A few years ago, I was off work for an extended period of time and was fighting my way back to mental health. The most challenging part of the process was leaving the house. What would motivate me? Dogs. Volunteering at the Advanced Kennels was perfect for me.
What nobody realized yet, was that Mac had already made his choice. He bonded with that volunteer and made it clear over the months of advanced training, that he had chosen her as his person. He did well in class and moved forward in the program, but he was a different, happier dog when the volunteer came to the yellow compound.
We were so excited and hoped to get a sweet, little 8-week-old yellow lab only to arrive and be presented with a large gangly 6 month old pup named Santini. I must admit, we were both slightly disappointed as we had been dreaming about puppy breath. Within a week, we realized we had hit the jackpot as Santini knew almost every command in the manual PADS had provided to us. In puppy class, Santini was a rock star and always made us look amazing.
I went for an orientation and in the Spring of 2009 I began working Sunday afternoon in the kennel. I remember being there on the first Father’s Day after loosing my father. There I was, sitting on the floor of the Advanced Kennel with Poppy, now working at Canuck Place, with her head on my lap. It helped ease the pain at the loss of my father.
A basket of golden retriever puppies on the cover of the Burnaby Now in January 1999 caught Bob’s eye. PADS was looking for puppy raisers for their newest litter (the S litter) – Sarge, Seymour, Strider, Sully, Sadie, Sage, and Sydney. So, we decided to become involved and in late March we got the call that our “baby” had arrived, a chocolate lab named Milhouse.
I started co-raising PADS Cadence in February 2016, I think it was. Since I have been involved in PADS, I have met fantastic new people, participated in new experiences, and watched so many people smile because of the puppy at my side.