Archway welcomed dozens of new staff over the past year, but one new hire stood out as the only four-legged employee.
Cannoli, Archway’s furry friend, is a Health and Wellness Accredited Facility Dog who provides comfort and calm to clients and staff alike.
Cannoli joined the Family Education and Family Connection team in February 2022. Since then, supervisor Kim reports, “Cannoli has been a great asset in helping all those she works with to regulate and sometimes de-escalate during or after intense moments. She brings smiles and comfort to program staff, giggles and fun to our younger clients, and to our parents a sense of calm and clarity.”
Cannoli is a Labrador Retriever who was trained for more than three years by the Pacific Assistance Dog Society (PADS).
PADS identified her as having the right disposition, resiliency and the ability to connect with multiple people. Cannoli is known as a self-serving dog whose work is treat motivated.
“If she was too empathetic, she would burn out,” explains Kim.
Cannoli comes to work with Kim every day and lives with her and her family. They can often be seen on walks outside the building to help Cannoli exercise and de-stress.
“PADS warned me it’d be a lot of work, and it has been. However, our program and clients feel so fortunate to have been approved to receive a dog like Cannoli. She came to us with all the skills needed and PADS provided hours of training to us so that we would also be a good fit for her!”
While Cannoli brings smiles across Archway, her role is to support the participants and staff in the Family Education and Family Connections programs. The first program provides free parenting courses, and the latter helps strengthen and preserve healthy relationships between parents and children through counselling, supervised visits and outreach services.
One of the clients Cannoli was able to help was Beth*, a child who was receiving services at Archway. Beth expressed no interest in interacting with Cannoli until she learned she could give Cannoli direction, and Cannoli would obey. As someone without any control in her home life, it was empowering for her to be able to give commands and have someone listen to her.
“She lit up and began looking forward to her time at Archway,” said Kim.
Staff also appreciate the comfort that Cannoli can provide as working with families in crisis can take their toll.
One staff member shared, “I LOVE having her around. She brightens the space when she enters any room,” said Kim.
“In her short time with us she has drastically affected our day-to-day work in so many positive ways!” ■
*Real Name Withheld
“Cannoli has been a great asset in helping all those she works with to regulate and sometimes de-escalate during or after intense moments.”
Why I Donate:
- The facilitators are awesome
- The material is super important, and well presented
- The dog is super cute
- The baked goods were very yummy
- Thanks for everything you do for the community
Family Education Participant