Illustrations by Josie Portillo
These pooches, all Purina Animal Hall of Fame inductees, showed amazing loyalty and courage in the face of potential tragedy.
Late one evening, Matthew Church returned from a bike ride complaining to his wife, Patricia, of pain in his shoulder and elbow. She gave him a couple of Aspirin, and he went upstairs to watch TV while Patricia read by the fireplace downstairs, the family's labradoodle, Zola, at her feet. Moments later, Patricia heard a thud from upstairs. She would have brushed off the noise, but Zola began to bark and growl at Patricia. Confused by Zola's behaviour, Patricia followed the dog upstairs, where Matthew was lying facedown without vital signs. He'd gone into cardiac arrest, but because of Zola's protective instincts, the ambulance arrived in time to restart his heart and save his life.
Raya, a five-year-old black Labrador retriever–Norwegian elkhound mix, loves elk hunting with her owner, Brent Cote, and his mother, Trudy. On a warm fall day in 2015, one such outing turned out to be much more exciting than usual. They'd been hiking for several hours when dusk fell and they began making their way back to their truck, walking along the edge of the forest. Out of nowhere, a bear burst out of the brush and charged toward the family in an effort to protect her cub. In an instant, Raya leaped in front of Brent and Trudy, barking and growling at the bear. After three attempts at charging, the mom and her cub were forced to retreat. Because of Raya's bravery, the trio was able to escape without injury.
Port Alberni, B.C., resident Kayla Aolick credits her golden retriever, Shadow, with helping restore her independence. Kayla has epilepsy, the aftereffect of a cancerous brain tumour that was removed when she was 11, and her episodes were once so bad that she couldn't go anywhere alone. But since the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides matched her with the seizure-detection dog four years ago, things have been very different. Shadow warns Kayla when a seizure is coming on—and he may be the reason she now experiences fewer episodes. With Shadow around, she and her family don't stress out as much about what will happen if a seizure strikes; they know he'll alert Kayla, get her mom or even push her medical-alert button, if necessary. From taking cooking classes to running errands solo, Kayla can finally live a more independent life.
Toronto Police Service Canine Unit Const. Steve Balice rarely goes anywhere without his police dog, Lonca. One November evening, the duo was stationed at the back entrance of a residential address, while the rest of the Emergency Task Force entered through the front door. Const. Balice saw an armed man running from the building, seemingly headed toward the officers out front, so he shouted numerous warnings before finally releasing Lonca to bring the suspect down. The man proceeded to strike Lonca in the face with a machete—but he didn't let go until the suspect finally surrendered. Though bleeding, Lonca assisted in the capture of a second suspect before being rushed to the veterinary hospital, where he received five stitches on his face and two staples in his paw. The suspect who attacked Lonca was the first in Canada to be charged under Quanto's Law, a piece of legislation enacted in 2015 to protect law-enforcement animals, military animals and service animals.
The Purina Animal Hall of Fame is an annual ceremony that recognizes heroic animals from across Canada—to the tune of 172 inductees in its 48 years. The vast majority are dogs, but there have also been feline inductees—and even a horse! This year, in addition to these four brave dogs, Rex, a Saskatoon-area pooch who saved a family member from a house fire, was honoured. Read his heartwarming tale here: How one family's rescue dog turned out to be a hero.
Dairy-free drinks. Credits: Getty Images: AlexPro9500
We needed help demystifying the seemingly endless list of milk alternatives, so we went to the experts for real talk on dairy-free drinks.
Whether you're lactose intolerant, vegan, or just like the taste, there are plenty of reasons to experiment with adding milk alternatives to your diet. But with more varieties than ever before, how do you know which option is best for you? We asked two registered dietitians, Carol Harrison and Crystal MacGregor, for the skinny on dairy-free drinks.
Why does cow's milk get a bad rap?
Carol Harrison: Some people are worried about hormones or antibiotics in milk. But the truth is, growth hormones are not approved for use in dairy cattle in Canada. As well, The Canadian Food Inspection Agency reports compliance for veterinary product residues in milk is greater than 99 per cent.
Crystal MacGregor: Cow’s milk is a nutritious and safe choice. Non-dairy beverages are actually not suitable for children under the age of two because they do not contain enough calories, protein and fat to support children’s needs.
Which beverage is closest to cow’s milk in terms of nutritional profile?
CM: Soy is the closest to dairy in protein per serving at 7 grams of protein per cup. When possible, choose organic versions, as many conventional soy milks can come from genetically modified soybeans, which may contain higher levels of pesticides and fertilizers.
CH: The only beverages I consider nutritional substitutes for cow's milk are goat’s milk fortified with vitamin D and soy beverages fortified with calcium and vitamin D.
What are some things a person should consider when choosing a dairy-free beverage?
CM: If choosing a non-dairy alternative for a source of protein it is important to note that not all are created equal—most nut milks such as almond, coconut and cashew milk contain less than 1 g of protein per cup.
CH: Aim for 30 per cent daily value calcium and 45 per cent daily value vitamin D. Also choose unsweetened options to curb unwanted added sugars.
Check out our slideshow of popular dairy-free drinks, with pros and cons from our experts.
Pros: Almonds naturally contain vitamin E and minerals such as magnesium. It contains no saturated fats and is typically low in calories.
Cons: Almond milk is low in protein. Look for ones that do not have added oils.
Pros: Cashew milk is creamy, sweet and less nutty tasting than other nut milks. It makes a great addition to oatmeal and savoury dishes like curry.
Cons: Cashew milk is very low in protein and is not suitable for those with a tree nut allergy.
Pros: Great for those with, nut soy, and dairy allergies.
Cons: They are often higher in sugars, and added oils. Look for whole brown rice in the ingredients list.
Pros: Contains healthy natural saturated fats, and is lower in carbohydrates and calories than cow's milk and other plant-based beverages.
Cons: Higher in fat than other nut milks.
Pros: A good source of heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids. The watery consistency makes it a smooth addition for coffee and shakes.
Cons: Low in protein like other nut and seed milks and many are yet to be fortified with calcium or vitamin D.
Cherry Icebox Cookies
Any of these traditional cookies are sure to be a hit at your cookie exchange.
These red and green-speckled cookies are the perfect way to spread the festive spirit.
Get the recipe: Cherry Icebox Cookies
Everyone loves chewy toffee and melted chocolate. Mixing the two into a net little shortbread cup is a brilliant way to unite these two decadent treats.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Toffee Shortbread Cups
Canada, meet your new favourite cookie.
Get the recipe: Maple Shortbread
Eggnog is a rich indulgence, and these cookies live up to the name.
Get the recipe: Iced Eggnog Cookies
The holidays wouldn't be complete without sweet, buttery shortbread, so we've perfected a classic.
Get the recipe: The Ultimate Shortbread Cookies
Buttery shortbread gets a warm hug from spiced gingerbread dough in this mash-up of two favourite holiday cookies.
Get the recipe: Two-Tone gingerbread and shortbread cookies
Tested Till Perfect.
Get the recipe: Gingerbread Cookies
Rich dark chocolate and fragrant orange zest make these cookies ultra-sophisticated.
Get the recipe: Dark Chocolate, Orange and Cardamon Icebox cookies
Sweet chocolate chips and crunchy toffee bits give these buttery cookies a festive touch.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Toffee Icebox Cookies
Easy to make and undeniably popular, thumbprint cookies are the perfect no-fuss holiday sweet.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies
These cookies may look intricate, but they couldn't be simpler to make.
Get the recipe: Mint Chocolate Chip Icebox Cookies
Cinnamon and sugar make these cookies smell like everyone's favourite holiday breakfast.
Get the recipe: Cinnamon Roll Cookies
Use this classic ginger cookie dough to create four deliciously different ginger cookies.
Get the recipe: Basic Ginger Cookie Dough
Coarse sugar coats these delightful cookies, giving them an icy glow.
Get the recipe: Chewy Ginger Sparkles
Similar to French shortbread cookies called sables, these treats have a slightly sandy texture and rich flavour.
Get the recipe: Double Chocolate Icebox Cookies
Photography by Annabelle Waugh Credits: Photography by Annabelle Waugh