We had a full month of the usual activities: PADS Zoom and in-person classes, walks/play dates with other PADS pups, mountain hikes, weekly Yoga by the Lake, chiropractor, dentist, Wednesday Wing Night at DunnEnnzies, Soma Cidery, Barn Owl Brewing, Cedar Creek Winery for dinner, shopping at COSTCO and Save On Foods. 

We went to Armstrong one inclement day to The Bloom Festival, where we saw thousands of tulips blooming in a field. There were lots of props placed throughout the field for photo opportunities, which my mom took full advantage of. Too bad my brother Misha didn’t stay longer, for he was leaving just as I showed up. 

We had our FIRST casual PADS meet-up since the pandemic at Mission Creek Regional Park. I saw all my PADS buddies: Ace, Findlay, Talbot, Melon, Misha and released pups Odie and Margot. We were dressed in cape, so we had to behave and practice our duration downs as our raisers chatted. After that, we went to the Kelowna Strongman competition outdoors at City Park, where some very muscled men tried to pick up the back end of an SUV. It was impressive, but for me, it was another place to practice dog distraction and settling. 

I had a one-on-one class at the Orchard Park Mall with our trainer Shona. I did well, walking about the mall and ignoring passersby. At the end of my session, I was outside settling at Starbucks when lo and behold, my brother showed up for his session. It was extremely hard to ignore him, let alone get up and walk away! 

On the long weekend, my raisers’ daughter came for a four-day visit and brought her three cats. We already have two cats, so having five around the house wasn’t really an issue for me, but some of the cats did not get along, and there was some howling and fur flying happening. During this time, we went to the movie theatre, which was a first for me and saw Dr. Strange. There were a few noisy parts which were a little unnerving for me, but I settled well, in between looking for popcorn under the seats! 

At the end of the month, we drove with PADS Pluto to the PADS Burnaby campus for my Guide Dog Behavioural Response Assessment Test (GDBART). It only took about 15 minutes; they will let us know how I did after they review the video. Afterward, we met a family in a nearby park with a dog named Trebek. My raisers were VERY happy and excited to meet this dog, as well as the dog too! Turns out Trebek was my raiser’s previous foster puppy from Lions Foundation Dog Guides of Canada, whom they hadn’t seen since July 2020 when they moved to Kelowna. He had graduated from the Diabetic Alert Program and had been placed with a woman in Vancouver, so now was a great opportunity to reconnect with the dog again. We had a lovely walk through the park with them. Afterwards, we went out for dinner with my raiser’s daughter, stayed overnight in a very nice hotel downtown Vancouver and made the long journey back home the next day. 

A great trip to end the month!

Submitted by: Chris Buitinga