Meet the adorable new therapy dog helping kids at Canuck Place (PHOTOS)

Feb 17 2021, 5:24 pm

Canuck Place Children’s Hospice is welcoming a new — and very adorable — fluffy employee.

Gaia the therapy dog will be supporting kids with life-threatening illnesses at the hospice, working alongside Canuck Place nurse practitioner Camara Van Breemen and nurse Brenda Dewar.

Selected from dozens of candidates, Gaia’s loving and gentle demeanour, combined with her impeccable training, won Canuck Place staff over.

Canuck Place

Canuck Place therapy dog Gaia (Beth Holbrook)

“Gaia was chosen from dozens of candidates for this type of work not only because she demonstrates the ability to seek out those that need her support, but perhaps more importantly, she can support them without taking on the stress herself. This is a rare trait in dogs, just as it is in the special humans that work at Canuck Place,” said Laura Watamanuk, executive director of Pacific Assistance Dogs Society (PADS), who partnered with the project.

YVR for Kids generously created a fund to support the Canuck Place Therapy Dog program.

“We are honoured that we played a part supporting Canuck Place in their care of children and families and the Accredited Facilities Dog Program,” said YVR Kids President Nigel Newsome.

Canuck Place

Canuck Place therapy dog Gaia (Beth Holbrook)

Canuck Place

Canuck Place therapy dog Gaia (Beth Holbrook)

Gaia was trained by two previous PADS volunteer puppy raisers who also trained Canuck Place’s former facilities dog, Poppy.

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