Lady Byng, a four-year-old Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, began her volunteer life with Ottawa Therapy Dogs in the summer of 2009. As the Duck Toller is one of the few all-Canadian breeds in the world, she was named after a very Canadian symbol: the Lady Byng trophy. Awarded annually by the NHL to the league’s most gentlemanly player, it is the only NHL trophy named for a female.
Lady Byng truly enjoys her weekly visits to Byron House, a residence for adults with developmental disabilities run by the Ottawa-Carleton Association for Persons with Developmental Disabilities. Every Wednesday evening her eyes light up when I put on her red OTD bandana. She loves to visit her new friends at Byron House to play fetch, do tricks, and get lots of attention and petting (not to mention the Hello and Goodbye treats she receives). Lady Byng also loves to curl up on the couch beside the residents. They like to take turns holding her leash with me and always provide her with a bowl of fresh water.
Lady Byng is a bright, friendly, outgoing dog with tons of energy who loves the outdoors. In wintertime, she leads the way as we cross-country ski and snowshoe, and chasing a stick into deep powder is one of her special pleasures. The only thing Lady Byng likes more than snow is water. On a summer’s evening, look for her out on the Rideau Canal on the back of a sea kayak (wearing her life jacket of course). Lady Byng made her first wilderness kayak trip at nine weeks of age. She is also a working gun dog and earned her first retrieving title last summer.
Lady Byng and I are enjoying our first year with OTD and look forward to being long-time members.