Early in 2016 my husband and I lost our most beloved dog to cancer. He was a beautiful border collie named Ernie and he was the love of our lives. As anyone who has had to say goodbye to a cherished pet will know, we were heartbroken and bereft. After moping around the house for a few months we decided to take our sad selves off to Mexico for a change of scenery. There, we met a couple from Calgary who told us all about the puppies they raised for this amazing charity called PADS!

I came home from that trip on a mission, feeling renewed and purposeful. I knew I wasn’t ready for another forever fur-baby, and maybe never would be. But I felt I could take on raising a puppy for this wonderful organization that contributes to the lives of physically disabled people in a way that is profound and lifechanging. I would be helping that cause in a way that was truly meaningful AND I would get my fix of puppy kisses and cuddles.

I received PADS Puppy-in-Training Shepherd in August and together we began a journey filled with love and joy and laughter and so much learning for both of us. Shep is now 13 months old and is a big, boisterous, beautiful boy! We still have a long way to go before our time together will end, and when it does, I know I will be crying tons of tears once again. But this time, it won’t be tears of sorrow at the end of a life. Instead, Shep’s life as a service dog will be just beginning and I will have had the privilege of being part of his success. I can’t think of a better reason to shed a tear!

Help Us Change Lives!

All PADS assistance dogs are provided to clients at no cost. Behind each and every success story is a donor who makes this possible.

Tell us your PADS story

We are still accepting stories for our 30 Stories for 30 Years series. Whether you have volunteered, received a dog as a client or adopter, given of your time, money or heart… you are part of the PADS story!  Tell us how being involved with PADS has impacted you.