OUR STORIES

Lives changed. One dog at a time.

30 Stories for 30 Years – Mike

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!

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30 Stories for 30 Years – Rebekah

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.

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30 Stories for 30 Years – Carol

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!

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30 Stories for 30 Years – Anne

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.

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30 Stories for 30 Years – Anonymous

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.

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30 Stories for 30 Years – Mac

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.

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30 Stories for 30 Years – Lee

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.

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30 Stories for 30 Years – Monica

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.

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30 Stories for 30 Years – Mintenkos

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.

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30 Stories for 30 Years – Liz

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.

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30 Stories for 30 Years – Jennifer

PADS helped give me my confidence back. I met people I am still friends with to this day! Most of all, PADS connected me with a very special Golden Retriever – PADS Released Dog Saffron!

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30 Stories for 30 Years – The McMillans

Many years ago, 18, I think, our neighbour up the road was a vet for PADS. Meeting them was how it all started for our family. PADS is the best program for anyone to get involved with, it changed our lives forever. Thank you. One day we will be back to volunteer again.

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30 Stories for 30 Years – Nicole

During puppy raising, Koltan had a huge will to please. He loved to work and learn, and showed a great aptitude for receiving and giving affection to others. Koltan has a presence about him that brings calmness and reassurance to those he interacts with. With his gentle, calm and old soul demeanor, all anyone had to do was to meet him once and they fell in love with him. In the end, it was these qualities that helped determine his path to become an Accredited Facility Dog and he was placed at Surrey Memorial Hospital as a Trauma Dog.

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30 Stories for 30 Years – Laurie & Athens

Athens was our very first PADS dog and, although we had always raised Goldens for over 30 years, we did not know how much more enriched our lives would become upon his addition to our home. Most dogs like Athens are fortunate to have one demanding career but little did we realize that he was going to add another one to his curriculum vitae.

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30 Stories for 30 Years – Lisa & Rowan

Back in 2008, I became partners with my first PADS Accredited Facility Dog (AFD), Rowan, a beautiful Golden Retriever. As a Registered Nurse, Rowan and I worked together with clients of all ages through my private practice nursing company, INSPIRE Animal Assisted Therapy. We worked with people with various disabilities and challenges to help them regain, develop, or maintain activities of daily living, help promote fine and gross motor skills, work on memory and cognition, and engage and stimulate social interactions. Rowan was a ROCKSTAR!

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30 Stories for 30 Years – Kelsey & Arrow

They say expecting parents go through a “nesting process” before baby arrives. Well, no human babies here but before I brought my sweet little Puppy-in-Training Arrow home in September 2015, I nested for what would become the most heartful endeavour I’d ever embarked upon in my 30 years of life so far.

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30 Stories for 30 Years – Carol Ann & Barley

Barley gave me freedom. To go for a walk by myself, to go shopping, to travel, to continue working when part of my job was going from building to building across campus. I was never alone because I had Barley with me. No longer did people stare at me because I was in a wheelchair. They stared at Barley and his amazing ability to pull. No longer the lady in the wheelchair going slow, I was the lady with the dog everyone loved and he brought a smile to their faces.

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30 Stories for 30 Years – Kim & Caber

I could write a book about Caber. The book would begin with an idea. The idea that a dog could help victims of crime in ways that humans could not. Like some ideas that seem to fizzle, this idea stayed front and centre in my mind until I did something about it.

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30 Stories for 30 Years – Nola

One day, on the way to cuddling, I stopped at the hospital to visit my beloved uncle. While I was there, the Doctor advised my uncle that his cancer was terminal. After crying my heart out I continued to puppy cuddle. When I stepped into little Quaker’s kennel he sat there staring intently into my face, then when I sat down with him he licked a tear off my face then pressed hard against my body as he slid into my lap. He continued looking into my eyes and I believe he could feel my pain and was saying “I’m here for you”.

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30 Stories for 30 Years – Donna & Kane

Kane has not only assisted countless victims of crime and tragedy in our community for the Moose Jaw Police Service and the Moose Jaw RCMP, but he has provided an extra something special for our police service without any judgement or hesitation.

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30 Stories for 30 Years – Lindsey & Silky

At first, I thought I wanted to be an Education Assistant, because of how much I love being in the schools (Silky loves all the attention she gets from the kids, too!) After spending two years back at school myself, as a student, I realized how much more I can do to help other people in wheelchairs now that I have Silky by my side.

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30 Stories for 30 Years – Zosia & Rumor

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.

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30 Stories for 30 Years – Nicole & Vespa

Vespa was a hard worker, and yet so easy going. She enjoyed a night out on the town or an evening in to nap when I wasn’t feeling well. She was quite happy to accompany wherever I went and we were never at any loss for people to talk to. People loved to approach us and ask questions or chat and I certainly didn’t mind chatting with strangers. She was a great conversation starter.

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30 Stories for 30 Years – Vivian & Milan

I received PADS Accredited Facility Dog Milan in July of 2016. The work that she does with my clients and the enormous impact that she has had on my workplace goes with out saying. She is exactly as advertised.

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30 Stories for 30 Years – Meredith

About seven years ago we were in a great period of transition; jobs were changing and our hopes of having a family were dashed by illness and long adoption waiting lists. While out walking one day, we spotted a woman walking a yellow lab with a bright yellow cape. We saw the PADS logo and started talking about what it would be like to give back to the community like that.

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30 Stories for 30 Years – Marcia & Marshall

Marshall alerted me to all the sounds in my environment that I cannot hear – the smoke detector, timer, telephone, alarm clock and people knocking at the door. With his help I was connected to the world of sound around me. He took his job very seriously and I learned to trust him completely, he was never wrong. He worked 24/7. He gave me confidence. He could, by virtue of his smoke detector alerts, even safe my life.

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30 Stories for 30 Years – Kenn & Riddle

Riddle can think, and I’d argue he can even reason. Riddle reads how I feel, where I hurt, and when my neural pathways fail me. When the world starts to overwhelm me and my mind and body start to fatigue, Riddle is watching, ready to step forward and nudge me. That is special. That is Riddle.

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Saying Goodbye to a Great One

Sometimes in this life we meet one of the "great ones" -- this week our community has been hit hard with losses, but this one has left us breathless. For those of you that don't recognize him, this is our client, ambassador, friend, champion, donor, cheerleader and...

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Sara’s Story

Gone are the days I can just head out the door on a whim. By the time I’m ready to leave, I’m already mentally and physically drained. I’m happiest when I’m in my manual chair, rather than my cumbersome power chair, but I don’t have the strength except for with short distance on level areas.

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Sif’s Story

I confess I have another reason for always scrolling through the PADS photos; my son Riley suffered a traumatic spinal cord injury when he was 17, (about 7 years ago), and is now permanently in a wheelchair. This motivated me even more to want to meet Sif.

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MARY-JO & JOLIE

“This amazing dog, Jolie, saved me last night. In the world of Quadriplegia is a condition known as ‘Autonomic Disreflexia’ it is an adaptive warning system for those who cant feel normally, when something is wrong – or the body is trying to get your attention due to pain/discomfort/or a problem.

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DAVE & JASPER

“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...

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LOVE ME DO

Early mornings, late nights, excitement mixed with anxiety, lots of cuddling, and unauthorized puppy parties are just some of the things that Jocelyn and Marie experienced during their first 5 months as breeders caretakers for PADS’ Roma and her “Beatles Litter”. Their passion for labradors, social work, and their friend’s enthusiasm about the organization made PADS an obvious choice to volunteer for.

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Lisa & Rowan

"As a PADS Canine Assisted Intervention (CAI) dog, Rowan’s job is unique and invaluable. Together, Rowan and I work directly with clients of all ages and with various disabilities using Animal Assisted Therapy.  As a registered nurse, I will plan out the interactions...

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Clayton & Ember

“My PADS’ dog Ember and I were matched as a team in the summer of 2010.  Since then she has been a wonderful addition to all aspects of my life, especially with my last year in high school. When I drop an object on the floor or need to open a door, Ember can assist me...

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Sare & Fraser

"Fraser has been a member of the Department of Psychology at BC Children’s Hospital for more than two-and-a-half years.  He works with the medical psychologists in the hospital, caring for children with a variety of health issues (mostly children with epilepsy or...

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Carol & Basil

"In 1987, I was on a bus in Toronto.  Looking out the window, I saw a woman in a wheelchair with a black lab.  My first reaction (which was not to be corrected for several years!) was ... “Look at that poor woman.  She’s in a wheelchair and blind ... but at least she...

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Kim & Caber

"On September 25th, 2010, Laura Szendrei was brutally attacked in a park in North Delta. Sadly she succumbed to her injuries the next day… the same day as Caber’s graduation from PADS. Therein began 3 days of responding to a school and community in crisis.   At...

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Verne & Charlie

  "When I received Charlie’s leash from Director of Training, Ron Tymrick, I was at a low point in life. I was recovering from a devastating spinal injury and could not walk safely, nor pick up anything dropped. When I fell – which happened daily – I could not...

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Jean & Orbital

"On an ordinary morning in 1998, in the Vancouver Sun, there appeared a heart-catching article about a golden retriever named Brandy.  This bundle of charm was at work in the office of his puppy raiser, learning the rules of office etiquette, on his way to becoming a...

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Mary-Jo & Jolie

In 2004, while skiing in the pristine Kootenays, Mary-Jo encountered conditions that would change her life dramatically.  After waking up completely paralyzed from the neck down, Mary-Jo knew she would need extraordinary faith, help, and courage.  With the incredible...

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Karen & Ranger

"Aardvark, inflation and guitar", three simple words Ron Tymrick, PADS Director of Client Services, asked me to remember during my interview with PADS over 11 years ago. These three words he told me he would ask me at anytime to see if I could recall them. Well Ron, I...

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Georgina & Duncan

"It has been almost 6 years since I was teamed with Duncan, an enthusiastic black lab with a passion for retrieving objects of all shapes and sizes.  Trained with funding from supporters, like you, it is with this extraordinary dog that I lead an “ordinary” life! I am...

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Sarah & Leo

"I was born with Cerebral Palsy and I use an electric wheelchair to get around. Before Leo came along I would always get frustrated when dropping something, or trying to get through a doorway, or reaching an automatic button. With Leo I feel safe and secure when out...

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Entrekin family & Sienna

"I can't thank PADS enough for allowing Sienna to join our family. As a single parent of three children, two of whom have special needs, having a VIP dog has been more than a blessing.  Sienna joined our family last December, after being on the wait list for just...

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