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Our House dog - Asha

In times of heartache and stress, any second of relief can lift burdens, allowing those who are sick or in pain to simply breathe. Asha is innocent to the power of her presence, but she has given these moments to children and their families countless of times. Illness never discriminates and neither does she. Her gift is something no doctor, medicine, or treatment can provide. Asha's curious, yet gentle nature has created an environment where families can feel at ease and at home.

With the role of boosting morale, self-esteem and overall feelings of well-being, Asha has been welcomed with open arms, and a chew toy, to the Ronald McDonald House® Southern Alberta family.

Thanks to the commitment from the Encana Corporation, Asha will provide laughter, cuddles, nose kisses, and even a listening ear to families staying at House for years to come.

Since families cannot bring their pets with them during their stay, Asha (a Labrador Retriever/Poodle cross), was carefully selected and generously donated to the House by a local southern Alberta breeder, Prairie Doodles in July 2011.

As the Director of PAWSitive Relations, Asha has given support, playfulness, laughter and plenty of cuddle sessions to anyone and everyone she encounters.

Asha's name means hope in Hindi and was selected by the families at the House from a list of 287 names submitted by Encana employees.

Asha has a very structured schedule when she is at the House. This allows her to interact with families and offer the hope that inspired her name. A typical day includes visiting with families, napping, listening to troubles, getting belly rubs, going for walks, and showing off her tricks.

Asha’s special friend and dog trainer, Kirsten Rose played a big role in Asha’s introduction to the House. Although puppy training is complete, Asha and Kirsten hangout often.

If you’d like to chat with Asha, email her at,

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Special thanks to the following contributors:

Kirsten Rose is a certified professional dog trainer specializing in canine behaviour and dog training. She completed her apprenticeship through the Calgary Humane Society where she continues to teach classes and help adopters train their dogs. Kirsten is also certified through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. She regularly attends workshops with the best instructors in the dog training industry to stay at the forefront of canine behavioural science and training technique and is a Certified Behaviour Consultant - Canine.


Prairie Doodles was thrilled to partner with Ronald McDonald House® Southern Alberta and donate one of their Australian Labradoodle puppies. They are located south of Calgary and are one of Alberta's original breeders of the Australian Labradoodle. The Australian Labradoodle is renowned worldwide for their therapy dog qualities. Their goal in breeding these engaging and delightful dogs is to provide families throughout North America (and beyond) with beautiful, non-shedding, happy and healthy family pets!

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