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Archive for March, 2011

Such a great word — serendipity. It’s the magic that brings people into my life at exactly the right moment. Two weeks ago Kevin Pidwerbeski was a guest at our bed & breakfast. Kevin is the Executive Director of PADS — Pacific Assistance Dogs Society in Vancouver. On a Vancouver Island talking tour Kevin kindly made his way up to Port McNeill to speak to our Rotary Club. PADS is a non-profit organization located in Vancouver and Calgary that raises and trains assistance dogs. Dogs that change the lives of people who are disabled, deaf or hard of hearing. Kevin’s passion for his job is clearly evident and I know I wasn’t the only one smiling at the pictures of adorable labrador and golden retriever puppies during the Power Point presentation. These incredible service dogs open and close doors, retrieve dropped items, can pull a wheelchair and turn lights on and off. Kevin told us about a young man with cerebral palsy who has gained independence thanks to his canine partner. Enough confidence to apply for jobs, take the bus and hang out at the beach with his “chick magnet” PADS dog. Not receiving any government funding this non-profit group struggles to raise the funds required. It costs more than $70,000 to train a dog and in 2010 PADS graduated a record 14 dogs but they’ve got a chronic wait list. Cost to the client is only $700 and that includes round the clock support and training refreshers. One of our Rotary members is the publisher of the local newspaper. Here’s an article from one of the sister papers the Mid Week newspaper that covers the Comox Valley to Port Hardy
http://www.bclocalnews.com/vancouver_island_north/northislandmidweek/news/117195448.html
There are many ways you can help PADS. You can sponsor a dog, a project, a litter, a team, a kennel or become a member of the society. Or if you know someone physically disabled, deaf or hard of hearing who could use an assistance dog they want to hear from you too. For more information please visit their website at http://www.pads.ca
Hugs from the beach…

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