Grizzly, The Therapy Dog sharing smiles one visit at a time

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When you google the term “therapy dog” it states a therapy dog is a dog that might be trained to provide affection, comfort and love to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas.  For Mark Saler (a Canadian Pacific railroad conductor) and his dog Grizzly they fully encompass that definition.

BDNMB had an opportunity to speak with Mark about his amazing dog Grizzly whom is 4 years old.

Mark how long have you been visiting hospitals in Brandon and Westman?
We have been going to Brandon, Neepawa and Minnedosa hospitals once a month for 6 hours each time.  Grizzly and myself will visit children’s wards and and all the floors at the hospital.

You two must be popular, how do you handle the requests?
People request Grizzly sometimes 2 – 3 times a week and we honestly try to get to everyone but at times it just isn’t possible.

On Facebook, I have noticed that Grizzly and yourself are working at Bell MTS Centre with the Winnipeg Jets and True North. How did this come about?
The connection with the Jets and True North came about because of volunteering with cancer patients. In November they had a night called Hockey Fights Cancer and they were suggested to see and meet Grizzly and they loved it. I can’t say enough good things about the Winnipeg Jets as an organization.

You must have so many special memories with what you both do.
He is an amazing dog and can make people smile when going through tough times.  Without a doubt the children’s ward and the kids that light up when Grizzly walks in the room. Also, I had a cancer patient that passed away and this message at her funeral that always stays with me.

Hailey would take Barb to her scheduled Chemo appointments. Hailey said that not once did Barb ever complain and she was always in a good mood on “chemo day”. She would say “I get to go visit with all my new friends”.  She looked forward to Cancer Care once she found Grizzly.

Grizzly
Grizzly, Therapy Dog