Samwise the Stouthearted

Mar 21, 2024

Named after the iconic character in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, PADS Samwise was always fated to be someone’s loyal companion. While his devotion to his people was evident at a young age, he did not want the busy public life of a PADS Service Dog. His big heart however, led his path to our Very Important Pet (VIP) program.

Samwise was placed with the de Raadt family in December of 2023 and their story reminds us all of the power of one dog, and a village of people that came together to make this VIP placement happen. 


CKNW Kids’ Fund has come alongside PADS to support this Very Important Pet (VIP) placement.

“Our family is the grateful recipient of PADS VIP Samwise. He became a part of our family in December 2023, in particular for our daughter who has autism.

He has brought so much joy to all of us and has shown a lot of love to our daughter who often needs hugs to regulate her emotions. Sam loves to share his space, cuddle on the couch or dog bed and is strong and steady when it comes to helping with emotional regulation. He seems to sense when anyone in the family needs him at any given moment. This was very evident when we lost our grandmother/great-grandmother just recently. He was very much connected to whoever was sad at any given moment. He has been vital in helping our daughter say goodbye to her older brother as he left for another semester of university as goodbyes for her are always hard.

The connection between Samwise and our daughter is awesome. He helps to wake her up on school mornings which is beautiful to witness. Samwise also helps give our daughter a sense of responsibility, which she takes very seriously and with great love. She gives him his belly rubs in the mornings, feeds him and walks him after school. Our daughter is currently trying to teach him to shake his paw and he loves the care and attention he gets as he is learning.

Words will never be enough to show our gratitude for this wonderful dog and the people behind his greatness. A special thank you to his puppy raisers, Marcia and Glen – the love and care you put into Samwise has not gone unnoticed! And to the rest of the village who helped get Sam to where he is, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.” – Michelle de Raadt

Michelle and her family are also Advanced Sitters in Chilliwack. We are so grateful to them for sharing their story and being part of our PADS family.


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