Sunday, October 25, 2015

Dog Sledding Anyone?

Back in the spring, Team Toby travelled all the way up to the Yukon, where Charmaine spoke at the Parent Council Association Conference. During our stay in Whitehorse, the team had the pleasure of working with Manuela from Muktuk Adventures Ltd, who took part in the Twoonies for Team Toby fundraiser, which provides Toby's Kindness books for schools. The company offers Yukon wilderness experiences, including canoeing, hiking, horseback riding in the summer and dog sledding in the winter. They also offer a cozy B&B, in an off the grid lifestyle.

We asked Manuela to share how kindness has impacted her life and her business.

“We are having over 110 Alaskan Huskies, but only 80 of them are still working, the remaining 30 dogs are our oldies, we keep our old dogs past their working time and take good care of them. They are full of stories from the trails, and every single one taught us something about ourselves along the way. We are also having about 1/3 of rescue dogs in our yard, either from the shelter or from other mushers as well as dogs we adopted from others if they did not see any fit for them. We only breed if there is no other dog looking for a home.” 

Photo Credit Muktuk Adventures
Why you chose to show kindness to Team Toby
“Because we support animal welfare in any way we can and we understand how much we can learn from dogs. Using a dog to go to schools and talk to kids is a great way of teaching.”

Planning any trips out to Whitehorse? Make sure you check out Muktuk Adventures, as they offer some amazing activities!

Social Media links:

Some of the programs offered at Muktuk Adventures:

  1. Rookie Ranch +2 come out and stay with us for 8 days and experience what it takes to be a dog musher. Take care of your own team of dogs, experience how friendly working dogs are, take them to bed at night if you want to (only possible if you stay in a cabin), to make the experience complete we take you out for 2 nights camping along the trails. 

  2. Cheechako Winter - for guest who want to experience more than just the dogs and don`t have as much time. It is a 4 day and 3 night stay including dog sledding, ice fishing, snowshoeing and snowmobile or horseback. Guest are still more than welcome to help our with daily chores around the lodge and with the dogs. 

  3. Cheechako Summer - a nice way to experience the beauty of the Yukon in the summer. Guest will stay with us in our B&B and be part of our family. We will take them canoeing for one day, of course there will be at least one dog joining us. We will go hiking with the dogs, and also will go horseback riding. One day is reserved to get to know all our dogs and learn about what we do summer and winter. The program is from Sunday to Friday

Our Million Acts of Kindness tour so appreciates the kindness of Muktuk Adventures and our tour partners!  Together we make a difference.


Friday, October 23, 2015

Teamwork makes the Dreamwork!

Toby has been fortunate to have awesome vets at Blueridge-Cove Animal Hospital in North Vancouver. He loves going to his check-ups and really enjoys visiting the staff. That’s because caring for your pets isn’t something Blueridge-Cove does for a living, it’s something they live for. 

Since 1979, they have dedicated to offer complete pet care and ensure a healthy lifestyle for your animal companion. Blueridge Cove Animal Hospital has on-site radiography, dentistry services, surgery and more!

The team at Blueridge-Cove share their top tips in preventative pet safety and health care.

1) As the weather gets colder, looking out for your pet's safety regarding poison control becomes even more important. Antifreeze on driveways, sidewalk salt, and other chemicals create a serious risk for your pet. If your dog walks on roads or sidewalks that could be contaminated with these chemicals be sure to wash their paws before they go back inside or have a chance to lick them. Ingestion of antifreeze is extremely toxic and can cause death. Call your veterinarian or an emergency hospital immediately if you think your pet may have ingested something.

2)  This year we have seen an overwhelming amount of fleas on both dogs and cats. With the dry weather and possibly dry winter ahead we encourage everyone to maintain proper flea prevention all year round. Contact your Veterinarian for their recommendation on the best Veterinary approved flea control products.

We asked the staff how kindness has impacted their business, and why they chose kindness to Team Toby in helping us reach our goal of one million acts of kindness.

In the spring of 2015 we held a fundraiser for a local charity to help animals in need. A young boy named Isaac and his family brought in a cheque to make a donation. When we asked him more about his donation he revealed all the money he was donating was from his birthday presents. At such a young age he had asked his family and friends for money as presents so he could give it all to charity. This act of kindness amazed all of our staff and inspired us to remember to be more like Isaac, especially when we have the chance to do good for others!

We chose to support Team Toby as we love the message that Toby is helping to spread! As a patient of ours, Toby was always a sweet and happy dog when he came to visit us. We think everyone could use a reminder to treat people and pets with respect, kindness and acceptance. Toby's great attitude and demeanor has shown that he can inspire students across North America and help children listen and remember an important lesson!


Social Media Links:

Thank you to the team at Blueridge Vet from mom and I!!

We appreciate all the support from our partners on this Million Acts of Kindness tour.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

RV Travel with your Dog

This was our FIRST RV travel experience. A beautiful 31 foot motorhome sponsored by Fraserway RV for our Million Acts of Kindness Tour

Part of our preparation for the six week journey was learning as much as we could about:

1) the areas we would be travelling,
2) RV travel
3) campgrounds and rest areas
4) what to bring and how to make it the best trip ever.

I'd say we succeeded.

We researched the communities, and thanks to Telus, who provided the WIFI for the RV, we could be online anywhere anytime!  This was a HUGE help! 

We also found the KOA Campground guide to be a useful resource, it provides maps, KOA site details, and useful community information. Provincial and State Tourism webpages were also a big help in finding places to park the RV and camp, and attractions to visit. 

Now, preparing for RV travel was likely our bigger education as this completely new experience for us.

The Fraserway RV staff were extremely helpful in educating us about the RV and provided great RV travel hints and tips.  

The RV comes with a very detailed book with tips, troubleshooting and contact information. 

We also completed the Preparation Checklists provided on the Fraserway RV website. 
These preparation checklists are extremely helpful when preparing to travel in an RV.  The checklist about the Supplies Needed was extremely helpful. 

We also completed the Pre Trip Checklist and used this as a guide especially in the early days of travel.  We felt much more confident when we drove away for the first time.

To read more about the article we wrote for Fraserway RVs blog, check it out here:      Please share with people you know going on a pet friendly adventure in an RV.

What is your BEST learning from travelling in an RV?

What was your favorite place to camp or visit in an RV?

Follow our Million Acts of Kindness tour.  Share the acts of kindness that impacted your life on our Kindness Matters Page.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Taking care of your dog's teeth

The Million Acts of Kindness tour would never have been possible if it weren’t thanks to our many partners who have supported us and our mission. 

This week, Team Toby got the opportunity to connect with Robin Canuel, the owner and operator of K9 Gentle Dental, who provides gentle and effective teeth cleaning to dogs without using any medications or anesthesia. According to Robin, they aim to help pet owners stay on top of their dog's oral care needs by providing a teeth cleaning that is able to be done more frequently than the normal anesthesia method. 

Their goal is to have dogs go under anesthesia less often for their teeth and for pets have less severe dental issues throughout their lives by providing frequent cleanings and educating pet owners on how to maintain their dog’s teeth and the dangers of dental disease.
3 Tips Robin offers for dog owners:

1. Brushing dogs teeth on a daily or regular basis (at least 3 times a week) will give your dog the best chance of maintaining their oral health into their elderly years.

2. Coconut oil makes a great doggie toothpaste. Not only is it naturally antibacterial but it is also naturally anti-inflammatory and dogs love the taste!

3. Using an extra soft toothbrush, like an infant brush, will be extra gentle on your dogs sensitive gums. Slightly bleedy gums is fairly normal but if you notice excessive amount of blood when brushing please have your vet examine your dog’s mouth thoroughly at your next visit.
We asked Robin to share an act of kindness that has impacted her life, and why she chose take part in our goal to reach one million acts of kindness.

Wow what a question! We see so much kindness everyday in our profession but to name a specific moment...  We took in a little 4 pound rescue Maltese who needed serious dental surgery (among other things). The vet we work with in Steveston, BC, Little Paws Animal Clinic, took our little man in and gave us an honest rundown of our options to help the little guy in his old age (he was 15!). They provided us top notch service and medical treatment for a reduced rate. I know first hand that Dr. Martinez helps so many rescues who need vet care by offering massive discounts or free services to rescue doggies all over Vancouver. On top of all that, we found Little Man the most wonderful home with a family who took in this old doggie knowing very well that he would cost them money in vet bills and probably not be around for too long. They gave him the most amazingly loving home for his remaining time on this planet, and considering what a terrible life that little guy had endured he must have thought he had died and gone to doggie heaven! People amaze me everyday with their kindness and generosity towards animals.

It was a very simple choice to show kindness to this movement! Using animals to teach kindness and patience is an amazing tool and I felt like it had the potential for a huge impact. Kids these days are bombarded by advertising, internet and terrible role models and by introducing children to animals in an educational way can definitely better their development in so many different areas. I also very much respect the fight against bullying and love this approach to the subject.


Social Media Links:

Thank you K9 Gental Dental for your support and the guest blog!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Collars, Treats and Kindness! All in one day.

Today’s guest blog post feature is both a partner and good friend of Team Toby, Shannon Barnard from K9 Bytes.
Love that Shannon is wearing our Million Acts of Kindness tour tees sponsored by Peace Love Paws
K9 Bytes creates handmade fabric dog collars, dog leashes and cat collars. Their handcrafted quick release dog collars are as unique as your dog. Shannon fabricates matching pet leashes with their collars to make a real fashion statement! Cat collars come in many fun fabric patterns and you can choose from many fabric patterns including holiday designs. They also offers a line of home baked dog and cat treats and cuddly pet blankets.

Here are some examples.... these are the collars that Shannon donated as an act of kindness during our day in Portland on our Million Acts of Kindness tour.  The collars all were donated to a no kill shelter in Portland called Family Dog New Life.  

K9 Bytes’ products are handmade in the USA and collars and leashes are made from soft cotton fabrics. They offer a fun, inexpensive product that let pet parents express the love of their furry friends and celebrate holidays and seasons. Treats are made from wholesome, human grade ingredients. They are baked until crunchy with no preservatives, yet have a long shelf life. It is clear that their love and passion for pets is apparent in each item that they create!

We asked Shannon to share a time when kindness impacted her business, and why she chose to kindness to Team Toby in helping us reach our goal of one million acts of kindness.Here's what Shannon said:

Receiving little personal notes of appreciation from my customers lets me know that they value me and my products. We are all busy. Taking that little bit of time to let someone know you appreciate them can make their day.

Team Toby’s message of teaching kindness, acceptance and respect is key to changing the world for the better. If we all show a little more kindness, it impacts the whole world in a positive way, one act at a time.

Shannon’s advice to dog owners:
Exercise with your dog. Walking with your dog is beneficial to both of you. It strengthens your bond as well as your fitness. It’s also a great way to meet other dog lovers and increase socialization for both you and your pet.


K9 Bytes Social Media Links

Charmaine and Shannon are both members of the Women in the Pet Industry Network. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

A day in the spa from the dog's perspective....


Bark Avenue Grooming & Bath is ranked as one of Toby’s top groomers in North Vancouver. Not only is the staff PAW-some, but they share the same interest and goal as Team Toby; sharing the message of kindness.They sold our cut out paper pawprints to raise funds for putting Toby's books in local schools.

Bark Avenue Grooming & Bath provides top quality grooming services by certified groomers who also hold a certificate in pet first aid. They welcome all breeds of dogs and cats are welcome too! They even have a facility where you can wash your own and leave the mess to them! Perfect for owners who don’t have the space or resources to wash their dogs, or for getting your pup primped up in a hurry.

I Love the smell of this shampoo.  And, I am focusing on the treat on the shelf.

I am SO relaxed I can hardly keep my eyes open. 

Bark Avenue takes great pride in having a hygienic, safe and fun environment to provide the best grooming experience for your pet.
I love squeaky toys.... did I say I love them?

Just got a puppy and not sure how to approach grooming? Bark Avenue suggests you get your puppy in for their first grooming session within the first 4 months. This will help get them used to the sounds, smells and experiences of a grooming salon. They also suggest to play with your dog’s paws to help your puppy get used to getting his nails done and to being touched.

We asked Bark Avenue how kindness has impacted their business and why they chose to support Team Toby with an act of kindness of their own.  Here's what they said:

Becoming part of the Lower Lonsdale business community was daunting at first, however upon starting here, we were welcomed and understood the importance of friendship and neighborly support because our neighbors were so welcoming. This feeling inspires us to be supportive of our fellow business community and entrepreneurs and it has driven us to supporting more local businesses and giving back to our community.

Team Toby's message of kindness is perfect for young children as it teaches them to be kind and respectful of other people and animals. At Bark Avenue, we see every single day the undying support and kindness animals show to their owners and us; dogs are so unconditional in their love and Team Toby's message conveys that perfectly.
logo bark ave.jpg

Social Media Links

Thank you Bark Avenue!!
I look good and smell great!!

3rd Avenue Businesses 4 Paws Up for Kindness!

There is a beautiful quote that says "It takes a community to raise a child" and the kindness of local businesses on third street in North Vancouver have helped us in creating a kinder community during our Million Acts of Kindness Tour.

Prior to leaving on our Million Acts of Kindness Tour we decided to take a walk down to two businesses on 3rd Avenue in North Vancouver that we love.

Mom always goes to Escape Hair and Body to get her hair done.  Not only do they do an awesome job, there is always great conversation there!

...and....I get my hair done at Bark Avenue Grooming and Bath.  
I love that they have squeaky toys... I love squeaky toys...... I realllllly love squeaky toys.....

I was so relaxed and zenned out after my pawsome spa......just like mom is after she gets her hair done!

Stella owns Escape Hair and Body, and is a huge champion for my books and our kindness tour!  She made a donation so we could provide some schools with my books!  Thank you for the kindness Stella and Escape Hair and Body!

Bark Avenue Grooming and Bath has been doing the Twoonie for Team Toby, raising funds in the spa which also support local schools.

We are so excited this week to go and pay forward the kindness from these two amazing businesses and surprise some schools with books. 

Thank you to Bark Avenue and Escape Hair and Body for all you do for the community!  You make a difference.

What an incredible journey our six week Million Acts of Kindness tour was.  We travelled in the Kindness RV, sponsored by Fraserway RV.

This tour was on our bucket list.... what's on your travel bucket list?  Check out Canadian Traveller and share what your travel bucket list items are, and see what others are doing to make their travel dreams come true.

Thank you all from mom, dad and I: