News | DrumhellerMail - Page #3369
Last updateWed, 17 Jul 2024 3pm

Toby heads to seeing eye dog training college


    Kim McCulley is bidding a fond farewell to her companion who has been at her heel for the last 17 months.
    Many in the valley have come to recognize Toby. The tall lean Black Labrador, often  wearing a white pinnie showing he is working,  McCulley has been raising Toby since he was a pup for future use as a Seeing Eye Dog.
    On Tuesday he boarded a flight to Vancouver where he will be entering college.
    “The time flies, and it was lots of fun,” said McCulley. “He is doing excellent, they expect him to be a star.”
    McCulley and Toby have been working together on basic skills, and have been attending training. Toby is now mature enough to enter the final phase of intense training. It is  bitter sweet for McCulley.
    “It’s tough, but we expect they are going to leave, and when they do you hope they are confident and they have no problems,” she says with a grin. “You hate to have nagged him for 17 months for nothing.”
    She believes Toby is ready. He has an even temperament and has done well with his training. Basic skills such as indicating doors and stairs are well entrenched. She says without his bib he loves to play like any other dog. The Newcastle Ball Diamonds have become Toby’s stomping ground where he revels in the endless supply of windfall that was knocked from the trees following the September windstorm. When he is in uniform he is all business. Having said that, seeing eye dogs take pride in their work and  are happy to serve.
    McCulley’s relationship with Toby will endure. She says she will be able to keep track of him throughout his training, and often  the new owners are generous sharing how he is doing.
    “It’s not like I am losing him, I still get to hear how he does, and the clients send letters and photos, so it’s not like I’ll never get to see him,” she said.
    For Toby now comes five months of intensive 9-5 training before he starts his service.
    McCulley says the Town of Drumheller has been very supportive to make sure he is a healthy, happy dog with no issues.
    “He’s been everywhere with me, to the doctor and grocery store. Everywhere I go, he went with me,” she said.
    McCulley has enjoyed the experience of raising Toby and hopes to continue. She is eligible to act as a foster to another seeing eye dog in the future, and if given the chance, she will take in another dog to raise.

Downtown Drumheller has changes to annual Halloween programs


    Downtown Drumheller is hosting the 6th annual Trick or Treating this Saturday. Last year 600 children, along with their parents, walked the streets downtown where more than 50 businesses handed out candy and treats. Several businesses have given out treats other than candy and children were able to have their photo taken in their costumes.
    This year the Haunted House will be held at the Worlds Largest Dinosaur, in the Chamber offices from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
    Trick or treating downtown will be from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday October 31, although some businesses will close at 5.
    This year there will be pumpkin carving contest at DARTS, however, it will not be on Halloween it will be the day before on Friday, October 30. You can drop off your pumpkins on Friday, October 30 between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. for judging.
    During the Dragons game on Saturday, October 31 at the Memorial arena there will be a costume contest sponsored by the Chinook Credit Union.

Alumni Flames bringing star studded roster


    If the cast of snipers and grinders assembled to take on the Calgary Flames alumni on Wednesday, November 11 at Drumheller Memorial Arena, come home  with a “W” they will be in good company.
    Former Calgary Flames are lacing up to play a charity game in support of the Badlands Community Facility, and as former Flame Jim Peplinski tells The Mail, the alumni come to win.
    “The only team we lost to was the Women’s National team,” said Pepper, co-captain of the 1989 Stanley Cup winning Flames. “It seems every time we play women we lose. But other than that, never.”
    That might be a bet you can take to the bank. A short list confirmed (allthough he adds the caveat; subject to road conditions, physical debilities that may occur between now and November 11, and kids commitments that are not on the schedule) include himself, Lanny McDonald, Jamie Macoun, Dana Murzyn, Perry Berezan and Sheldon Kennedy.
    “Let me put it this way, that is our second line,” he says, adding the Flames’ second all time scoring leader Theoren Fleury could even make an appearance.
    “I did mention it to him before his book came out and he said ‘absolutely,’ but his schedule has been packed up since then, so I don’t know if he will make it,” said Peplinski.
    He says they are prepared too.
    “We just had our alumni training camp, and we are getting ready for a full slate. Training camp included medical testing, conditioning, and our first exhibition game. It lasted an hour and 15 minutes,” he said.
    He says the Flames alumni are supportive of endeavours that provide recreation to young people. The connection to the Drumheller project came early on in the process when the committee was in talks in regards to the Scott Seaman Rink project, which Peplinski is involved with through the Calgary Flames Foundation.
    “We originally looked at being a part of Drumheller facility improvement project, but for a number of different reasons that did not come to fruition,” he said. “What we were able to do at minimum was get our alumni engaged to come out and bring some awareness to the good work that is being done.”
    “We are involved with anything that we can find the time for, and that can make a positive difference in getting active and playing sports, whether it be hockey or anything else.”   
    Part of this connection came through a friend of Peplinski, and committee member Elson McDougald, and Pepper is ready to mix things up.
    “You may have not heard this yet, but the real draw to my understanding… I haven’t spoke to him yet, but I am hearing this through my trap line…is Elson McDougald is going to play goal (for the Drumheller squad),” chuckles Peplinski. “He’s calling us out and says he has had a shut out for his entire life, and doesn’t expect to be scored on.”


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