Thank you to everyone who entered our Dog of the Year contest. There are so many incredible canines out there – you made our task of choosing almost impossible! Kudos to all the dog parents who share their lives with these wonderful dogs, and help them live up to their full potential (and get so much in return!)
First Place Winner: Smiley, from Stouffville, Ontario
Smiley is a St. John Ambulance therapy dog and a certified child therapy dog. He was born without eyes, and was found at two years old as a puppy mill dog along with 60 other Golden Retrievers. But he doesn’t let his rough start get him down! Smiley paws it forward instead and visits children in their classrooms to teach them about overcoming obstacles. Smiley also participates in the Reading for Paws program at his public library. Children with difficulties reading can cuddle up next to their “fur-friend” and read their favorite books to him.
In May 2014 Smiley was invited to spend the afternoon with Desmond Tutu and Governor General Johnston at the King Edward Hotel in Toronto. “He is a very special and inspiring dog,” says mom Joanne George. We here at CDA would have to agree- and you’ve definitely left big smiles on all our faces!
Runner Up: Hero, from North Bay, Ontario
Hero is only three years old, but he has travelled all over North America performing and spreading awareness of positive reinforcement training methods. He enjoys performing over 300 behaviors, competing in every dog sport, and visiting old age homes and hospitals. “He is my superhero,” says mom, Sara Carson. Learn more about Hero at www.herothesupercollie.com
Runner Up: Rolo, from Fort McMurray, Alberta
Rolo has canine epilepsy but that doesn’t stop him from helping others. Despite his health issues, he is a registered pet therapy dog and spends lots of time with his mom, Kimberly Matchem, volunteering at the FMSPCA. Together, they’ve raised $7,000 for the FMSPCA, in addition to with list items for dogs in need. “If I could describe my dog in one word, it would be ‘inspirational’,” explains Kimberly. You can follow their adventures on their blog, “Confessions of a Rescue Mom”.