be
found in the Newsroom section of Canada Post's
website, and photos of this new stamp is in the
Photo Centre. Stamps and Official First Day Covers
will be available at participating post offices, or
can be ordered online by following the links at
Canada Post's website
or by mail order from the National Philatelic Centre.
From Canada and the USA, call toll-free: 1 800
565-4362, and from other countries, call: 902


For more information, please contact
Canada Post
Nicole Lemire

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