Last summer, while travelling on Highway 7 outside Winnipeg at rush hour, Gaylene Robertson spotted a large dog running on the boulevard separating the north and south lanes. She pulled over and coaxed the dog off of the boulevard and into her van.
"We could have been killed. but I just couldn’t leave him there," she said.
Robertson carries a slip lead and dog cookies in her van at all times.
"I believe in being prepared for my pets and for other pets," she said.
She confesses that her friends tease her about having a stray-dog beacon on her van.
The Labrador Gaylene rescued that day had, unbeknownst to them, followed his owners off their property when they drove away. The dog was in a panicked state when Robertson arrived.
"There is a lot more traffic in the country now, increasing the injury risk to animals," she said.
"Some dogs are scared of thunderstorms during the summer and will run away and become lost and disoriented."
Robertson is store manager at the Rivergrove Pet Valu. Prior to working there, she spent 12 years as a veterinarian technician in northern Manitoba. Over the years, she has witnessed many dog- and cat-rescue initiatives, and has been privy to why people abandon their animals or surrender them to the pound.
"We’re talking about a living thing! I’ve heard it all," Robertson said.
Spaying and neutering cats and dogs is something she strongly urges all pet owners do.
Robertson is an advocate for furry and feathered family members and has dedicated her life and career path to helping animals.
She educates pet parents on the health of their pet and troubleshoots solutions for them, offering preventative measures when possible.
"I live and breathe animals. It’s a lifestyle that encompasses everything that I do!"
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Do you want to learn how to play lacrosse? A free, drop-in clinic starts Feb. 6 at Red River Community Centre, 293 Murray Ave., will be a free drop in lacrosse clinic. and will run until March 27. It runs from 6 to 8 p.m. in the gymnasium and is open to all ages. Participants are asked to bring helmets and gloves.
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Volunteers are also needed to assist with upcoming events and fundraisers at Red River. Please call 204-339-5345 for further information.
Christina Hiebert is a community correspondent for Riverbend and Rivergrove. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.