Meet a Few of Our Dogs and Trainers
Our Therapy Dog Training lasts 4 months during which our dogs pass the Canine Good Neighbour Certification and also undergo special Therapy Dog Training. Our teaching and training sessions are held at the HUB through posAbilities and at St. Andrew's Wesley.
Here is one of our Therapy Dog Trainers Ms. Marion Postgate with CKC OTCH Champion Show Dog TINKER. Starting in her early teens, Marion has owned, trained, bred and exhibited Schipperkes and Rottweilers who have won many Obedience and Conformation Trials.
Marion has been a CKC licensed judge of Obedience Trials, both here and in the US since 1969, and has given seminars on dog training and behavior, dog structure and kinesiology from the Yukon to Florida.
But Marion's primary interest has always been in teaching, and helping people and dogs. She started training through the SPCA and the Vancouver Junior Kennel Club. In the ’60s, she worked as an SPCA Director, and in the 70s was very active with WFIDO, teaching Canine Studies, establishing a program promoting dog care and training in Vancouver area schools, and working on fair legislation for people and their animals. Since then she has done consultation work for the City of Vancouver on Pound management policies used to evaluate dogs for adoption, and keep dogs happy before leaving the City Shelter, a “no-kill” facility.
Marion has also taught numerous public classes in obedience training for both pet owners, and competitive exhibitors, for over 40 years, and continues to do so today. Many of her students have gone on to become successful instructors and judges. Others are active in therapy dog programs.
Marion graduated first in her class at UBC in the field of secondary teaching, and also holds an MA, with a particular interest in the teaching of reading skills. For pleasure, she achieved her Performer’s ARCT certificate in piano from the Toronto Conservatory of music, and plays the violin too.
VITA the Therapy Dog is a French-English Bulldog Cross and according to the Vancouver Sun, offers unconditional love, company, and cuteness to patients and loved ones trying to cope. Vita also supports people with Downs Syndrome, Autism, PTSD and OCD including members from posAbilities and Spectrum Society for Community Living. More Photos...
Our Therapy Dog KENYA is a Weimaraner-Cross. She is one of the gentlest and sweetest dogs you will ever meet. Owner Marjorie was an elementary school teacher but now loves sharing her very calming dog with people who have autism and anxiety disorders. Marjorie and Kenya love hiking in the trails and enjoy the great outdoors every day.
This is Brent and Labrador Retriever CASSIE who loves just about everyone and gets very excited about meeting new people. Cassie is a Therapy Dog in Training and she just can't wait to start working!
This cute little guy is TUTU - a Wiry Daschund - who is training to be a Therapy Dog. Tutu loves visiting and cuddling with new people he meets. He will nuzzle and sit quietly with you and melt you with his sweetness. Owner Jenny is a therapist and counsellor who enjoys working with Tutu to help her clients with PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
The handsome Shepherd on the left is MAZEL who does amazing tricks ie. answers the phone, pulls a boat with a rope to shore, tracks down people with their scent and Wows seniors in Nursing Homes with his clever antics. The powerful Rottweiler on the right is NICK who is in fact as gentle as a lamb and adores rubs and scratches. He will roll over and ask for a belly rub if you get too close... Both Mazel and Nick spend their time training our Therapy Dogs to be the best they can be!
Our Fostering Program is called Foster Pets Rock! because our volunteers provide foster care for animals in distress when patients at hospitals and hospices have no way of caring for their animals at home.
Frequently these animals are taken to shelters where an uncertain fate awaits them and the patients never see their beloved pets again.
Our volunteers foster these animals at the patient's home or at their own home and take them to see their owners in the hospital so they are never deprived of the wonderful love of their pets. This often provides much comfort and helps relieve the anxiety many patients feel and indeed helps in their recovery process.