Friday, December 31, 2010

Do you get “IT”? A tail wagging Customer Service Experience

Some businesses get it, and some REALLY GET IT!
By “IT” I mean the customer service WOW experience. Rick and Martine work at the Sherwood Park Greyhound, and Charmaine was in line on a very busy day several days before Christmas. They made the line up wait more than bearable, in fact, they made it fun. Despite being run off their feet, they greeted every person who walked through the door with a sincere smile, made eye contact, and kept people in conversation. They seemed to be having fun. The energy created a ripple effect of pawsitivism through the crowd. Then, the icing on the cake was when Rick coordinated all the children in the line to join in together to sing Away in a Manger. This was one of Char's Christmas highlights.
I was at the Greyhound for half an hour and Charmaine did not see one person shifting, sighing or shuffling or rolling their eyes or making comments about the wait. This is an example of a team that gets IT and customers left in a great frame of mind, which is a benefit for the staff in the business they will visit next. Char will be following up with a shout out to Greyhound to acknowledge these staff, and to our community newspaper.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Toby Blog

I love Wednesdays because it is my afternoon to volunteer at Alberta Hospital Edmonton, however, because of the PAWlidays, I am doing some extra volunteer time with the patients. I had a great time this evening visiting with eight patients. The patients always tell me how much joy I bring them, I often wonder if they know the feeling is mutual. My volunteer time is the highlight of my week!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Four PAWS up to Doggie Day Cares!

I love doggie daycare! It gives me a chance to socialize with other furry friends, and is a great opportunity for play. When I go to doggie daycare, I am tired when I get home, and sleep soundly.
I have been to FOUR Doggie Daycares so Far:

K9 Awareness Centre, ST. Albert
Silver Paws in Spruce Grove, AB
Country PAWS in Cochrane
Quick Paws in Missoula Montana

Monday, October 18, 2010

There’s always a first time

This past weekend I had another great book-signing at Chapters Strathcona in Edmonton. It was my first time to this bookstore. I was quite intrigued by the escalator and stepped on with confidence until the stairs started to move. Whoa! What’s with this? Moving stairs?
After Christopher took me up and down several times I was a pro. What a great lesson that there is always a first for everything, but only once. With a little practice and repetition, you can become a pro.
What will you try this week for the first time? How can you help someone step into something new for the first time? Just like Christopher held my leash firmly and I knew I was supported, you can do that for someone else.
Have a PAWsitive week and great success to any first times you have this week!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

From the mouth of babes

Kids say the funniest things. This week at the booksigning I was visiting with a little girl in a stroller, I was curious about her new book that she was looking at. I thought it might have been a toy for me. Charmaine said “Toby loves two things---Children, and treats.”
Without missing a beat, the little girl said “Does Toby eat the children too?”

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Friendship is?

Tonight the doorbell rang, and I tore down the stairs because I heard the giggling from the two little girls on our block. Charmaine opened the door and they asked for Chris. Smiling they said “Can Chris come out and pull us on our skateboards?” I ran to get my kong because I knew this could be fun for me. Into the garage Chris went searching for a tow rope, and we all ventured outside. What I was reminded of tonight is that friendship is ageless! Here we are having fun, two legged and four legged friends.
Cherish your friends, and let them know that they make a PAWsitive difference in your life!
Toby the dog

Monday, September 27, 2010

You CAN(field) Teach Toby New Tricks!

My mom and I have learned a ton over the past couple of years. One person who contributed to our learning is Charmaine’s mentor, Jack Canfield, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul book series. Charmaine was in his Success Principles Coaching Program, and Mr. Canfield provided an endorsement for my new book, On Toby’s Terms!

I am barking up a storm to tell you that Jack is coming to Edmonton! He will be presenting at the Winspear on October 28 in the evening, and I am pawprinting a special book to give to him. We are one of the sponsors of the event, and Charmaine has some tickets (where you save 10% and the administrative fees). Call or email Charmaine at 780-464-3828 or to get your tickets now. Don’t miss the opportunity to attend this event and listen to the mentor that gave us a leg up in life!

Toby the dog

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A day to celebrate you!

This past weekend it was my birthday. Even though I wore this silly hat, I was secretly smiling to myself, because I knew that it was my special day! It was clear that people were celebrating me!

What can you do everyday to celebrate YOU? Why wait for a birthday, NOW is the time to celebrate you and those around you.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Keeping your eye on the goal

What a great time I had this weekend (at K9 Awarness Centre in St Albert) meeting and playing with many new four legged friends! My friend and I both had our eyes on the same goal…A beautifully coloured plush ball (with a squeaker inside). As you can see, we learned to collaborate and instead of hogging the ball, we decided to share. This made for a lot of fun. What are you doing this week to seek opportunities to collaborate and keep your eyes on the goal?

Helping Vets without Borders – One PAW at a time

What a great event this week at K9 Awareness Centre in St. Albert (

Along with many other dogs, we kept the treadmills going to raise funds for Vets Without Borders. Thank you to the many supporters, contributors and sponsors who donated items for the silent auction and of course big barks of thanks to the dogs and the two legged friends for attending the event! Your support made a big difference!

The Bone& Biscuit Company in Sherwood Park provided us with incredible dog treats for our “guess how many treats are in the jar?”, which alone, raised $49 for the cause… that is a lot of guesses.

Here I am jogging to make a difference.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Thank you Fort McMurray!

Toby barks out a PAWsitive THANK YOU to Sobeys in Fort McMurray for generously donating cookies and lemonade for us to sell as a FUNdraiser for the SPCA during my book singing and PAWprinting on Sunday August 29, 2010. Another Bark Out Thank you to the Bones and Biscuit in Fort McMurray for generously donating healthy dog treats for our FUNdraiser for SPCA, and big PAWsitives to the Tattered Book & Coffee Shop for hosting the event! Big thanks to Your Perfect Fit, and the Connect and Fort McMurray Today for covering the story. And Four PAWS up to Jackie Fidder our dear friend, for all her help organizing it.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Toby and friends raise money for SPCA

Toby and his friends at the Tattered Book, Bone and Biscuit, Your Perfect Fit and Sobey's helped to raise nearly $500 for the Fort McMurray SPCA last Sunday!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

No Bones About It! Toby is a Media Hound!

Friday August 27, 2010 at 11:00 am KAOS Radio in Fort McMurray interviews Charmaine about the upcoming PAWprinting/Book Signing and SPCA Fundraiser (Aug 29 1-4 Fort McMurray at the Tattered Book & Coffee Shop).

September 8, 2010 3:30 MST Jennifer Geronimo and Dawn O’Creene Radio Interview with Charmaine about On Toby’s Terms. Hope you can listen in:

You are invited to Toby’s 9th Birthday Party! It’s a Celebration! A Jog A Thon and Fundraiser!! Join us at K9 Awareness in St. Albert

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18 - 2nd Dog Jog-a-Thon! Not only raising funds for a great cause--Vets Without Borders--this will be a celebration for three special occasions. And, Kaytie at K9 Awareness has contacted the Guiness Book of Records to ask them to record the event too!

Keep your ears perked for more information coming soon!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

5 Stars Not your everyday dog book.

" I loved the surprises, the life lessons and the humility that this beautiful book offered. If you have a dog, know a dog or love a dog, you will love this book, too!"
Stephanie Staples
Chief Enrichment Officer at Your Life, Unlimited Speaking and Coaching Services, Stephanie seeks to refresh, reinspire and re energize teams to bring their best to their life and livelihood.

Monday, August 23, 2010

It’s a PAWprinting, a Celebration and FUNdraiser!

Four PAWS Up to the Tattered Book & Coffee Shop in Fort McMurray! They are hosting the Fort McMurray launch of my book On Toby’s Terms on Sunday August 29, 2010 1:00-4:00 p.m. the best part is that we have turned this into a FUNdraiser for the Fort McMurray SPCA.

Thanks to our sponsors: the Tattered Book & Coffee Shop, The Bone and Biscuit, Your Perfect Fit, Sobeys (Thickwood), Fort McMurray Connect paper.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I’m going to be on the radio!

Chamaine is going to be talking about my book on the radio next week! On August 18 with Joanie Winberg and Tina Dame are interviewing her. Check this out!

Four Legged Soccer Sponsor

This week I had the pleasure of having my team photo with the soccer team I sponsor. What a talented and committed group of young soccer players. I look forward to cheering them on at games, although the soccer balls are a big distraction for me.

Dogs with Jobs

I had a great time on August 6, at the K9 Awareness Centre in St. Albert. I was a guest presenter on Dogs With Jobs. My mom, Charmaine, talked about my volunteer job at the hospital and told the kids about my likes, my special skills and favorite games. I got to do a run on the treadmill after my presentation and visiting with the children that were in the program. What a great day!

New Twist on Seat Belts

You probably read my earlier blogs and know that I have learned how to put on my own seat belt. That’s old news now. Well folks, I have discovered the most intriguing thing to do with a seat belt. And probably an annoying way to bug Charmaine and Chris in the car. Let’s face it… I get bored. There is no fetch playing, no games, and no fun in the car. So I invented some of my own. I sneak my head between the car door and seat and get my head under the shoulder seat belt. Now here’s my fun begins. Then I pull my head back, which brings the seatbelt with it. It did get their immediate attention, but landed me in the doghouse. We’ll see what I come up with next time.

Have a PAWsitive day,

Toby the dog

Monday, August 9, 2010

A dog’s life

I love my time at the cottage- everything I enjoy is there- my family, my BFF Lauren, water, birds, and the floating Kong. My days are spent lazing in the sun, frolicking in the water, and burying my Kong in the sand and digging it up again. My evenings are spent laying by the fire, and then sleeping soundly to be rested enough to repeat it all the next day.

This weekend was so full of activity and heat that I slept right through fireworks that people were setting off across the lake. This was a big breakthrough because I am typically terrified of loud noises, including thunder and firecrackers. I know some of you are very surprised at this because I am a big dog, but we all have something that gets under our skin or that makes us nervous. Sometimes distraction (in my case a good long snooze) can be a good strategy in dealing with fear. I know that when Charmaine and Chris distract me with a game of fetch or hide and seek when it is thundering, it takes my mind off the fear and thunder.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Summer Fun!

Wow- what a PAWsitively amazing summer so far. I have enjoyed loads of time at the cottage on the lake swimming, chasing balls and birds, snoozing on the beach, playing with my BFF and now I am learning to sail! My book, On Toby’s Terms, is in the process of being printed. Watch my website for launch details, my new media package, and events that I’ll be at. Check out my new photos on my website.

I have enjoyed the emails that are coming in from my fans! Thank you.

Have a great summer.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Gift of Freedom

On June 1, 2010 at approximately 8:15 a.m., I was arrested for “Doing Cannonballs in the Pool.” Dressed in my striped jailbird (or jaildog) uniform and cuffs, I was read my charges and put behind bars. Of course being the sneaky dog I can be, I made my run for freedom at the first available opportunity. The police were quick and brought me back behind bars. Once the judge was assured we would raise the bail, I was released.

This was a PAWsitively great way to start the week, supporting a good community cause GETFEST Edmonton Project 27, and having fun!

This week I invite you to PAWS for a while and seek opportunities to appreciate the freedoms that you have and how these make our world a better place.

Until next time, wishing you a PAWsitive week!

Toby the dog

On Toby’s Terms is my new book, available in bookstores everywhere September 2010. Pre-order your copy now

Friday, May 28, 2010

Putting your pawprint on what you believe

Putting my pawprint on what I believe in is important; it is about taking a stand for what I believe in. I know I am drawn to people who do the same, when you are authentic, it shows. I sense it and others see it. Your values define your character and are a part of who you are. The other day I was watching a little girl in a stroller surrounded by a bunch of adults. Her unfiltered authenticity was precious, her curiosity and intrigue about these adults was so pure.

This week I encourage you to find ways to let your values and authenticity be shared with others, the gift of sincerity!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Caring for your community

This is the second year that we have participated in the “Pitch In” Community Clean Up Program. My family and I go and clean the parks and walkways around our block and behind our home. This year it was again disappointing to see all the broken glass that is on the pathways from people smashing bottles. It is dangerous for children and all my four legged friends. Keeping our parks clean and safe is important, for all of us. This week, we are going to make a difference by writing a letter to the County and request two garbage cans be installed on the pathways by our home. We will go one step further…I will PAWprint the letter, as I bet the County has never seen a letter signed by a dog resident of the community. Perhaps the creative approach will garner support faster.

What is one thing you can do this week to care for your community?

Together, we can make a difference in making our communities a safer and more beautiful place to live!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Volunteering from the Heart

It is hard to believe that I have already been volunteering as a Pet Assisted Therapy Dog for more than two years. Wednesdays are my favorite day because I am living my passion and purpose as a volunteer. This week the hospital recognized my volunteer efforts with a lovely card, and a gift card for Pet Smart (my favorite store). Volunteering from the Heart is about connecting with people, making a difference and about being fully present! I know the patients appreciate me being there on Wednesdays, but, I also value and appreciate them. They make a difference in my life!

My new book “On Toby’s Terms” published by Bettie Youngs Books ( will be in bookstores September 27, 2010. Order your advance copy through Amazon at

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day

We are also celebrating Earth Day on Sunday as we participate in the “Pitch In” neighborhood cleanup event! We will be cleaning up the parks in our neighborhood, and will be asking the County to put another garbage can along the walk way to reduce litter.

Together, we can make a difference! Through our single efforts, we can make a wave of change.

My new book “On Toby’s Terms” published by Bettie Youngs Books ( will be in bookstores September 27, 2010. Order your advance copy through Amazon at

Monday, April 19, 2010

Toby Jogs up a storm to raise money for The Edmonton Humane Society

Whose this handsome pup on the treadmill? It's me!! Congratulations K9 Awareness for a great event! A PAWsitive fundraiser for the Edmonton Humane Society, and all us four legged friends had a barking good time!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Day to Celebrate

This is a four paws up day! We just got word that our new book On Toby’s Terms- a story of life, love and purpose, written by Charmaine is now listed on Amazon. The book will be in bookstores everywhere September 2010. Thank you all for your support, encouragement and for celebrating with us!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Discoveries Under the Snow

Spring is almost here! There were all kinds of great discoveries in my backyard after the snow melted. I found a bunch of tennis balls, my long lost cat (stuff animal) and a few other treasures. We are fortunate to be surrounded by great parks and walking paths that we use regularly. I am participating in the 44th annual Pitch In Canada Campaign later this month. I am going to assist Char, Chris and our neighbourhood friends in pitching in to clean the parks and paths by our home. If we all do our part, the world will be a cleaner place. Woof Woof for now.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dog Jog-A-Thon

I am so excited!!I am going to be in a Dog Jog-A-Thon (on a dog treadmill) this weekend (Sunday April 11, 2010) at All Season K9 Awareness Centre in St. Albert. It is a fundraiser for the Edmonton Humane Society. If you would like to sponsor me to jog and raise funds for the Humane Society, just let me know, we’d be grateful. Hope you can drop by and bring your four legged friends. Woof Woof.

Toby the Dog.

Monday, March 15, 2010

PUP Talk

Toby is a proud sponsor of the Sherwood Park Phoenix Elite Girls Soccer team, an incredible group of young athletes! As they prepare for Provincials, Charmaine went to their recent team lunch to present a PUP talk on behalf of Toby. Charmaine shared a series of lessons of teamwork that she has learned from working on a team with Toby every Wednesday as they volunteer at the hospital.

Here’s a quick summary of the PAWsitive Inspirations that Toby left the Team with:

· Communicate with PAWsitive intent

· Provide PAWsitive feedback along with constructive support and guidance

· Have a PAWsitive and winning attitude

· Take a moment to PAWS and recognize the unique qualities that each person brings to the team

· Play with spirit, focus and communication…and have FUN!

Toby wishes the team well at their upcoming Provincials.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

People who make a difference

There are many people who come into our life for a reason and make a difference. It is an honor to know Karin Overgaard, a Certified Master Pet Trainer, and Volunteer Coordinator with CHIMO Animal Assisted Therapy Project. Karen also has her own practice, visit her at We first met Karin through CHIMO, as our dog Toby is a volunteer through the program. I have also had opportunity to consult with Karin about Toby and her guidance, suggestions and modeling how to deal with our dog’s behavior has been incredibly valuable. Not only does Karin make a difference in the lives of the animals (and the humans) she works with, she also strives to make our world a better place. Thank you Karin, for making a difference!

To find out more about Karin, visit

To find out more about CHIMO, check out:

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Where do you shine?

Charmaine heard a great quote about keeping your light shining bright so it lights the path for others. Where do you shine bright in life? My brightest moments are when I am volunteering as a pet assisted therapy dog, I love helping shine my light on the path of the patients I volunteer with and watching them shine in the process.

When you shine, and are your authentic self, it gives other people permission to do the same, like a ripple effect. May your light be PAWsitively bright this week. Toby the dog.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Toby loves Wednesdays

Wednesday is Toby’s day to step into his passion and live his life purpose; this is the day he volunteers at the hospital. We have come to learn that Toby’s passion and purpose in life is to help and care for others. The joy that he experiences from his volunteer week lasts well into the days that follow.

It is like that for people as well. Your passions are what you love to do; you do these activities whether or not you were paid. When you are connected to your passion you may experience a lot of energy and increased focus to accomplish whatever you set your mind to. Your passions often help you define your purpose in life.

Like Toby, as you live your life passions on purpose, you will need to be open…open to opportunities and the people that enter your life. You must see every opportunity as a yearning to learn more about yourself and others. What lessons are you meant to learn? What places are you meant to go? What people are you going to meet along life’s journey that will open more doors of opportunity?

You are meant to do great things. Take time to discover your passions and your life purpose. Together, these have incredible potential and power to create the life you dream of and make it a reality.

Remember to be grateful for the things you currently have in your life so that you may receive more and see how truly rich and abundant your life is. When you view your world with abundance rather than scarcity, your world will continue to be abundant. What you believe and perceive, you can achieve!

Have a PAWsitive week.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Food for Thought

Here is a great quote I thought you would enjoy. Our friend Kaytie who owns an incredible centre for dogs called K9 Awareness Centre in St. Albert gave us this card that has a fitting thought for Valentines Day. It said Dogs are furry little vitamins for your soul.
Here's a few ways you can show your furry friend how much they nourish your soul:
  • Take your dog for a walk in their favourite park
  • Give your dog a massage
  • Do some focused play / focused activities with your dog (I particularly love it when Chris and Charmaine hide my toys and we play hide and seek)
  • Teach your dog a new trick
  • Tell your dog he/she is a good dog
Wishing you all a happy valentines day.
To find more about the K9 Awareness Centre, visit their website at

Monday, February 8, 2010

How your brain works.

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at one Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Cesar Millan, the dog whisperer

Cesar Millan, the dog whisperer, advised that January is “Walk your dog month”. I am chomping at the bit to get going. I enjoy regular walks and play however; I injured my leg last week. The arthritis in my leg was causing me some pain and I twisted it making it worse. You are not too late to jump on board for walk your dog month! Happy Stepping.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Have you made a New Year’s resolution for your pet?

Happy New Year to you and all the animals you love!

A recent article in the said that increasing your daily exercise and play with your pet is an important resolution to keep, for you and your animal. Increasing play, focused fun and exercise can curb mischievous behavior. I know that when I am bored, restless or have lots of energy to burn off, I am much better behaved (ok… well sometimes). The Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine suggests that if your pet is social, gentle, patient and people oriented, you may want to consider certifying it as a therapy animal. This is something you can do with your pet, and bring joy to many. We have this base covered. I am a pet assisted therapy dog with Alberta Hospital and I love Wednesdays- on these days, I live my passion working, playing and spending time with patients at the hospital. It is a win win situation, the patients benefit and, they add something very special to my life! And I know Charmaine loves Wednesdays too because she gets to volunteer with me.

To everyone who read my blog and PAWsitive Inspirations in 2009, and to everyone who e-mailed me, Thank you for reading, thanks for following me and thank you for caring. Let’s make it a great year for pets everywhere!