Making Dogs Your Career

Dogs Event
If your life passion involves dogs, know that there’s never been a better time to consider the many dog-related career options available to you, starting just around the corner.

Currently almost every urban core and suburban areas have well-established shelters and dog pounds where abandoned, abused or neglected dogs are surrendered. Many of them need help.

Volunteering is one of the most important initial preparations for a dog oriented career. By volunteering at your local shelter you’re allowing yourself to see if your love of dogs goes deep enough to understand their unique needs, appreciate their behaviours and effectively work with their limitations.

The other benefit of volunteering at a dog shelter is the opportunity to be introduced to the many dog breeds and the specific personality traits that come with each.

If you’re dealing with a fear of a certain type of breed, volunteering to work with that breed is allowing you some important hours clocked with that breed, not only to confront your own fears, but also to prove to potential clients or employers that your dog experience is well-rounded and thorough.

Within six months of volunteering at a shelter and working directly with a large selection of dog breeds, you’ll know whether your dog-loving can turn professional.

If you choose to make a career out of dogs, then your choices are plentiful:

• If dog health and healing is the attraction, you’d be wise to study the many options for entering into a canine veterinary career.

• If behavior and training is the area that most interests you can consider becoming a professional canine behavior specialist or a dog trainer. In these careers, you’ll be working with canines in every field from aviation, armed forces, police and security to the performing arts.

• Perhaps your real interest is in dog shows. With increasing popularity, local dog shows that lead to national and international competitions, are popping up everywhere. Each needs producers, breed specialists and of course, dog handlers. These are the special humans who know exactly the very exquisite way that each breed must be ‘shown’ on the runways. For this career, you’ll need a flare for showmanship as it’s typically the personality of both the dog and the handler that judges assess.

• Finally, if how dogs look is your true calling, then a career as a professional dog groomer is the perfect fit for you. You might also consider becoming a dog photographer since everyone’s favorite family member needs a memorable portrait.

• Not interested in a profession or full time work, only keen to do a little part time work with dogs? Consider applying to be a dog walker, dog sitter, a part-time dog groomer or working part-time in a pet supply store. Here your knowledge of products to make dogs and dog owners happy will ensure customers keep returning.

Any path you choose to take, know that understanding, appreciating and being able to work well with man’s best friend will offer you happiness and the knowledge you are doing good for others.

Benefits of Volunteering

Puppy Paige
Many people don’t feel like they have the time to volunteer, but volunteering offers many benefits. Some people volunteer to advance their career and others simply wish to make their community a better place to live.

Volunteering is Good for Your Health

One of the best reasons to volunteer is for your own health. Not only does volunteering increase life satisfaction, it makes you feel good. In fact, the effects of volunteering are so profound that social scientists say that it eliminates the ingredients of depression. Being around people and doing meaningful work also serves to alleviate negative stress.

In the realm of physical health, volunteering can provide an avenue to stay active. Older adults can especially benefit from the physical aspects of volunteering. Not only do study participants who volunteer have lower mortality rates than those who don’t, but they showed a decrease in levels of chronic pain and certain heart disease symptoms.

Volunteering Forms Connections

Volunteering also has a positive impact on your immediate community. Volunteers are often the gears that keep the community machine running. They have the satisfaction of knowing that they are making their world a better place to live and strengthen existing relational ties to their community through various social avenues.

Volunteering Can Help Your Career

If you are considering a career change, volunteering can be a great way to explore your options. You can obtain experience in your field of interest and find out what it’s like to work in that field on a daily basis. Essentially, volunteering can afford you the opportunity to try your new career on for size and see if it really is something you want to pursue. Even if you are not changing careers, volunteering can be an important way to build important career skills such as teamwork, communication, organization, and project management.

Questions to Ask Yourself
Volunteering is a great way to enrich your life. Start by identifying why you want to volunteer and what kinds of things you might want to do. Here are a few questions to ask:
• What causes are important to me?
• Am I exploring new career options?
• Do I want to learn a new skill?
• What am I good at?
• How can I help my community?
• How much time do I have to volunteer?

In order to find the best volunteer position to suit your individual needs and goals, it’s best to visit a number of organizations, meet the people in charge, and be sure to ask questions about the work to be done.

Volunteering can be an enjoyable and rewarding endeavor that has many benefits. Enhance your life by finding a place to volunteer in your community.

DWW News December 2013



Welcome to the first of Dogs With Wings’ monthly updates. We have said goodbye to the Canine Courier in favour of a format that we can generate more efficiently. Each month we will collect all the news that’s fit to print (and maybe some that isn’t!) and circulate it by email and for our first one, post to our blog. We will still have stories about our clients and the wonderful ways that their dogs help them to be independent in the community. Occasionally, we will give updates on our dogs are up to at the training center and out in the community with their volunteer raisers.

Of course we will continue to focus on the wonderful support we receive from our donors, sponsors and volunteers as they help spread the word about Dogs with Wings and its mandate to assist Albertans living with disabilities.

New Calgary Puppy Program

DWW in Transit2013 Has seen the introduction of a puppy program in Calgary, and is the result of many years planning. Five puppies are being raised there under the guidance of trainer, Cat Harbord. Thanks go to brand new fosters Jamie & Kris Anton for looking after DWW Rogan (Brad Churchill, Remax – Sponsor), Jodie Musgrove who is caring for DWW Shadow (Columbus Club), the Hunters, who have DWW Yogi (Canadian Oilmens’ Executive Association) Lisa Hofmeister, with DWW Scout and Steve & Christine Murphy with DWW Manhattan, aka ‘Manny’. These fabulous folks join volunteers in Red Deer, Rocky Mountain House, Edmonton and Grande Prairie in the role of giving basic handling and obedience training to our newest recruits. The Calgary pups are already out in local malls and at the C train stops getting invaluable experience they will need later on.

Dogs in Adult Training

We welcome DWW Hutch, Madison, Astro, Kinder, Harris, Star and Reese into advanced training at the Edmonton center. All of the obedience work is behind them now and Trainer Moira Wegner reports she is getting to know each dog individually and learning about their talents as she builds each dog’s skills up towards being placed with a client. She says that this time of ‘new beginnings’ for the adults in training is one of discovery and challenge and she loves seeing them grapple with new tasks they face for the first time.

Event Calendar

Dogs with Wings will be closed from noon on December 24th and will reopen at 9:00 am on January 2nd. Please ensure that you have enough food to last you through the holiday and that if you need a short term boarding home, that you contact Lise as soon as possible.


The holiday season is just around the corner and we would like you to consider making a gift to Dogs with Wings so that we can continue to provide life-changing dogs to the Albertans who need them. A charitable tax receipt will be issued for any donation over $20.00. If you choose to make your gift using one of the ‘donate’ buttons on our site, a tax receipt will automatically be issued to you. You can also call the office and made a secure donation over the phone or mail a cheque to us at 11343 174 Street, NW Edmonton, Alberta T5S 0B7.

Click to Donate Now Through Canada Helps!