Pets and Friends Featured Member

Pets and Friends Featured Member Initiative

Pets and Friends is honored to have such fantastic volunteers bringing pet companionship to the Greater Vancouver area.  In an effort to highlight their dedicated and essential contributions, we are happy to announce the Pets and Friends Featured Member initiative.  It is our goal to highlight our stellar Pets and Friends volunteer teams to showcase the incredible efforts of our member base.


This month, Pets and Friends would like to celebrate the wonderful companionship of Walter and his pet parent Chris.

This month Pets and Friends would like to celebrate the wonderful companionship of Walter and his pet parent Chris.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Volunteer Facility: Gateway Independent Living

Time volunteering with Pets and Friends: 5 years

Pet Companion: Walter

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Volunteer Name: Chris Dewolfe

How did you get involved with Pets and Friends?
I had gone to the island to visit an ailing Aunt who was in an extended care facility. The last time I had seen her she was walking around, laughing and enjoying life. This time was a different story. She was unable to walk, wasn’t able to talk and was just surviving. I was so heart broken seeing her like this and after our day long visit left to come home. I felt so helpless, wishing there was something I could do for her. I couldn’t get her off my mind.

I had bought a pet magazine and thought that might take my mind off my dear aunt. I picked it up and accidentally dropped it on the floor. The booked opened to the page that had the Pets and Friends article. I picked it up and couldn’t believe it. I read through the article and tears started to come to my eyes. This was it! This is how I was going to give back! Walter would be perfect for this adventure! When I got back to Vancouver, I contacted Pets and Friends and here we are! Giving back.

What is your favourite part about volunteering?
Seeing the smiles on everyones faces when they see Walter!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Describe a typical visitation.
Our visit starts at 10:30am on Sunday mornings. Walter and I arrive and there is usually someone sitting in the lounge, so Walter spots one of the residents and parks himself into position for rubs and pats. He knows most of the residents now and what their capabilities with him are. Some are in wheelchairs, others are mobile with walkers. We visit with whomever wants to see us and talk about their early lives (they all love to) or go up the elevator (Walter loves riding the elevator!) to see some residents who may not want to come downstairs. It’s always sad when 12:30pm comes because they really don’t want to see Walter go.

What is your favourite memory of volunteering?
I don’t have a particular memory. Every time we go we are making new memories!

What is the most important part of your visits?
I feel the most important part of of our visits is providing companionship and making the residents smile. That speaks volumes!

What is Walter’s favourite part about visiting?
Walter enjoys people probably more than dogs. The residents are so welcoming to him and he is very receptive to that.

Tell us about Walter.
Walter is an 8 year old Golden Retriever. He is Gluten Free and Grain Free, loves his holistic dog cookies, and comes running when he hears a cheese wrapper. He enjoys walks and especially playing ball. He has his own toy box with numerous toys which he picks through when visitors arrive. He cannot greet someone without something in his mouth.

When did Walter join your family?
Walter came into our life after the loss of our seventeen year old Corgi. We were so understandably distraught with Elvis’ passing and the house was so quiet without a dog. My husband came home from work and was so upset, so I grabbed a newspaper and there he was. My son and I took off to see this thirteen week old puppy. Well, we came home with him…he’s been an absolute joy to us ever since!

What do you like to do for fun?
My husband and I love to garden and camp (of course Walter joins in on the fun as well). We also enjoy walking at Westminster Quay with Walter and occasionally run into Pets and Friends visiting team Betty and Nemo as well.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
We have thoroughly enjoyed our numerous experiances with Pets And Friends. It is a great organization and they do many wonderful things for the communities that they are involved in.


This month, Pets and Friends would like to celebrate the wonderful companionship of Billie and Rocky and their pet parents Teresa and Arran.

IMG_4418 (Large)

Teresa and Arran have been visiting Cavell Gardens for 3 years with their team Rocky and Billie.

Volunteer Facility:

Cavell Gardens

Time volunteering with Pets and Friends:

3 years.

Pet companions:

Billie1

Billie, 6 year old pit bull.

Rocky1

Rocky, 8 year old yorkie/chihuahua mix.

What is your favorite part about volunteering?

Our favourite part about volunteering is seeing the joy between our dogs and the senior residents when they interact. Most of the residents at Cavell Gardens are not able to have their own pets so Billie and Rocky are their “part-time” pets. After the dogs walk around to say hello and give kisses, we then enjoy conversing with the residents and hearing their interesting stories about their life experiences.

IMG_4311 (Large)

Arran helps Billie give a sloppy kiss to Colleen.

IMG_4365 (Large)

Rocky shares a moment with Jean.

 How did you get involved with Pets and Friends?

We got involved with Pets and Friends after we met a therapy dog and realized how perfect our dogs would be in a similar role. We then did some internet research and connected with Pets and Friends.

What is your favorite memory from visiting Carvell Gardens?

One of our favourite memories from visiting Cavell Gardens was when one of the residents decided that he needed to get up close and personal with our dogs by lying on the ground. Of course, our dogs accepted this invitation and smothered him with kisses. Rocky even jumped onto his stomach and had a little nap while the resident pet him. We thought this was so sweet!

IMG_4333 (Large)

Teresa, Billie, and Rocky visit with Colleen.

IMG_4380 (Large)

Billie and Rockie prove that they are a great Pets and Friends team.

What do you think is the most important part about your visits?

We believe that the most important part of our visits is creating relationships with the residents, not only between the dogs and them, but between us and them. We did not expect that through volunteering with Pets and Friends that we would create meaningful friendships.

What are Billie and Rocky’s favorite snacks?

Billie’s favourite snack is peanut butter. Rocky’s favourite snack is the crunchiest part of lettuce.

Where is your favorite place to relax?

Our favourite place to relax is at the park or at the dog trails because we can enjoy the fresh air while our dogs get their exercise. Our favourite place to bring Billie and Rocky is a tie between Ambleside Beach and Everett Crowley Park.

IMG_4329 (Large)

Rocky and Teresa have a chat with Helen.

IMG_4352 (Large)

Billie is happy to get a neck massage from Susie.

IMG_4357 (Large)

Rocky sits with Jean as she chats with Teresa.

What do you like to do for fun?

Our favourite pastime is going camping in the summer. We love enjoying nature and anywhere we can take Billie and Rocky is a plus!

Pets and Friends is working on a Veterinary Network program in which veterinarians in the Greater Vancouver area would give free annual checkups to Pets and Friends member pets.  Do you think you would be interested in this service?  What do you think about this new Pets and Friends member benefit?

We would definitely be interested in a Veterinary Network Program. It would be such a benefit for members to have this service, plus it would be a great way for Pets and Friends to keep track of their members’ pets’ vaccination records.

Any additional comments?

We just want to say how much we enjoy volunteering with Pets and Friends! We would recommend it to anyone with a friendly pet looking for a way to brighten someone’s day!

IMG_4393 (Large)

Arran and Teresa and their pet team Rocky and Billie have been visiting Carvell Gardens for 3 years,  bringing smiles and pet companionship to residents.

 

Would you like to participate as a Pets and Friends Featured Member?  E-mail info@petsandfriends.org for more information.


This month, Pets and Friends would like to celebrate the wonderful companionship of Sophie and Pearl and their pet parent Cindy Hogan.

IMG_4121 (Medium)

Cindy Hogan has been visiting Yaletown House for 7 years with her team Sophie and Pearl.

Volunteer Facility:

Yaletown House

Time volunteering with Pets and Friends:

7 years.

Pet companions:

Cindy visits with her maltipoos Sophie (age 8) and Pearl (age 10).

IMG_4196 (Medium)

Above: Sophie is ready for a close-up.

What is your favorite part about volunteering?

My favourite part about volunteering is seeing the smiles on the residents faces and hearing that we have made their day.

IMG_4106 (Medium)

Above: Pearl visiting with Rob.

C.Hogan.2

Above: Cindy and Sophie visiting with Maria.

C.Hogan.3

Above: Sophie and Pearl hanging out with John and Rob.

How did you get involved with Pets and Friends?

I got involved with BC Pets and friends after I read a story in the newspaper.

What is your favorite memory from visiting Yaletown House?

My favourite memory at Yaletown house was with a resident who couldn’t really speak.  I found he liked the dogs and I taught him if he patted his lap, Sophie would jump onto his lap and he really liked it.

What do you think is the most important part about your visits?

I think the most important parts of our visits is the unconditional love the dogs provide.

What are Sophie and Pearl’s favorite snacks?

Sophie and Pearl’s favourite snacks are dried beef liver.

C.Hogan4

Above: Cindy and Sophie visiting at Yaletown House.

Where is your favorite place to relax?

My favourite place to relax is in the pool and hot tub.  Swimming always reminds me of being a kid.  Our favourite place to visit in Vancouver is the dog beach in Kits.  Sophie and Pearl love to take the Aquabus – we get off at Granville Island and walk to the dog beach.  Pearl loves to swim and dive and Sophie just loves how happy Pearl is.

What do you like to do for fun?

My favourite pastime is going to the movies especially this time of year before the Oscars.

C.Hogan5

Above: Cindy Hogan bringing smiles to Yaletown House with her team Sophie and Pearl. Pets and Friends gratefully thanks Cindy, Sophie, and Pearl for their wonderful and invaluable work at Yaletown House.

Would you like to participate as a Pets and Friends Featured Member?  E-mail info@petsandfriends.org for more information.