Name: Tundra
Title: Zootherapist
Faculty: With the Student Academic Success Service (SASS) and Health Promotion

What inspires you the most about your work at uOttawa?
The aspect of my work I like most is most definitely my daily contact with students and knowing that my presence on campus can help many of them do better academically, but more importantly in their personal lives.

What project is taking up most of your time at work right now?
I am currently top dog on a new animal therapy initiative set up by the Student Academic Success Service (SASS) and Health Promotion, which takes up a lot of my time. My work schedule and workplace are actually very varied, but you will be able to find them easily on the SASS or Health Promotion website.

What has been your life’s proudest moment to date, or what are you the proudest of?
Without doubt during my convocation – Therapeutic Paws of Canada certification. I prepared really hard for that – especially in my agility and obedience classes. I also am pretty good in French, having taken an intensive course in Jonquière.

What would your colleagues be most surprised to learn about you?
That studies on my profession show that spending time with me (and my colleagues) can reduce stress and anxiety. This aspect of my work can be especially useful during exam time or in difficult situations.

What’s your favourite pastime?
My hobbies include herding other dogs, chasing squirrels, manipulating humans into giving endless belly rubs, and playing with my adopted canine sister

Which five people, living or dead, would you like to invite to dinner?
I would definitely invite Audrey Giles, Associate Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa. Audrey is not only my owner, she is also my best friend and I spend most of my time with her. We make a great team together! She knows me well and responds to my needs. Next, I would like to invite Jingles, a dog belonging to psychiatrist Boris Levinson, the first to show how dogs can help with therapy. I would also invite a horse colleague to talk about a number of aspects related to our work (horses are the second-most-used animals in therapy, after dogs). I would also like to invite a dog biscuit creator, to learn more about the field and offer my services as taster. Last but not least, I would invite Snowy so he could tell me about his big-screen experience.

What’s your greatest hope for the future?
That more people will take an interest in animal therapy and its benefits, and that my involvement in this initiative will help as many students as possible.

You can follow Tundra’s adventures on Twitter: @TundraDawg

11 Responses to “Tundra”

  1. France Malette

    Bravo pour cet article très bien écrit, je suis propriétaire d’un gros chien aussi sympathique que Tundra et je crois fermement aux bienfaits de la zoothérapie. Les chiens nous enseignent beaucoup de choses et ils ne jugent personne. J’espère avoir la chance de croiser Tundra sur le campus.

  2. Yolande

    Très intéressant. Je prévois commencer à participer au programme de Ottawa Therapy Dogs en sept. prochain lorsque Zirci, mon labradoodle aura ses 2 ans. J’ai très hâte.

  3. Nathalie

    I’m really happy about this. I’m wondering when this will be approved and when Tundra will be on site so we can see her. She’s gorgeous:)

    • Audrey Giles

      Thanks for all the comments! It has been approved as a pilot program. Tundra (and I) will be at Health Promotion on Tues., Feb. 28th from 2 – 3:30pm. I agree that she is an incredibly attractive dog – as she is adopted, however, I can’t take credit for her good looks! Sincerely, Tundra’s proud human companion, Audrey

      • Nathalie

        Right on!!!!!!!
        So can we see her on the 28th or after or both? When will she be at SASS? I would just love to spend some time with her. I have pets of my own as well and I am a wildlife rehabilitator, so I am an animal lover:)


        • Audrey Giles

          Nathalie – she will be at Health Promotion (second floor of the UCU) on the 28th. We’re trying to finalize some other dates for her, too.

  4. Patrice Elston

    Hi Audrey,

    Bravo for doing this! I’d like to talk with you about Tundra and your experience, as Copper and I would love to get certified with TPOC and help de-stress the Algonquin students. When you have a moment, could you email me at patrice_e at homail dot com?

    Many thanks!


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