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24 January 2023
Change a Pet’s Life Day is celebrated annually on January 24th, and it is a day to raise awareness about the positive impact that pets can have on our lives.
Hope is six-year-old Labrador mix who had a rough start in life. She was initially abandoned but thankfully found by the caring staff at the SPCA Roussillon back in 2016.
A behaviour technician at the SPCA Roussillon saw Hope’s potential to become a service dog and communicated with the Asista Foundation, a charity with a double purpose; to help dogs in difficult situations to then train them as service dogs for people and organizations with a special need.
After a thorough evaluation and some help from our friends at Nutrience, Hope was adopted by the Asista Foundation. Despite her tough beginning, Hope was a resilient and determined dog whose destiny was to shine.
At the time, the Asista Foundation had newly introduced its Facility Service Dog Program that pairs a working service dog with a professional working in a school or organization to accompany individuals with special needs, mental health concerns and to de-escalate crisis situations.
Hope was classified into the Facility Service Dog Program and underwent some extensive training to learn the skills needed to assist in a facility setting and was paired with Crestview Elementary School in Laval, working with her handler Mickey. With her skillset evolving over time, Hope provides support to both the students and staff during times of need. She helps students co-regulate makes a difference in people’s lives, and offers the community much needed support.
Nonetheless, training is complex, on-going and requires a lot of Nutrience SubZero Freeze-Dried treats!
Despite the challenges she faced early on, Hope was able to overcome them and have an ongoing positive impact in many people’s life, she’s a hero. She is a shining example of the fact that we are all someone’s hero and illustrates the impact that service dogs can have on people’s lives.
Last spring, she kicked off the Asista Foundation’s “A Hero Within All of Us” campaign where she got to meet Nick Suzuki from the Montreal Canadiens who recently became the Asista Foundation’s Ambassador. How cool is that!
Nick and Hope got to spend some time together meeting students and staff. Take a look!
Hope’s story is a reminder that every dog, no matter their background, has the potential to make a difference in someone’s life. It is important for us to give them a chance and support them in their journey of becoming a service dog. She reminds us that “Not all hero’s wear capes” and there’s a hero within all of us.