Meet the dogs of Kelowna, this is Eddie and his owner Jenny McAlpine.
Tell us about yourself, how your dog came into your life and your favourite thing to do in Kelowna?
My name is Jenny McAlpine. Eddie joined our family as a puppy in December 2017. After hearing so much about the wonderful work that therapy dogs are doing with humans, I made the decision to get my own pup, train him, and certify him as a therapy dog to bring a little happiness to people who need it in our community. We both love the outdoors so we’re fortunate to live in Kelowna where there are countless things to do in the outdoors.
Tell us about your Dog?
. He’s got loads of nicknames like ‘the polar bear’, ‘the yeti’, ‘schnoodle’. His favourite activities are chasing balls and sticks (still learning to bring them back and drop them!), tummy rubs, hiking, and swimming in Okanagan Lake. He also loves spending time with his girlfriend next door called Kate (she’s a yellow lab). He has a wonderful, happy, active life.
What has been your dog’s favourite adventure?
Eddie’s favourite adventures would be anything in the outdoors. He loves snow, water, and is great off leash. He goes to Day School with Uncle Wayne and the pack at Dogizes once a week and I watch the videos posted afterwards to see what exciting adventures they get up to each day.
Please share any challenges you have faced with your dog:
Eddie is rather food motivated (aren’t we all!?), but has a bit of a sensitive tummy so I need to keep a close eye on what he eats. Also with those big floppy, fluffy ears, he is prone to ear infections so we have to keep those ears in check.
How far has your dog come, with these challenges?
I’ve never had a dog before so getting a puppy was a huge undertaking, and I wanted to ensure that I had the right advice and training for both of us. With the help and patience of Wayne and his team at Dogzies, both Eddie and I have learned, and continue to learn. I’m teaching him good dog manners, how to bring that ball or stick back to me, and he’s teaching me to have patience and reminding me what unconditional love is.
What else should we know about Eddie?
We lost our daughter, Georgia, to suicide two years ago. After her death I tried to find meaning in things, to advocate, and to help others. Nothing really made sense, although I had a yearning for ‘doing something to help’ nothing felt meaningful. Over time, I met people who owned therapy dogs, kids who spent time with therapy dogs, heartwarming stories about connections with therapy dogs. It all started to fit together and Eddie joined our family in Dec 2017. He is now a certified therapy dog with the B.A.R.K. Program at UBCO and is a hit with everyone he meets. That goofy smile, giant paws, the unconditional love. That’s my boy!
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