Past Events

Vancouver Island agility groups and individuals, along with Dog Agility Work Group (DAWG), are very excited to be hosting the 12th Annual Agility Association of Canada’s (AAC) National Agility Championships, to be held August 1st to August 5th, at Beban Park Sports Complex, located in beautiful Nanaimo, British Columbia. Smiling Blue Skies is very proud to be a Gold Level Sponsor for this prestigious event.

Participation is expected to exceed 600 dog/handler teams from across Canada and the United States, and 200 volunteers per day! An event of this magnitude and calibre, showcases absolutely amazing canine athletes and their human partners, as they run for National Championship Podium placements and awards. It is incredibly exciting!

Dog agility in Canada attracts people from all walks of life, and encompasses all age groups, from the youngest junior handlers to senior citizens. Agility promotes a healthy active lifestyle for all of us!! It is a game the whole family can play.

Agility groups across Canada have joined together over the past few years, to support The Smiling Blue Skies Cancer Fund, part of the University of Guelph’s Veterinary College and Teaching Hospital Pet Trust. It doesn’t matter where you live. Smiling Blue Skies offers 24/7 support to anyone whose life has been touched by cancer, and will try to help in any way they can.

OVC Pet Trust is devoted to providing financial assistance for the advancement of health, health care, and quality of life for companion animals. More than 120 studies into naturally occurring diseases affecting companion animals, have been carried out with Pet Trust funds.

Cancer is the most frequent cause of death in dogs. This is a truly frightening though. In an independent study conducted by the Golden Retriever Club of America, it was determined that over sixty percent of Goldens die from cancer. As one breeder pointed out, if you have Golden Retrievers, you have had, have now, or will have a Golden with cancer. It is a burden we all share. In loving our dogs, whether pure breeds or mixed breeds, we want the very best for them, in health, and in sickness.

In Canada, our very own human cancer statistic matches our dogs’ statistic!! One out of three dogs, whether pure breed or mixed breed, will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives!!

The University of Guelph is the first Canadian institution to join the US National Cancer Institute’s Comparative Oncology Trials Consortium (COTC). The move positions the University of Guelph Institute for Comparative Cancer Investigation (ICCI) and the OVC Cancer Centre with 19 other academic oncology centers at the leading edge of cancer research in North America.

Every single dollar donated to The Smiling Blue Skies Cancer Fund supports OVC’s quest to find more and better ways to deal with and understand this terrible disease.

We have been told, that in sharing Blues’ story, we have helped to raise awareness of Pet Trust and OVC’s fight against cancer. Thanks to YOU, we ARE making a difference!

As Kathy Hay, Associate Vice-President, Advancement, Alumni Affairs and Development, once said, “Smiling Blue Skies is truly a beacon that is helping to light the way to find a cure for such a dreadful disease. The interdisciplinary cancer research and training enabled by your continued support allows future generations of cancer care specialists and scientists to achieve new breakthroughs, new diagnostic procedures and therapies. The generous support you provide has immense implications for both human and animal cancers. Thank you for your continued leadership and advocacy.”

It has been said, that if we could hang all of our sorrows on pegs, and were allowed to choose those we liked best, every one of us would take back their own, for all the rest would seem even more difficult to bear.

Together, we can reach beyond the bluest skies and the brightest stars, to take a big bite out of cancer, on behalf of ALL of us!!!

Let’s all sponsor a dog for the AAC National Agility Championships!!

“A Walk in the Park” at the Granite Club, in Toronto

Michael Beber, Liza Cowell (The Skye’s the Limit for Canine Life), and Jeffrey Beber

Jeffrey Beber and Michael Beber at the podium

Jim Cuddy and his band at the “Walk in the Park” Gala

“A Walk in the Park” necklace created specially for the gala, by Smiling Blue Skies ® Jewelry

The Agility Association of Canada “Ontario Agility Regionals” were held on May 28th to May 30th, 2010, at the Centre Wellington Recreation Complex, located in Fergus, Ontario, and hosted by “Jumping for Joy.”

Thanks to Robin Eagleson and to her ongoing passion and mission to wipe cancer off the earth, and some beard hairs along with it. Roger made a bet, that if Robin and her crew raised $500.00, he would shave off his beard!! Robin wove her “grovelling” magic, and the money poured in. Roger took to the “shaving chair,” and folks were charged to watch the “performance.” Thanks to a professional groomer, with expertise with “poodle pups,” Roger not only got a great shave, but OVC was carved into what was left of his beard. A great time was had by all!!!

Photographs of Roger are courtesy of

Special thanks to Karen Scott, OVC Pet Trust, for going to the Ontario Regionals,
and raising over $1200.00 for OVC Pet Trust.

2010 Walks for Canine Cancer Walks

Thank you , Thank all of you for contributing so much for the good of our precious pets. As a result of your work and support, we raised a whopping $12,000 for the study of new cancer diagnostics and treatments for all companion animals through Pet Trust at the Ontario Veterinary College. Not only will our pets benefit, but the knowledge gained will be shared with human research, for the good of us all.

We plan to do it all again next year! Hope to see you there! Any constructive comments or suggestions are welcome.

In gratitude and awe of what we achieved together, Mary Shillabeer

2010 Smiling Blue Skies Walk for Cancer – Calgary Organizer


Calgary Walk Information

Glenmore Park North  (Snowy Oil Shelter)

Enter Park at 37th St SW & 66th Ave SW Calgary, AB
Calgary, Alberta

Sunday, May 2, 2010
9am registration, 10am walk

Driving Instructions:

  • From Glenmore Trail take the Crowchild Trail South ramp onto Crowchild Trail SW.

  • Turn right on to 66 Avenue SW, drive for about 1.5 km. The park entrance is on your left.

Burlington Walk Information

Beachway Park (at the Pump House)

Lakeshore Road
Burlington, Ontario

Sunday, June 13, 2010
9am registration, 10am walk

Gravenhurst Walk Information

The Muskoka Wharf

821 Bay Street
Gravenhurst, Ontario

Saturday, July 3, 2010
11pm registration, 12pm walk

Montreal Walk Information

Le Parc de la Nature de Laval

901 Park Avenue (avenue du Parc), Laval, Quebec
Montréal, Québec

Sunday, August 29, 2010
Lundi, le 29 aout 2010
10 am registration, 11am walk
(Dimanche, le 10 août, 2010 – 10am enregistrement, 11am promenade)


The transition from Junior to Senior/Master hunter level work is a huge one for dogs and handlers alike.  In order to make the “big jump” you and your dog must master a large number of new concepts. These concepts include:

  • Marking – double and triple marking scenarios, delayed and diversion marks.
  • Dealing with scent, poison birds and dry shots Honouring and steadiness
  • Blinds – successful training for land and water blinds Handler
  • Training – how to analyze and run various marking and handling tests

The objective of this workshop is to assist you in putting together a training plan that will enable you and your dog to successfully take part in Senior and Master level tests. The plan includes a number of drills that will advance your dog’s handling and marking skills, as well as a program to improve your handling of your dog in training and at hunt tests.

Anne Everett owns and operates Heads Up Kennels in Merville, BC, where she trains and breeds working Golden Retrievers. Anne has earned over 100 Master passes on 12 different dogs, 6 WCX titles, 6 UKC HRCH’s, 6 UKC UH’s, as well as Qualifying field trial wins and Open placements with  her dogs.. She has titled 4 Grand Master Hunters in Canada, as well as 10 Master Hunters and a number of Junior and Senior dogs. Anne is a licensed WCX, hunt test and field trial judge in Canada. Anne has also earned CKC OTCH titles on two dogs and has numerous High In Trials in the Obedience Ring. She earned the first OTCH-MH title combination on a Golden Retriever in Canada.

The workshop will be held at TNT Kennels, Aldergrove, BC from 9 – 5 pm Saturday and Sunday, May 8/9, 2010.  Participants will be limited to 15 working handlers. The cost for the workshop is $200 (one dog per handler).  Registration will close when spaces are filled.  Spectators are welcome and the cost for a spectator spot is $125.

For further information, please contact Christine Kobler: 604-846-4840 or email her at

Lunch is included with your seminar registration !!  

“Luke’s Legacy” Best Friends Walk

Simms Park

489 Old Island Highway
Courtenay, BC

Sunday, October 25, 2009
10 am registration, 11am walk

Woofstock 2009

June 13th and 14th, 2009, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. each day.

Woofstock is the largest outdoor festival for dogs, and the people who live with them. Quirky and fun, Woofstock offers festive entertainment and consumer shows which will take place in their exciting new and larger location, in historic St. Lawrence Market, in Toronto.

The St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood is located at Front Street East and Jarvis Street.

For further information or to help out, please call 416-234-9663

Check out


Hello Everyone:

I haven’t seen many of you since the famous 1st Annual Janice Gunn Seminar that snowy blustery weekend last December.  Yikes!  Wasn’t that a time??  Some wonderful memories, not all of them related to the weather.

The 2nd Annual Seminar is around the corner, so I wanted to let all of you know about our plans thus far.  The Seminar will once again be hosted by the Forbidden Plateau Obedience and Tracking Club, working side by side with Smiling Blue Skies.  We made a wonderful pair last time and are ready to do an encore!  The location of the seminar will be the same one as last time.  For those of you who did not attend, it was held at Nanoose Place.  The address is 2825 Northwest Bay Road, Nanoose Bay on Vancouver Island.  The dates are scheduled for April 4th and 5th 2009.  There will be 18 working spots available this year, and unlimited spectator spots.  The seminar will be geared toward competition obedience handlers and trainers of all levels.  This notice is a preliminary one, just to keep you in the loop.  An official notice with much more detail will be sent out some time in October.  For now, I have been receiving many requests for information, so I thought it was time to send out the bare essentials of information.

Working spots will be given out on a first come first serve basis, with priority being given to Forbidden Plateau Obedience and Tracking Club members and those who held working spots last year.  All I need for now is notice from you that you are interested.  I will keep track of those who notify me in the order those notices come in.  The list will be made accordingly.  I have not as yet figured out what the cost will be, so no money need be sent.  We will be attempting to keep the cost in line with last year’s , allowing for increased costs in hall rental, etc., as best we can.  For those of you who did not attend, the cost last year was $ 150 for a working spot and $70 for a spectator spot.

The goal of the seminar will be the same as last year’s . . . along with benefiting from Janice’s incredible skills with training us to train our dogs, we will once again be donating all profits that come from this seminar to the Smiling Blue Skies Cancer Fund and to Breast Cancer.  Once again, the profits will be split between the two organizations equally.  We will have door prizes, gifts, and a silent auction table.  Anyone who would like to make a donation to the table, we truly welcome your support and generosity.  It was largely through the kindness of those who put items in the silent auction last year that we were able to raise over $3,000 in donations last year.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could top that amount this year??

IF you feel you are interested in attending the April seminar, please send me a quick email.   I will put you on the list. Please do so prior to October 31st, 2008.  After that date, I will be opening the working spots that remain to anyone else who I receive notice from that would like a spot.  When you notify me, please tell me if you want a working spot or a spectator spot.  Also, if you request a working spot, please also let me know if you would like a spectator spot should all the working spots be taken.

I will now add a bit of information for those of you who have not attended last year’s seminar, to give you an idea of where our goal came from, of donating profits to these two cancer research funds.

Some of you know me. Many do not. I am Judy Johnston and have been a member of the forbidden Plateau Obedience and Tracking Club for the last 5 years. January of 2007 I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. The surgery was on March 2nd and the chemotherapy treatment began in April and continued until June 2008. I have attended several Janice Gunn seminars in the past. One of my favorites was her Summer Camp in 2006. I was to attend the Summer Camp again in 2007,  in August. The chemo treatment prevented me from being able to attend. Janice had been incredibly supportive of me throughout my treatment. When she heard that I would not be able to attend Camp, and knew how disappointed I was with this turn of events, her response was . . .”If you can’t come to me, I’ll come to you! ” Such a friend! Janice would like to see all profits from these seminars go to cancer research. We will be splitting any profits equally between Breast Cancer Research and Smiling Blue Skies. Cancer research is near and dear to Janice. One of her Goldens, Echo, successfully battled cancer in 2007, thanks largely to the help and guidance given through  Smiling Blue Skies.

For those of you unfamiliar with Smiling Blue Skies, please take a moment out and click on this link.

Please explore the entire website. If you click on the Events link on the left hand side, and scroll to the bottom of that page, you will find a slide show of last year’s seminar. Smiling Blue Skies is a wonderful foundation, dedicated to research on this disease of cancer that has unfortunately touched so many of our furry friends lives. Smiling Blue Skies is also helping to build Canada’s very first comprehensive cancer centre for companion animals, the Institute for Comparative Cancer Investigation.

There you have it . . . how this seminar and fund raiser came to be.

Thank you for your interest. Hope to see you in April.

Judy Johnston

2008 Smiling Blue Skies Walks for Canine Cancer

Look around you. Take a good look. One out of three dogs, whether pure breed or mixed breed, will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. One out of three people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. Most recently, in “MORE” magazine, which is devoted to stories profiling women over 40, contained a full page ad with one message in heavy bold script and it said, that one out of three women will be diagnosed with cancer.

Cancer touches us all. Look around you. We have all had a family member, a friend, a colleague, face cancer. Cancer doesn’t bother to knock on the door. It barges right in.

It knocked on Heather and Doug Wilson’s door early last year,when their beloved German Shepherd, Luke was diagnosed with cancer, and six weeks after the diagnosis, Luke died at home, surrounded by the family he loved so much and his teddy.

Heather’s heart break, after losing her soul dog, along with a special story I will share with you now, provided the impetus to Heather and Doug, to step up to the plate, and help to change the face of cancer, on behalf of each of us here today.

Two days after Luke’s death, a robin showed up at Heather’s living room window and started knocking on the glass. The bird stayed put even when Heather opened the window. After some time it left, only to return the following day. After repeated visits, Heather mentioned the “silly bird” to a friend who suggested it might be Luke telling her that he’s okay. So the next day, Heather started talking to the bird and telling “Luke” how much she missed him. The robin returned for 12 straight days until Heather brought out Luke’s teddy bear, to show that she had “got the message.” After a few moments the robin flew away and did not return for some time. One evening a few weeks later, Heather was feeling particularly down and missing her “soul dog.” The bird came back the following morning and lifted Heather’s spirits. The robin has not returned since.

I would like to leave you with this piece, so poignantly written by Robert Fulgum, that first appeared in the “Kansas City Times” in 1986. I think that each of us can learn a valuable lesson from these simple words, that Smiling Blue Skies’ Suzi used to read at the end of each of her workshops.


Most of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do and how to to be, I learned in kindergarten.
Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain but there in the sandbox at nursery school.

These are things I learned: Share everything. Play fair. Don’t hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don’t take things that aren’t yours. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody. Wash your hands before you eat. Flush. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Live a balanced life. Learn some and and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some. Take a nap every afternoon.

When you go out into the world, watch for traffic, hold hands and stick together. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the plastic cup. The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.

Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the plastic cup — they all die. So do we.

And then remember the book about Dick and Jane and the first word you learned, the biggest word of all: LOOK.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The golden rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and sane living.

Think of what a better world it would be if we all — the whole world — had cookies and milk about 3 o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankets for a nap.

Or if we had a basic policy in our nation and in other nations to always put things back where we found them and cleaned up our own messes.

And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

45 Cranfield Road, Unit 5, East York
(416) 690-1077 •

Canine Wellness Games
July 20th 2008, 9:00 a.m.

We are pleased to announce that this year, our title sponsor is Sashas™, a product that reduces pain and
inflammation, and protects joints from breakdown associated with arthritis and other inflammatory cartilage conditions.

Canine Wellness Centre is hosting the 2008 Canine Wellness Games (formerly Canine Special Olympics) on July 20th, 2008,
at the Canine Wellness Centre in East York, Toronto. This year, we anticipate participation to exceed 250 dogs and owners, and our
goal this year is to ensure that all dog owners can share and enjoy the many abilities of their treasured pets, by providing owners and
their pets an interactive experience, learning about the many sports and organizations that support canines of all abilities.
Wellness begins with a healthy lifestyle including nutrition and exercise, so come and join in on the fun.

Canine Wellness will be relying on a group of volunteers, sponsors and vendors, who share a love of dogs and a healthy lifestyle.
As we have a “not for profit” mandate for this event, entrance is free; however, donations would be greatly appreciated and will be
donated to The Smiling Blue Skies Cancer Fund ®, part of the University of Guelph’s Pet Trust, a charitable foundation
that provides research and treatment facilities for the many dogs who suffer from various forms of cancer.

A portion of the proceeds, will be will be allocated to the “Rehab for Rescues Fund” to provide rehabilitation for dogs in need.

If you are interested in sponsoring, volunteering or being a vendor, please contact

Events begin at: 9:00 a.m., rain or shine.

“Paws for All Abilities” will showcase your canines’ artistic abilities on our giant outdoor canvas.

Experience swimming with your pet, in our supervised pool.

Try your “paws” at agility, in our competition agility ring.

“Ask the Vet” will be available all day.

Have you ever wanted to see if your dog can join Canada’s top therapy dog association?
This is your chance to participate in a “Therapy Dogs of Canada” mini-test to see what it is all about.

Learn about acupuncture from Secord Animal Hospital’s Dr Rona Sherebrin.

We will have lots  of prizes and gifts for everyone!

Mark your calendars!

There are going to be 2 walks for canine cancer on
the island, on October 5th and October 26th, 2008.

The Smiling Blue Skies ® Cancer Fund is joining forces with Luke’s Legacy (Broomacres German Shepherds),
for this very special event.

Times and locations coming soon!!

Luke, a German Shepherd, was not yet six years old when cancer stole him from Heather and her husband, Doug, and their family.
Last year, Heather held her first “Best Friends” Walk with 47 people and 50 dogs.
They raised $2,000!!

All proceeds from this joint venture will be earmarked for canine cancer research, through OVC’s Pet Trust.

Smiling Blue Skies ® is very proud to support “Luke’s Legacy.”

Together, we are stronger.
Together, we can take an even bigger bite out of cancer.
Together, we are supporting precious pets and people!

Smiling Blue Skies has raised $200,000 for canine cancer treatment and research,
and the building of Canada’s first cancer centre for companion animals.

. . . Stay tuned for more information . . .

Best Wishes,

Suzi & Heather

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Founder of The Smiling Blue Skies ® Cancer Fund
“The Smiling Blue Skies ® Cancer Resource Centre”
Recipient of the 2004/2007 GRCC Silmaril Kennel Trophy,
for the Human/Animal Bond


Total Raised for the Weekend $1582.74!






Barb, Judy, Joanne, Suzi, Janice, Kathy, and Lesley

Many thanks to Arlene and Nicole for capturing the joy of our very special weekend together.

Janice Gunn Seminar & Cancer Fund Raising Weekend

December 1 & 2, 2007 at Nanoose Place, 2825 Northwest Bay Road, Nanoose Bay.Eighteen working spots, as well as unlimited spectator spots are available. Times will be posted prior to the event.

Working spots will cost $ 150
Spectator spots will cost $ 70

West Coast Canine Life

donated 100% of their sales from of their products over the seminar weekend to Smiling Blue Skies and Breast Cancer Research.
Please visit

Some of you know me. Many do not. I am Judy Johnston & have been a member of the Forbidden Plateau Obedience & Tracking Club for the last 4 years. This January I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. The surgery was on March 2nd & the Chemotherapy treatment began in April & will continue until July 2008. I have attended several Janice Gunn seminars in the past. One of my favorites was her Summer Camp in 2006. I was to attend this year’s Summer Camp in August. The Chemotherapy treatment is preventing me from being able to attend. Janice has been incredibly supportive of me throughout my treatment. When she heard that I would not be able to attend Camp this summer, & knew how disappointed I was with this turn of events, her response was…. “If you can’t come to me, I’ll come to you!! “ Such a friend! Janice has proposed that I put out an invitation to all the Island Clubs for this event. Janice would like to see all profits from this seminar go to Cancer Research. We will be splitting any profits equally between Breast Cancer Research, & Smiling Blue Skies. Cancer research is near & dear to Janice. One of her Goldens, Echo, successfully battled cancer this past year. It seems unfortunate, but cancer is on the increase, both to the canine population as well as to our own. We all seem to know someone fighting the fight, be they human or animal.

We would like to propose the following to you. Please contact your club members. Tell them of this event. Ask that individuals notify you if they would like a working spot or a spectator spot no later than September 30th. If more than 18 people want a working spot, all interested participants will be entered in a draw. The 18 successful winners will be notified by the end of October. Please have interested participants indicate if they wish a spectator spot should they not be successful in winning a working spot.

Janice is going to make a donation of free training. This will be entered as either a raffle or silent auction. We are hoping that each club might care to make some type of donation as well. Various things could happen. Your club might decide to put together a basket to be offered in the raffle/silent auction. Your club might decide to make a financial donation. Individual members of your club, either those attending the seminar or those not able to, might choose to make their own personal donation. Any & all proceeds will be given equally to the Breast Cancer Foundation & Smiling Blue Skies.

Janice, Teresa Myrfield & I would love to see a large turnout for this event. It is so seldom that we are able to visit with other Island Club members. We hope to make this a social event as well as a training event. We also hope to have an enthusiastic turnout so we can help make a difference to this disease which seems to be touching all our lives. It is a wonderful opportunity to help those involved Fight the Good Fight by donating to Cancer Research.

Once participants have been notified they have a working spot, a questionnaire will be sent out to each participant to find out what it is they would like to work on during their time slot. Janice also plans on some small group exercises. These questionnaires will be going out early in November.

If the working spots end up in a draw situation, the winners will be notified by the end of October. Payment in full is required by November 15th. If you fail to mail in your payment by the deadline, the first person in line on the waiting list will be offered your spot. Spectator spots may submit payment at their convenience, but we would also appreciate your payment by November 15th,

Please help us make this event a success.

Questions can be directed to:

Judy Johnston 250-339-1155

Information on Smiling Blue Skies can be found at

Hope to see you there.

Judy Johnston

Stay tuned for news about more Smiling Blue Skies Events.