Teen with Autism in British Columbia Fundraises for Guide Dog

Teen with Autism in British Columbia Fundraises for Guide Dog

Note: This article may contain commentary or the author's opinion.

A 14 year old boy with autism is so passionate about dogs and baking, he’s presently using his skills to help gather funds to help support a guide dog.

Ryder Newhouse, who lives in Harrison, has been making treats for his unofficial therapy dog, Tommy, and different dogs for a very long time (two years to be exact). But it was just as of late that he had the idea to sell the cookies he bakes and give to charity.

Before Christmas last year, Ryder was invited into Fergie’s Doggie Delight Pet Bakery in Chilliwack to take part in Agassiz Secondary School’s ‘Take our Kids to Work Day’ where he made cookies for canines that appear on his route for Christmas.

Not long after that experience, he decided that he wanted to make and sell canine treats with part of the proceeds going to BC and Alberta Guide Dogs – specifically to assist with the training costs for a pup who’s only 5 months old named Juniper. Since January, Ryder has been baking up a storm both at home and at Fergie’s making ‘Tommy’s Choice’ dog treats named after his furry sidekick.

Despite the fact that Tommy is not an official therapy dog, she acts very much like one, staying close by constantly and bringing him comfort. Ryder wants to assist different children with having therapy dogs “because some kids can’t see and the dogs help them,” he said.

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Ryder has been promoting the dog treat deals at dog parks by distributing his business cards and he wants to get his product into farmers’ markets, said the mother, Nicole Newhouse.

“I like to see him being able to learn how to run a business because he has that entrepreneurial spirit naturally,” she said.

There are two unique flavors of Tommy’s Choice cookies which include pumpkin peanut butter and apple cinnamon. They go for $9 per package and 50% of the proceeds goes to Juniper’s preparation.

Ryder said he feels “really good” and pleased that he’s aiding towards the costs, and when asked what the best part is about making the treats, he said without hesitation. “Raising money for Juniper”.

The young yellow Labrador lives on Vancouver Island where she’s presently being prepared. As per BC and Alberta Guide Dogs, it requires two years and upwards of $35,000 to deliver one certified canine that is provided free of charge to the recipient.

Kim Goodall with the BC and Alberta Guide Dogs expressed that what Ryder is doing is thoughtful and she’s very much looking forward to meeting him and Tommy face to face to thank them. Presently, he’s donated $73 to the BC and Alberta Guide Dogs.



“Ryder’s decision to support Juniper and dogs like her through his efforts will enable others to benefit from the program, which is kindness in action,” she said. “Ryder’s actions are inspiring, and we are honored to be the recipient.”

Connie Macdonald, co-owner of Fergie’s Doggie Delight Pet Bakery, agrees that what Ryder is doing is outstanding.

“Amazing, absolutely amazing. It brings tears to my eyes,” she said.

Tommy’s Choice dog treats can be purchased at Fergie’s (9372 Mill St.). For more, call 604-791-9299 or email fergiespetbakery@gmail.com.