“Around the age of 30 I was diagnosed with an adult onset type of Muscular Dystrophy. This condition eventually led to me needing this power chair I now sit in, as well as increased need for support from friends and family.

When I heard about PADS on the news my interest was sparked. I have always loved dogs and wondered if a dog could somehow help me, I was determined to maintain my independence.

After submitting my application to PADS I was invited for an interview. When I showed up at the PADS office I was met by a cat and thought: “I must be in the wrong place!” Quickly a beautiful chocolate lab appeared followed by the lovely, friendly Allison. Ron, PADS Client Services Manager, met me at the door, then went down to the client centre for the interview. I was put on the waiting list, but even spending time on the waiting list was enjoyable as it was such a cool feeling that one day I may be placed with an amazing PADS Service dog! I joined in on PADS festivities: a few open houses and Grads. During that time I met many of the great staff and volunteers, all part of the PADS Family! I kept thinking “Wow this is a great organization, I hope to one day be part of this family…”

The call from Ron came, saying he may have dog, he needed me to come in and meet him. I arrived the following day, Jasper walked towards me, did a my lap and nuzzled with me and that was it! We completed our 2-week team training at the end of July along with Karen and Manning; Ron was our instructor. While training was quite gruelling, thanks to Ron, my fellow class mate and the PADS staff, I found it to be one of best experiences of my life. It has set the foundation for Jasper and I to be a great team for a very long time. Thank you to Ron for being a great teacher and also a fantastic person. Special thanks also to Karen and Ashley for putting up with me and especially to Karen for her support and for bringing in Tim’s coffee AND her delicious banana bread. Special thanks also to the PADS Welcoming Committee, the volunteers who cleaned up the client quarters after me/us plus provided some delicious goodies as well! You helped me feel right at home in the PADS dorm.

He gets the phone, opens the fridge and gets things from it, who knows, maybe one day he’ll pass me a beer. I would like to thank all the people that has made our incredible partnership possible: my family and friends both in Williams Lake and the Lower Mainland; Laura, Tara, Allison, Karen, Ron and Todd; Nancy and the Board of Directors, Jasper’s Sponsor John Herring, all the volunteers, especially his raisers Cliff and Rachael, sitters the Hui’s and his breeder caretakers Lee Magis and Sharlene Syer.”

Dave and Jasper at Graduation

Dave and Jasper at Graduation