Pawsitive Tales

Sharing heartwarming tales of animals and their humans.

Krista and Arya — September 21, 2022

Krista and Arya

~ Krista and Arya ~

Three years ago, Krista met Arya. In the time since, they have formed such a special bond and continue to bring love and joy into each and every day. 

In 2019, Krista saw some photos being posted at a local service dog training group she worked for. A dog, named Arya, was looking for a new handler as the previous one and her didn’t match. From the pictures, Krista felt a connection with Arya. She was wanting a service dog of her own to help support her in her day-to-day life. Then, one day, while at a friend’s house, Arya was there for training. In that moment, Krista knew she and this dog were meant to be. 

Having Arya has been life-changing for Krista, both as her service dog and best friend. She has allowed her human to gain independence and confidence when out in the community. From doing the shopping, to going to doctor’s appointments, to feeling safer in her daily life, Krista can do all these things because of the impact Arya has had on her. 

Both Krista and Arya enjoy simply spending time together and Arya especially loves playing fetch with her human. As well as this, she has taught Krista to slow down a bit and appreciate the smaller things in life. Having her furry friend has just brought so much love, joy and peace into her life. 

Not only has Arya impacted Krista, but many others. Whenever out and about, people stop and talk to Krista about her canine companion. If someone around them is feeling anxious or struggling and, she knows her human is okay, Arya will sit with them and ensure they’re okay. 

The bond that Krista and Arya share is truly beautiful. They have changed each other’s lives for the better and Krista has gained more confidence, independence and a best friend in Arya. 

Sara and Samwise — May 20, 2022

Sara and Samwise

~ Sara and Samwise ~

Five years ago, Sara met Yellow Labrador pup, Samwise. Since then, Samwise has had a huge impact on his human’s life and they have formed a very special bond. In the time they’ve been a team, Samwise has given Sara freedom and, as a result, more confidence and independence. 

Sara has struggled with schizoaffective disorder and syncope issues. This can impact her in many ways, from dizziness to hallucinations brought on by anxiety, among other symptoms. It was because of this that Sara decided that getting a service dog would be helpful.

In 2017, Sara heard of a litter of Labrador puppies with one puppy in particular, Samwise, who was a good candidate. After some behavioural tests, he was top of the litter! Samwise had an even temper and enjoyed being around people. He was perfect. However, when Sara went to pick him up, he let out a very loud and opinionated squeal, and she knew they had some work to do. 

It took some time, but Samwise has become a life-changing companion for Sara. He has helped her to have more independence and confidence when out in the community. From blocking people who may be approaching her when out and about, to interrupting certain behaviours that indicate sensory overload or a psychotic episode may be about to happen. When he interrupts these behaviours, he helps to remind Sara to take her emergency medications and to prevent the situation from escalating. As well as this, he also helps by picking up items, turning on lights, and steadies Sara when she feels dizzy. 

Not only does Samwise help her through performing tasks, but also simply being a companion. Sara feels safer with him by her side and he has helped break down barriers for her socially. Before having Samwise, Sara had to have someone with her when she went out. Now, she has the freedom to go out and do what she wants. People would often make negative comments, stare or would move away if she were symptomatic. With Samwise by her side, people see him. They see a beautiful dog and talk to Sara about him. 

During Christmas one year, Sara, Samwise and their family went to Longwood Gardens to watch the Christmas light show. This was a huge experience for Sara and one that Samwise helped her to accomplish. Crowds can be overwhelming for her and, when she’s anxious, she can experience hallucinations. Sara felt confident having his support and it was something she was able to fully enjoy the moment with her family. 

One of their favourite things to do together is trick training. It’s helped to further strengthen their bond and is something they enjoy doing. Not only is it fun, but Sara and Samwise enjoy showing others all the cool tricks that he has learnt. When they’re just wanting to relax, however, both Sara and Samwise simply enjoy being in each other’s company. 

Having Samwise has been life-changing for Sara. He has given her the freedom to live her life how she wants to as she knows he’s always by her side. He’s inspired her to advocate for those with disabilities, to volunteer, and help train service dogs. To Sara, Samwise represents everything she has worked for and continues to work for. They truly share such a beautiful bond and have had such a huge impact on one another. 

Zoey and Raven — February 8, 2022

Zoey and Raven

~ Zoey and Raven ~

Almost two years ago, Zoey adopted Raven, a very sweet and friendly Border Collie, German Shepherd and Labrador cross puppy. Since then, they have become the best of friends and Raven has helped Zoey immensely. 

Zoey first met Raven as a puppy. Initially, Raven was living with Zoey’s neighbour, but they weren’t able to care for her, and Zoey asked if she could meet the pup. As soon as Raven saw her, she ran straight into her arms and started licking her face. From that moment, Zoey knew Raven was the perfect dog. 

For a few years, Zoey has struggled with mental health issues. Since adopting Raven, not only has she become Zoey’s best friend, but she has also become her psychiatric service dog. Raven helps her by alerting her to low iron, reminds her to take her medications, does deep pressure therapy (DPT), and much more. Above all, Raven is Zoey’s companion and helps her to have more confidence when out and about. 

One specific time Zoey recalls Raven having a huge impact was helping her through a very dark time. Her mental health had become overhwhelming and she closed herself in the bathroom, in tears. Raven immediately knew something was wrong. She pawed at the bathroom door for 20 minutes and, once Zoey let her in, she laid down on her lap and wouldn’t leave until she felt Zoey was feeling better. 

Since then, Zoey’s mental health has gradually gotten better thanks to Raven’s love and support. She has provided her human with so much happiness and has given her a sense of purpose. Because of the huge impact Raven has had on Zoey, she’s been enrolled in a therapy dog program. Once she completes this, she’ll be able to help others.

Not only has Raven had an impact on Zoey’s mental health, but she has also impacted her physical health. From going out each day to walk Raven, to doing dog agility training, having her canine companion has had a huge impact. Raven loves to learn and Zoey enjoys teaching her new tricks and commands, so it’s time when they just get to be together and have fun. 

Raven has truly had an incredible impact on Zoey. She has been by her side through thick and thin. It is obvious how much love and care they share for one another. They share such a special bond.

Kaitlin and Lupin — October 4, 2021

Kaitlin and Lupin

~ Kaitlin and Lupin ~

Earlier this year, Kaitlin adopted British Labrador pup, Lupin. When he’s older, he’ll become Kaitlin’s medical alert service dog, but for now, he’s simply her companion and best friend. 

Kaitlin faces different health issues on a daily basis as a result of postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). For Kaitlin, this means her nervous system struggles to regulate blood circulation, heart rate and temperature regulation. This leads to symptoms such as chronic fatigue, dizziness, fainting spells and others.

Due to having POTS, it was suggested that an assistance dog would be helpful to Kaitlin. She began searching for a potential companion right away. After a year of searching, she found Lupin. Once they met, she instantly knew they had a connection. Kaitlin was in love as soon as she saw the small and soft wiggly puppy! 

Each year at Kaitlin’s school, they hold a dance fundraiser for deserving people or organisations. This year, they decided to donate the money to Kaitlin to fund Lupin’s training. Having this support from her community has meant so much to her.

While Lupin is undergoing training, he has already had such a significant impact on Kaitlin. Once fully trained, he will alert her to any symptom flare-ups and help her to a safe place, among other things. For now, however, they’re working on their bond and how they work together.

In August, Kaitlin remembers a weekend when she felt very unwell. She had two fainting spells and didn’t feel well at all. Lupin encouraged her to get up each day. Being met every day with an excited and happy pup always brings a smile to her face. 

No matter what challenges Kaitlin faces, Lupin can always brighten her day. Through his energetic and loving self, he can bring happiness into anyone’s day.

When not training, Lupin loves to play tug and could happily do it for hours. He’ll often bring over toys to Kaitlin when he wants to play. She loves spending time with him and loves how happy he is when playing. 

The bond that Kaitlin and Lupin share is so special, and it will only continue to flourish. In the short amount of time they’ve been together, they’ve already had a positive impact on one another. 

Brianne and Emmett — September 29, 2021

Brianne and Emmett

~ Brianne and Emmett ~

A few years ago, Brianne was paired with Emmett, a Pit Bull x Chow Chow. In the time they’ve been together, Emmett has truly had such a positive impact on Brianne’s life and both have brought so much happiness into each other’s lives. 

In 2017, Brianne moved into a new city for her job. It was difficult facing all the new changes, but she was eager to start a new chapter in her life. She had met a breeder who told her they were soon going to have one more litter. As she had been wanting a furry friend, she put her name down for one of the pups. 

When the puppies were born, Brianne went to meet them when they were three weeks old. She immediately fell in love with the only male puppy. He curled up in her lap and was very quiet. Without a doubt, Brianne decided that, once he was old enough, the puppy, Emmett would be her companion. 

Having Emmett has had an immense impact on Brianne. During this time, she was struggling with her mental health. She was away from her family and friends and was finding it a challenge to cope with her symptoms. 

One particularly difficult night, Brianne didn’t know how much more she could cope. Then three-month-old Emmett, sensing she needed help, instantly went to her and put his head in her lap. He gave her hope and strength. 

Not long after, Brianne talked to her mental health team and they all agreed that having Emmett be trained as her service dog would be beneficial. Soon, they both began working on tasks and commands. 

With Emmett at her side, Brianne has had more freedom, a sense of safety, and unconditional love. He has allowed her to live the life she wants to and to know that, no matter what happens in life, Emmett will be right there by her side. 

About a year later, Brianne was finding her mental health to be very difficult to cope with again. She was on the phone with a helpline but didn’t feel she was getting the support she needed. In those moments, Emmett once again saved her. He brought her his favourite toy and, once again, provided her and strength. 

Not only does Emmett help Brianne, but he also helps her roommate. If he senses he may be having challenges with his mental health, Emmett will bring him his favourite toy or simply give him kisses. 

If Brianne is having a tough day, Emmett does all he can to bring a smile to her face. Whether he gives her kisses, performs deep pressure therapy, provides a barrier between strangers, or helping her get out of anxiety-inducing situations, he tries everything he can think of. He can always find the right thing to brighten Brianne’s day. 

Brianne and Emmett love to spend time together. When Emmett isn’t working, he enjoys curling up and relaxing. However, he also follows Brianne around and likes to join her in whatever she is doing. One of Emmett’s favourite activities is playing tug-of-war, which he would happily do all day, every day. 

As well as all this, Emmett encourages Brianne to go outside. They have gone on trail hikes, walks and just out into nature. Even on the days when she doesn’t feel up to leaving the house, Emmett can always convince Brianne to get ready for their next adventure. 

The love that Brianne and Emmett share is so special. It is obvious how much Emmett has improved her life and how much freedom he has given her. They have such a strong bond and have brought immense joy into one another’s lives.

Jacqui and Lance — September 27, 2021

Jacqui and Lance

~ Jacqui and Lance ~

Two years ago, Lance walked into Jacqui’s life. In the time since then, Lance has had such a huge impact on her. Ever since day one, they have formed a very strong bond. 

Jacqui has struggled with having health conditions and disabilities. These can create challenges for her on a daily basis. She found it difficult to have independence and confidence when out. To help her gain some freedom, it was decided that a service dog would be beneficial to her. 

After having this idea, Jacqui spent years looking for her perfect companion. Then, in 2019, she found a breeder who is known to be a very experienced poodle breeder. Of the litter, Jacqui met a small pup and fell instantly in love. 

The pup named Lancelot, or Lance, and Jacqui had an immediate connection. Jacqui was in love with his personality and, of course, how cute he was! After he passed his temperament tests and was old enough, he was able to go home with her. 

Having Lance has been life-changing for Jacqui. He can perform a wide variety of tasks for her, including medical alerts, turning on lights, getting medicine, picking up objects, getting water from the fridge and much more. This has allowed Jacqui to have so much more independence. She can do what she wants, go where she wants and has even enrolled to take university courses, all thanks to Lance. 

Lance has allowed Jacqui to get the most out of her life. In terms of her health, she has never been healthier. She is able to go out and be more active. Each week both Lance and Jacqui go on a new outdoor adventure. As well as this, she also feels safer going out with Lance by her side. 

Not only has Lance helped Jacqui with physical tasks, but he has helped her to gain more happiness in life. He has helped her to live her life to the fullest. They enjoy training together, going for hikes each week, paddleboarding in the summer, trying different sports and simply spending time together. 

No matter what happens in Jacqui’s life, she knows that Lance is right there for her. He has helped her cope, has supported her, given her hope and so much more. She has the freedom and confidence to do what she wants now. Lance has given Jacqui independence and shows her community just how much a service dog can change a life.

Riley and Gatsby — September 24, 2021

Riley and Gatsby

~ Riley and Gatsby ~

Five years ago, Riley met Gatsby. Since then, they have become an amazing team and are inseparable. 

Riley struggles with different health conditions that impact her heart and physical mobility. It was because of this, it was suggested that a service dog would be beneficial. Riley immediately began looking into a potential dog. 

Soon enough, she discovered a new litter of Golden Retriever puppies. Riley and her mum went to meet the breeder and the puppies. As soon as they met them, they both set eyes on one puppy, Gatsby, and immediately knew he was the one. Without a doubt, Riley had found her companion. 

Having Gatsby has helped Riley significantly. He helps through his tasks, such as alerting her to an increase in her heart rate, picking up objects she’s dropped, deep pressure therapy, and much more. 

Not only does he help Riley with physical tasks, but Gatsby provides her with companionship and freedom. She trusts him and knows that no matter what, he’s right there for her. During some of Riley’s toughest moments, Gatsby has supported her and encouraged her to continue fighting. 

If Riley is struggling with her mental health, Gatsby helps to keep her grounded and safe. She knows he is always by her side. Their unconditional love for one another has carried them through so much. 

When Gatsby isn’t working, he and Riley love going to the beach. It’s time for them to spend together and to enjoy each other’s company. Gatsby absolutely loves the water and races across the beachfront.

In early 2021, Riley welcomed Golden Retriever puppy, Cheswick, into her life. One day, he will take over Gatsby’s role as a service dog. For now, he is excited to simply be a puppy and is enjoying some basic training. He has definitely settled into his new life with Riley and Gatsby. 

The impact that Gatsby has had on Riley is huge. He has given her freedom, independence, happiness and love. They both have so much love for each other and it’s obvious in how they look at each other. 

Amanda and Moose — September 22, 2021

Amanda and Moose

~ Amanda and Moose ~

Eight years ago, Amanda rescued Labrador mix puppy, Moose. Since then, Moose has not only become Amanda’s best friend but also her service dog. 

In 2013, Amanda discovered a small puppy who had been abandoned. She was shocked that anyone would want to leave behind such a beautiful pup. There was no way that Amanda was leaving her behind, so she adopted her and named her Moose. 

Ever since Moose has been part of Amanda’s life, she has gained so much more happiness. Since day one, she has been a highlight and source of positivity for Amanda. 

Since 2019, Moose has been undergoing training to be Amanda’s complex post-traumatic stress disorder (c-PTSD) service dog. This is something that has impacted Amanda for a long time. Before Moose, she had struggled with confidence and independence, often finding it hard to leave her house. 

Having Moose has allowed Amanda to find her independence and the confidence to go out into her community. She has been immensely helpful through her public access training in helping Amanda feel safe and supported. She knows that if she ever needs any help, Moose will be right there for her. 

One of the things that Moose does to help Amanda is deep pressure therapy (DPT). This is where a service dog puts their weight on their handler to help lessen any symptoms of anxiety. This was one of the first tasks Moose was trained to perform. When Covid hit, Amanda’s anxiety heightened. Sensing this, Moose immediately performed DPT and helped calm her down. 

Through her work, Moose has shown the community how amazing service dogs are. She is always ready and willing to perform any task, is kind and gentle, and, of course, everyone loves to see her friendly face!

When not out and about, Amanda and Moose love spending time together. They both love to snuggle and enjoy one another’s company. No matter what, Moose is always at Amanda’s side. The happiness and love they have brought to each other’s lives is immeasurable. 

It is obvious how strong of a bond Amanda and Moose share. Moose has given Amanda freedom and has been an amazing companion for her. The love they have for one another is special and can be seen in how they simply look at one another.

Cylie and Sophie — September 20, 2021

Cylie and Sophie

~ Cylie and Sophie ~

Five years ago, Cylie met her service dog, Sophie. Since then, they have become best friends and are now inseparable. 

Cylie struggles with having post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and can face day-to-day challenges. Because of this, it was decided that a service dog may be helpful. 

Before long, Cylie met a gentle and sweet puppy. It was love at first sight and with the new name of Sophie, she had found her forever person. Not only had Cylie found a service dog, but also a best friend. 

Having Sophie has helped Cylie immensely. Following her training, Sophie can alert Cylie to any potential triggers or before she experiences an episode. If her symptoms become too overwhelming, Sophie will find Cylie’s mother or someone close by to help. 

With Sophie at her side, Cylie can have more independence and confidence when out within her community. She can socialise more, go out, and live her life because of the help and support that Sophie provides. She knows that no matter what, she will be right there for her. 

The love both Cylie and Sophie share for one another is very special. They both just want to help and make each other happy. Cylie is thankful to her companion as she has helped and saved her so many times. 

They both love to spend time together. Cylie and Sophie both enjoy training and practising tasks. When not working, however, going to dog parks is always Sophie’s favourite activity, and of course, simply being in each other’s company. 

It is obvious how much love and care both Cylie and Sophie have for each other. They want nothing but the best for one another and truly share a very special bond.

Beckie and Win — September 15, 2021

Beckie and Win

~ Beckie and Win ~

A few years ago, Beckie met small puppy, Charles Stanley ‘Win’ Dogwin. Ever since then, they have become a great team and have formed a very special bond.

Beckie has struggled with different health conditions. Unfortunately, this can present some challenges for her on a daily basis. This led to it being recommended that a service dog might be helpful for her. 

Without hesitation, Beckie searched for her best companion. She soon met a small and scruffy puppy at a doggy daycare. She admired his relaxed personality and how well he was around other dogs and people. 

It was soon decided that this pup, named Charles Stanley Dogwin, would be Beckie’s service dog – although he usually goes by Win. 

There was a bit of an adjustment period for Win. He wasn’t used to the busy and noisy environment that was the city. It was a challenge, but with Beckie’s care, he has been able to thrive in a more bustling community. 

Having Win in her life has helped Beckie immensely. He helps her to navigate day-to-day life. With him, she has gained more confidence and independence. He helps her to manage her conditions with different tasks. From retrieving objects to interrupting negative behaviours and much more. 

Not only has Win helped Beckie with his task work, but he has also helped her by simply being a companion. Beckie has been able to get out more and be active within her community. Win encourages her to go on adventures by exploring their surroundings. 

With Win, he has also allowed Beckie to meet new friends. Win is always a good talking point and people are often very interested in learning more about him. 

During the 2020 pandemic, Beckie would have virtual work meetings. Often Win would be in the background and brighten everyone’s day. He can bring a smile to anyone’s face and this definitely helped during the time of uncertainty. 

When not working, Beckie and Win enjoy spending time together. They love going on hikes, on new adventures, and meeting new people. They also enjoy trying new activities, such as agility training. It’s time just for them to be in each other’s company and to strengthen their bond.

The impact Win has had on Beckie has been immeasurable. Her life has been changed. They share so much love for one another. The bond they share is truly so special.