When long-time PHRI employee Kirsten Grubic lost her beloved Aussiedoodle, Winston, in 2021 to sudden cardiac arrest, she had a hard time imagining his replacement. And while she and husband Joe aren’t ready to permanently adopt another dog – they were ready in 2023 to foster a very special puppy.

Kirsten, who is our Research Development & Education Advisor, and Health/Safety Coordinator, reached out to Dog Guides to see if there was an opportunity to help and take on a foster pup. After a completed police check and interview with a Puppy Program staff member, an opportunity came up to take over the foster of Uri, a 7-month old Standard Poodle.

Uri is doing well – sticking close to Kirsten in her home office, and being taught socialization, good manners and basic obedience on outings where he can get acclimated to strangers and unfamiliar settings.

The pup will eventually be returned to the Dog Guides agency, and assigned to someone living with impaired vision or hearing, physical disability, epilepsy, autism, type 1 diabetes, or a person in a traumatic situation.

“We’re grateful for the opportunity to continue raising Uri to eventually be a specialty trained dog who will enrich the life of someone in need,” says Kirsten, who has been at PHRI for 12 years and a total of 20 years’ service at Hamilton Health Sciences.

Kirsten and Uri riding the Go Train to the Boat Show in Toronto in January 2023 to expose him to more public places.

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