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Tag: Judith Snowdon

Two Australian shepherd dogs are ready to perform trick demonstrations for the audience during Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides event in Pincher Creek

Pincher Creek hosts annual Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides to support Lions Foundation

The annual Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides took place Saturday in Pincher Creek. “This event spans across Canada to raise money for the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides,” said Barbara Tomik, organizer of the local walk. “The foundation has a dog guide school in Oakville, Ont., and this yearly event is crucial for funding the breeding, training, care and placement of dog guides with their eventual owners.”

Notably, the Lions Foundation of Canada receives no government funding, relying solely on charitable donations and events like the Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides. This year, 20 dog walks are scheduled in Alberta alone, including the one in Pincher Creek.

The goal for donations this year across Canada is set at $1.6 million. While Barb did not have an exact expectation for the day, she was hopeful for a successful turnout. “Last year, the Pincher Creek walk raised $7,025. We are hoping to raise even more this year to contribute to the cause,” she says.

The walk started from a central location at the multipurpose facility on Main Street and proceeded north to the creek, offering participants a flexible route. Barb noted that people could walk as far as they wanted along the creek path, and turn back whenever they chose.

The event also featured hotdogs and refreshments, adding a communal aspect to the charitable endeavour.

The event was a joint effort by the Pincher Creek Lions, Cowley Lion and Pincher-Cowley Roaring Lions that included fun-filled activities. Members of the Southern Alberta Working Herding Dog Association came with their pets to support the annual walk and provided performances and demonstrations.


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The dogs did sprinters (timed races) and tricks with help from Terry Stickel, Louann Killoran and Deb Golding, and also demonstrated sniffology.

“The dogs had to search for a particular scent through some obstacles. So it’s pretty involved,” said SAWHDA director Judith Snowdon.

The group also organized a rock scramble, with prizes awarded to human participants who found one or more of 14 hidden rocks.

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Besides these activities, Terry and her Australian shepherd also performed trick demonstrations for the audience.

The Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides was established in 1985, with its founding program, Canine Vision Canada, to serve people with visual impairments. Later, it added six other distinct programs, including hearing, seizure response, service, diabetes alert, autism assistance and facility support for people living with disabilities.

“Raising and training a guide dog costs approximately $35,000 and the dogs are provided at no cost to those who need them,” Barbs says.

“The comprehensive training program includes an initial period in family homes for obedience training before moving to specialized training at the Oakville school when the dogs are between one year and 18 months old.”

The Pet Valu Walk for Dog Guides in Pincher Creek exemplifies the community’s spirit and dedication to supporting those in need through the power of service dogs.