In my previous life as a physiotherapist, my patients used to tell me that when you sit in a wheelchair people don’t talk to you. I didn’t really believe it until the first time I was out in public in a chair. I was visiting the CNE in Toronto with my two children aged 1.5 and 2.5. I stopped at a counter to purchase something to drink and was horrified to hear the sales person look at my toddlers and say “what would your mother like to drink?”

Now I am permanently in a chair and was paired with my assistance dog, Rumor, in 2009. As of that moment, my life changed. Suddenly people were talking to me everywhere I went. They obviously wanted to talk to the dog, but I was collateral damage and I really enjoyed it.

That was just one of many changes in my life. Aside from things such as opening and closing doors, turning lights on and off, and picking up things I dropped, she was also my safety net since I lived totally independently. Not very long after Rumor came to live with me, I had a fall. Unfortunately, once I am on the ground I cannot get up again and have to call the fire department for help. Rumor brought me the telephone so I could call for help.

We are slowly coming up to her retirement and, because of all her help, I cannot imagine not having an assistant dog. Thank you PADS for all the work you do, and to all the sponsors and donors who make it possible for this to happen.


Ken and Riddle at PADS Grad in 2013

Help Support Teams Like Zosia & Rumor

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.