Truckers donate puppy to support P.E.I. teen

·2 min read
Marie LaPointe, left, and Austin LaPointe hold eight-week-old Goofy. (Tony Davis/CBC - image credit)
Marie LaPointe, left, and Austin LaPointe hold eight-week-old Goofy. (Tony Davis/CBC - image credit)

A teen on P.E.I. got a special gift this Easter weekend — a new puppy to fill the space his previous support dog left behind.

Austin LaPointe says he is excited to add a new family member.

LaPointe, 17, has a form of autism and Type 1 diabetes. His last support dog, a collie named Sassy, died shortly before the family moved to P.E.I. from Ontario in 2016.

"It feels very great considering we had lost my previous dog," LaPointe said. "She really helped keep me in check when it comes to my emotions.

"I've missed having a little furry friend around the house. It's been kind of rough."

Sassy, a collie, was LaPointe's last support dog. Sassy died shortly before the family moved to P.E.I. in 2016.
Sassy, a collie, was LaPointe's last support dog. Sassy died shortly before the family moved to P.E.I. in 2016.(Marie LaPoint)

Brandi and James Biggar, two truck drivers from P.E.I., had a litter of puppies. They said they heard Austin was in need of a support dog and thought one of their eight-week old collies would be a perfect fit.

James Biggar said LaPointe's smile said it all.

"Just unbelievable, that's what we did it for and that's all we wanted to see," he said.

"It's always been the Island way. We never let anybody fall and when we do we make sure we pick them up and dust them off."

James and Brandi, along with other members of the P.E.I community and the Guardians of the Children — a group of motorcycle riders who aid children in need of support — dropped off the puppy at the family's home in Montague on Saturday.

Goofy stands proudly in the front yard of his new home.
Goofy stands proudly in the front yard of his new home.(Tony Davis/CBC)

"It helps quite a lot, actually. I was quite surprised. I wasn't expecting any of this at all," LaPointe said.

LaPointe said he is hoping the new collie, named Goofy, will offer the same type of support Sassy did.

"I'm hoping to maybe eventually get him to the point where I can train him to be a service dog to help along with me and also some of my family."

The collie pup got up close and personal with the CBC camera.
The collie pup got up close and personal with the CBC camera.(Tony Davis/CBC)

Austin's mom, Marie LaPointe, said she is overwhelmed by the community support. She is happy her son will have a dog again.

"[It] really made my heart feel very full to know there are a lot of people out there that you don't even know that are willing to get together and do something special for someone," she said.

Marie said the family's old dog could sniff out low blood sugar. She said she is hoping to get the new collie trained to do the same for her son.

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