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Service Animals

Harris – The Story of a Service Dog

Val Cairney November 11, 2022 116


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Hi everyone and thank you for joining me on this episode of Val Talk’s Pets. Today I have with me one of my favourite people and member of the National Service Dog family. I met Kat Anderson a few years ago when I partnered with National Service Dogs for fundraising and found that a working service dog was in
my area from NSD. Kat’s son Atlas is on the autism spectrum, and they had a service dog named Harris who is a yellow lab. Kat’s family’s story with NSD and Harris is quite something and I will let her fill everyone in on that but more importantly, Harris had to retire so what happens then? Well Kat is here to share with us that journey.

Atlas & Harris

So, if you ever wondered about the role of service dogs and how they change lives you just have to hear Kat’s story. I’ve seen Harris and Arnie in action, and it really is something. And if you want to hear the story of National Service Dogs just access the two interviews I have done with Danielle Forbes, co-founder and executive director of National Service Dogs, plus the interview with Stephanie Ridley is quite an eye opener as well because she had just got their service dog Beaumont when I interviewed her. So, my thanks again to Kat Anderson for sharing her and her son’s story. And the best part is, now that Harris is retired, I can pet and cuddle him all I want when he comes for a visit!

Thanks for listening everyone and as always, thanks for caring!

All pictures remain the property of and are shown with permission from, Kat Anderson.

Harris, Kat & I

About National Service Dogs

Our vision is to be Canada’s premiere service dog provider, pioneering change in the lives of Canadians benefiting from our services.

Our mission is to empower people to achieve their full potential with strategically trained and certified service dogs, catalysts for restorative change.

And our values are:

  • Always collaborating: We work across organizations, industries, governments and entities to inform the work we do in the best interests of the Canadians we are proud to serve.
  • Compassionate caring: We bring our hearts and industry-leading expertise to every conversation and solve problems with a “people focused” approach.
  • Ethical treatment of our animals: Everything we do begins and ends with the dogs in our care. We loved them first and hold the responsibility for their well-being the length of their lives.
  • Innovative spirit: We believe in doing things differently – no status quo here. Building upon the pioneering spirit exemplified by the staff, volunteers and donors that got us to where we are today, we approach everything we do with a spirit of possibilities.

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Val Cairney

Hi everyone, and welcome to Val Talk’s Pets, the forum for pet parents and enthusiasts alike. So, I have been working in the pet industry now for almost 10 years and, on a daily basis, I handle a lot of issues and questions arising from pet parents. I am not a veterinarian but I do have certifications in Canine, Feline, Small Animal, Fish and Herptile and Avian Health and Nutrition from the University of California, Davis Extension, the Vet College.

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