A Kelowna woman, Cathy Lehtonen, is the first person in the Okanagan to be awarded the designation of Dogsafe Canine First Aid authorized instructor.
Dogsafe Canine First Aid courses teach dog owners and dog professionals what to do in a canine emergency.
“I’ve had a great response and classes are filling up fast,” said Lehtonen.
“I’m committed to teaching dog lovers how to help their dogs, so I have invested in the best curriculum and training equipment available, including life-like canine manikins.”
Lehtonen emphasizes that Dogsafe courses are not a replacement for veterinary care but teach students what to do when an incident occurs and until veterinary care can be reached.
Lehtonen, who has a master’s degree in education, is an elementary school teacher by day.
“My interest in Dogsafe began when I hired a dog walker. She had Dogsafe certification and that was the main reason why I chose her to take care of my precious dogs,” said Lehtonen.
“I then took the course myself and learned everything from taking vital signs to canine CPR to how to respond to a dog in a hot car situation, unfortunately that is something I’ve used a lot this summer,” she said.
“My passion for teaching and my love of dogs came together, and I am thrilled to be a Dogsafe authorized instructor.”
Besides handling emergencies, Lehtonen also teaches people how to recognize warning signs that might prompt them to see a veterinarian sooner than later.
And she won’t be teaching alone because her two dogs, Randall, a yellow Labrador, and Midge, a pug, will have new roles as demonstration dogs. “Randall and Midge and I have been practising all summer and they’re ready for their new jobs,” jokes Lehtonen.
For information on canine first aid go to www.dogsafe.ca.