PADS is a family that comes together and accomplishes a common goal, to help people in our community that can benefit from an assistance companion. They are not “just dogs”. Each companion we raise is as unique as each person you know, they communicate differently, they show affection differently, they express sadness differently, but they love unconditionally!
PADS has been the best thing that has happened to me and my family. It has given me a soul-mate that has added a new dimension to my life, and I am eternally grateful to the organization, the training staff, the puppy raisers, the volunteers and the extended family of supporters for all they have done.
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!
My life as a vice- principal and teacher of students with special needs is hectic. I worried that raising a puppy would be problematic. My test was to do a 2 month trial with Amber ll from the yellow litter and see how it went. Without question, a puppy at school works! Enter Peony, a golden retriever puppy from the Bush Litter who joined our staff January 2016.
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.