MEET OUR MOVERS: Charge On with Chai & Emily
How they are Moving for PADS
From August 13th – September 19th Emily will walk (with her crutches) or roll (with her wheelchair) for one minute for every dollar donated to her champagne.
Why they are Moving for PADS
Emily is a PADS Breeder Caretaker to breeding dog Chai. In her own words, Emily says
“I want to share why I volunteer in the ways that I do and why my physical disability plays into that.
As the story tends to go, I lost my favourite things when I lost my physical abilities. I watched the competitive athlete that I was crumble away. I went from “I want to compete in the 200 meter butterfly” to “I think it’s time to talk about a power wheelchair”. I was active in dog training, enjoying what my “all around good boy” of a ridgeback could do, from scent detection to agility. I rode horses all day only to find myself stuck in bed as the sun went up and the sun went down.
To picture what it feels like to walk in my shoes, imagine what it would feel like if you went on a five hour walk along an uphill highway while wearing a stiletto on one foot but your normal shoe on the other. On the “not 5 inches higher than normal” foot, you are dragging a 50pound weight and you get minimal to no use of your entire foot, ankle, or knee. Your back is going to ache from being thrown off, your joints burn from walking on the hard ground, you’re tired, you’re hot, and at the end of the day you just really wish that you could make your leg work.
But there’s this amazing little lab, an incredible organization, and the best people you could hope to surround yourself with. Chai gets me out, she makes me laugh, and she gives me something to work towards with her enthusiasm to learn. Next year she’ll be having her last litter and I’m already planning for them.
PADS lets me be apart of something bigger than myself. I get to connect with other people from across B.C., some of whom are also disabled. Be it everyday caring for Chai, doing puppy culture with a litter, writing the 500th pupdate for a puppy in training, or having the opportunity to puppy sit one of said puppies, I find volunteering rewarding and enjoyable. The people who volunteer for PADS happen to be the kindest, most accepting, and helpful humans that I have ever had the honour of getting to know.
Be it on 2 legs and 2 crutches or atop the royal chariot that is my powerchair, there’s a reason why I volunteer for PADS and it’s not just for the cute puppies. I’m proud to be a volunteer and it’s one place where I feel like a complete person, not less than just because I can’t walk independently. If you want to connect with me, ask me about Chai’s puppies, about what dogs are in advanced training, ask me about the sweetest thing a puppy raiser wrote in their pupdate, or who I think the cutest puppy currently is.”