2013 was one of the most exciting years in Walks 'N' Wags Pet First Aid history.
In February, we announced our new partnership with RC Pet Products, and released the Canine Friendly Pet First Aid kit. The compact, durable kit was successful beyond our imagination and we are pleased to continue to work with RC Pet Products moving ahead.
In March we exhibited at the Vancouver Pet Expo. This was the first of many Pet Expos our Instructors attended, including Delta Community Pet Expo, Calgary Pet Expo, Ottawa Pet Expo, and many others. As you can see from these Vancouver Island Pet Expo pictures, we love chatting with new faces at these types of events!
We also worked remotely when we packed up the WNW dogs and headed south - driving all the way to San Diego, CA. It was an amazing journey and we stopped to visit a number of our friends made from World Vets International along the way.
In April we hosted a Pet First Aid Instructor course in Calgary AB. This was an incredible group, and the candidates have now moved on to become successful Instructors in 4 Canadian provinces.
In May (and throughout the year) we accepted a number of candidates into our Distance Learning Instructor program. The Distance Instructor program has been incredibly successful and has helped us add Instructors into regions that we might otherwise not have been able to touch. One example is new Instructor Sherri Bushee of Imprint Dog Training in Milton, Vermont USA.
In June we partnered with Modern Dog and Modern Cat magazines for a fun giveaway. In fact, we ran giveaways all year long! Some on our own but also with Trupanion Pet Insurance, Animal Wellness Magazine, Happy Pups Clothing, Sparky Snacks, and several others.
In July, Operations Director Lisa Wagner visited Granada Nicaragua to completed Animal Disaster Response Training with Rescue 3 International and World Vets. There Lisa learned the ropes (literally) of both land and water rescue. She also taught the course's CPR component. Lisa subsequently wrote an article about her experience in Black Cat White Dog News, along with other articles published in Canadian Dogs Annual and other international magazines.
In August, we received an email from a previous course participant named Anna. Anna told us simply "I wanted to let you know that your course saved my dog Dougal's life."
In September, our own Chief Dog Officer Tux graced the pages of Modern Dog Magazine in an article focussing on why black dogs are often overlooked and shouldn't be.
We also rolled out our new Walks 'N' Wags "Certified" stickers. We had lots of participants send us photos proudly displaying their stickers, like this one from Bow Wow Haus Broadway in Vancouver, BC.
And of course, Tux and team Walks 'N' Wags participated in BC SPCA's Paws for a Cause event, and were 2nd highest fundraiser for our event. BC SPCA is one of the many charities that Walks 'N' Wags supported in 2014.
Later that month and in early October Instructor Louise Yates of K-Lane Kennels in Kronau, SK and Operations Director Lisa Wagner headed to Cusco, Peru with World Vets. There, they worked alongside a team of 14 to provide free spay/neuter and Veterinary care.
In November, staff dog Buddy retired after 13 years of hard work. He is currently lying on a couch enjoying his newfound life of leisure.
Also in November, we hosted the Vancouver Instructor Course. The candidates travelled from several Canadian provinces and are well on their way to becoming Instructors.
December was a busy month with 12 Walks 'N' Wags Instructors collecting charitable donations for charities in their communities. Our 2nd annual Holiday Charity Drive was a great success, with an estimate of about 1800 items collected.
December was also an exciting month for Walks 'N' Wags Instructors in particular. This month we provided our Instructors with a new "Instructor logo", and also negotiated a great new business insurance plan on their behalf. Then, at the tail end of the year, we launched an exciting new partnership with Trupanion Pet Insurance. Trupanion will now waive the full $35 enrollment fee to current graduates of Walks 'N' Wags program (contact us for details). Before heading off for the holidays, Tux and Buddy sent some holiday cheer to our friends at Walks 'N' Wags.
As we bring in the New Year, we are working on a number of new projects. We'll be hosting an Instructor course in Hamilton Ontario in May, rolling out another exciting new product with RC Pet Products next month, and have a new program in the works. As in previous years, in 2014 we will continue to donate to, and participate in programs that assist animals in need. We've always got something up our sleeve and can't wait to share it with you.
Thank you for being an important part of Walks 'N' Wags Pet First Aid! We couldn't do it without you.
Lisa Wagner and team
Walks 'N' Wags Pet First Aid