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Service Dog program looking for volunteer “Puppy Raisers” and boarding homes

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Red Deer Puppy Raising Program Announcement                                                                      

Dogs with Wings (DWW) is launching a new volunteer puppy raising program in Red Deer, AB this Spring! The Red Deer puppy raising program is a satellite puppy raising program where volunteers raise, train, and foster puppies from 8 weeks old to 14 – 16 months old and prepare them to become Service Dogs when they grow up. The Red Deer program will need full time puppy raisers and boarding homes, to puppy sit when puppy raisers are away. This program will join our three other locations in Edmonton, Calgary, and Grande Prairie and it’s an exciting time for us!

We have partnered with the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre (CACAC) in Red Deer for this special announcement. In October 2020, we placed our Facility Dog DWW Quinn at the CACAC to assist them in the important work that they do in their community.

“Having Quinn as a part of our Child & Family Advocacy program provides a huge amount of comfort not only to the children and youth coming through our doors, but to their families and our entire staff as well. We’re excited for Central Alberta to have the opportunity to be a part of a program that has such a great impact in our community – these puppies are going to make a huge difference in many lives, starting with their foster families’.” Mark Jones, CEO, CACAC

Quinn is our 5th Assistance Dog to live in Red Deer, alongside Facility Dog DWW Harley at the Red Deer City Victim Services, two Companion Dogs, and one Autism Service Dog.

Dogs with Wings relies heavily on the assistance of our volunteer puppy raisers to be able to have our dogs earn their wings and graduate with a client! Our dogs help individuals with a wide range of tasks, ranging from assisting individuals who use wheelchairs, to providing safety and support to children with Autism, to assisting children and adults with disabilities at home and in their communities, and working with organizations to assist them in their community work. We need your help to become a puppy raiser! We are looking for 5 volunteer Puppy Raisers and 3 volunteer Boarding Homes to welcome puppies into their home this spring.

Puppy Raisers are the cornerstone of our training program at Dogs with Wings At the heart of every successful assistance dog team is a puppy raiser who embraced the opportunity to raise a special puppy, teach them to feel safe in the world, and help them learn the skills necessary to have a solid foundation for their working career. We look forward to expanding this program to the Red Deer community.” – Doreen Slessor, Executive Director, Dogs with Wings.

As a Puppy Raiser, you become part of our team that works toward fulfilling our mission, which is to enrich the lives of people with disabilities by providing them with highly skilled Assistance Dogs that increase their mobility, foster independence, and further their contributions to the community. The position of Puppy Raiser is the most demanding and rewarding. By accepting the care and education of a DWW puppy, you become one of our most valuable team players. A Puppy Raiser is a 24-hour, 7 days per week volunteer position.

The role of the Puppy Raiser is to socialize a puppy to as many environments and situations as possible. The puppy must be exposed to various situations, on a regular basis, such as: offices, malls, restaurants, downtown areas, elevators, and public transportation. The ultimate goal of a Puppy Raiser is to help the puppy develop sufficient social skills to behave in such a manner that its presence will be acceptable in all circumstances. DWW provides care for your dog when you are on vacation and covers the cost of all dog food, gear and equipment, training equipment, food bowls, service dog in training jacket, and covers the cost of all veterinary expenses. All you need to do is provide a name tag, toys, a bed, and treats! To become a Puppy Raiser, all that we ask is that one adult must be home during the day (or able to bring the puppy to work with you) and that you attend weekly training classes. For more information on our criteria and expectations, please contact us!

“Dogs with Wings is excited to open a new puppy raising program in Red Deer and expand our puppy raising program. This will allow us the opportunity to raise and train more dogs to help our clients. It has been an absolute privileged to work with the clients in the Red Deer and Central Alberta community and to see our dogs make such an incredible difference in their lives.” – Veronica Fraser, Dogs with Wings Instructor & Training Manager.

If you are interested in being a Puppy Raiser, please complete and send this application form: http://dogswithwings.ca/volunteer-application/. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact our office at (780) 944-8011 or via e-mail at [email protected].

More information about our organization and the programs we offer can also be found on our website (https://dogswithwings.ca/helping-us/volunteering-edmonton-calgary/_ at www.dogswithwings.ca. Thank you for your interest in being a Puppy Raiser that will help a dog earn its wings and give the gift of independence to someone in your community!

About DWW: Dogs with Wings Assistance Dog Society’s (DWW) mission is to foster integration and independence for individuals with disabilities by providing them with highly trained Assistance Dogs and aftercare. They are a registered Non-Profit Society with a volunteer Board of Directors. Dogs with Wings Assistance Dog Society is an internationally accredited organization through Assistance Dogs International (ADI). Dogs with Wings specializes in the following areas: Service Dogs, Autism Service Dogs, Facility Dogs, and Companion Dogs. Service Dogs assist people with physical disabilities who use wheelchairs to enhance their quality of life and achieve greater independence. Autism Service Dogs provide greater safety and independence for children with Autism. Facility Dogs are part of a specially trained team that provides goal directed interventions, which promote improvement in physical, social, emotional, or cognitive abilities. Companion Dogs assist those who would benefit from having a well-trained service dog, but do not require public access. For more information, visit www.dogswithwings.ca

Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre (CACAC): The Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre is a not-for-profit organization rooted in the protection and recovery of today’s most innocent and vulnerable – our children. The Centre is comprised of a collective that is driven by the courage to support children, youth, and their families affected by abuse, enabling them to build enduring strength and overcome adversity.
We work in a collaborative partnership with the Central Region Children’s Services, Alberta Health Services, Alberta Justice, Alberta Education, the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre and the RCMP. Together we harness our collective courage to provide children with supported recovery. For more information on CACAC, please visit: centralalbertacac.ca

The Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre is a not for profit organization rooted in the protection and recovery of today’s most innocent and vulnerable – our children. The Centre is comprised of a collective that is driven by the courage to support children, youth, and their families affected by abuse, enabling them to build enduring strength and overcome adversity. We work in a collaborative partnership with the Central Region Children's Services, Alberta Health Services, Alberta Justice, Alberta Education, the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre and the RCMP. Together we harness our collective courage to provide children with supported recovery. It takes courage and bravery for a child to share their story of abuse, for families to bring their children forward, to believe, to listen without judgement, and to seek justice. Supporting the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre today is an investment in the promise and possibility of a healthy future for our children and our community.

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Central Alberta

Ann’s story: having someone to talk to and guide me to be healthier really helped!

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Ann shared her story of working with the PCN nurse towards better health. “I was diagnosed in November 2019 with diabetes and our doctor suggested that if I could lose about 10-15 lbs then I probably would not need to go on medication. He suggested a time frame around end of February and that he would contact a nurse for me to consult with. This was a bit of a shock and I wasn’t sure I would be able to lose so much in such a short time.

We had recently moved from BC to Alberta to be closer to our grandchildren after we both retired. Within 4 months of arriving and lucky enough to get registered with a new doctor my husband found out that he had prostate cancer and a blood cancer called Polycythemia Vera. This just blew us both away. He had no symptoms of any of these diseases. So, for almost all of 2019 we were constantly in at the Cancer Clinic at Red Deer or the Imaging Clinic. This took a huge toll on both of us. I developed high blood pressure, my anxiety level was through the roof, wasn’t sleeping, had ocular migraines and I was also trying to get my weight loss going. I felt I was falling apart.  I didn’t realise at the time that all this was contributing to my being overweight.

I have been a weight watcher member for around 25 years. Had some success then every few years I would go back again but in 2014 after I retired, I decided to try again and along with a friend I lost 22lbs and got down to 130lbs for (5ft) person, I felt good. I kept this off until late 2018. Right now, I am back at 150lbs.

Just being able to talk to the PCN nurse was such a good help for me mentally as I felt I had no one to talk to who understood what I was going through. She helped me understand a lot about diabetes and every month that we met my blood level was decreasing and I was losing a few pounds. However, when my husband was told that his potassium was a bit high, I had to restructure our meals. So, everything he had to avoid was what I was supposed to eat.  The nurse connected me with a dietitian who immediately told me to stop “dieting” as this was stressing me out even more than before. Just to make sure that I still ate sensibly, did some exercise and to put the scale away and only weigh myself once a month. This has really helped, and I am starting to sleep better, I don’t feel nearly as anxious and I have a more positive outlook. I realise that I will eventually lose a few pounds, I might not get back to my 130lbs, but it will take time and I’m fine with that.

I think if I had been back in BC, I would have been able to talk to my friends about what I was going through and I might have got some help quicker. Sharing your feelings is not easy but it sure helps. I appreciated the PCN nurse listening and helping me make a plan to improve my mental as well as my physical health.” 

To learn more about the RDPCN programs, visit www.reddeerpcn.com

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Alberta

Red Deer teacher representing Canada for Most Valuable Teacher title – Just 2 more days to vote!

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Local teacher in the running for $20,000 technology grant

Eastview’s Jeremy Spink the only Canadian vying for the prize

A Red Deer teacher is the only Canadian in the running for a huge prize of $20,000 and the title of 2020/21 NHL/NHLPA Most Valuable Teacher, presented by SAP (Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing) and he needs your votes to win!

Jeremy Spink, Teacher at Eastview Middle School, is one of three teachers across North America vying for the technology grant and bragging rights of being named Most Valuable Teacher. If he is successful, Red Deer Public Schools will use the money to support students with technology to help bring Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics concepts to life at Eastview Middle School.

The community can help Spink win by voting daily on the Future Goals™ Teacher of the Year website from May 3-7.

Spink won the title for the month of February after competing against dozens of other teachers across North America. Red Deer Public received a $10,000 grant in which Eastview purchased technology for classrooms.

“I didn’t really realize the magnitude of the whole program when I was nominated for February. The amount of support I received from our community was amazing – everyone really rallied around this cause. It was amazing on my part and I was touched by the support. It was such a great feeling,” said Spink. “To take this to the next level will really be putting Red Deer, Red Deer Public and Eastview Middle School on the map across Canada. To bring our community into the spotlight and show what great things we do in our schools and in our Division would be amazing.”

Spink, who has been a teacher at Eastview for more than 20 years, has incorporated the Future Goals™ – Hockey Scholar program into his classroom, which is designed to leverage STEM in hockey to create a fun and memorable learning experience.

“It is a great program and it all ties right into our curricular goals,” he said. “I am dedicated to teaching applications for STEM because I know that it not only impacts how healthy and productive students are during this time, but also their well-being and success far beyond the K-12 years.”

Eastview Middle School Principal Kevin Robertson said Spink has been a leader in the school’s hockey program and worked with other teachers in delivering programming to Grades 6-8.

“In his hockey class, and in all of his classes, he instills a love of learning and particularly a love for the game for all of his hockey class students, through positive interactions and his infectious enthusiasm,” said Robertson. “If he were to win the MVT for 2020/2021, we would look at how we could further support technology in our classrooms, whether through more devices, or through other specific technologies for our hockey program and other areas to supplement instruction.”

How can the Red Deer community help? By voting for Spink once a day from May 3-7. To vote, visit the Future Goals™ Teacher of the Year website.

“I encourage people to vote because it will help put our community on the map. The other two teachers are from Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, so to have our community of 100,000 people go up against these two huge communities and show our Alberta and Canada pride would be so great!” said Spink.

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may, 2021

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