Photography by Annabelle Waugh Credits: Photography by Annabelle Waugh
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.
Kick-off the festivities with these recipes for crowd-pleasing apps.
These sweet-tangy pastries are ideal for easy holiday entertaining.
Get the recipe: Apple and Canadian Blue Cheese Tartlets with Icewine Glaze
While the dip is cooling, slice up a fresh baguette and some crudités for dipping.
Get the recipe: Bubbly Bacon and Butternut Dip
We're bringing back the cheese ball with these bite-size versions of the retro party snack.
Get the recipe: Mini Cheese Balls
This baked one-pan version of rösti is our secret to feeding a crowd without spending the evening in front of the stove.
Get the recipe: Crispy Salmon-Topped Rösti Squares
Serve these bite-size fresh mozzarella balls with toasted baguette slices.
Get the recipe: Lemon Pepper Bocconcini
Store-bought pickled beets make a super quick and tasty garnish.
Get the recipe: Smoked Cheddar Pancakes with Pickled Beets
It doesn't get more retro than cheese fondue, and this twist on the classic Swiss recipe offers a hit of Calvados at the end.
Get the recipe: Beer and Cheese Fondue Dip
Topped with crispy golden panko bread crumbs, these jalapeños are full of satisfying spicy flavour.
Get the recipe: Crispy Cheese-Stuffed Jalapeños
These cute individual-size pies are delicious served either hot, as an elegant starter with a salad, or cold, eaten out of hand with a little HP sauce.
Get the recipe: Mini Leek and Bacon Pies
Serve these veggie patties warm or at room temperature with a dollop of sour cream or our Chunky Applesauce.
Get the recipe: Mini Potato Zucchini Latkes
Sausage rolls are a sure hit at cocktail parties.
Get the recipe: Sausage Rolls with Honey Mustard Dip
With a perfect balance of creamy, spicy, sweet and savoury, we guarantee there will be no leftovers.
Get the recipe: Savoury Cheddar Cheesecake Spread
Serve this rich, creamy spread at room temperature with crackers or toast points.
Get the recipe: Wild Mushroom Pâté
Bring a little bit of Asian flair to the dinner table with this elegant recipe for spring rolls.
Get the recipe: Shrimp Spring Rolls and Yin Yang Marinated Vegetables
Move over, plain old french fries! Try an array of root vegetables served with our Chive Mayo dip.
Get the recipe: Rainbow Root Fries with Chive Mayo
Everyone will be reaching for these tasty sliders.
Get the recipe: Lazy Cheeseburger Sliders
If you have a hike-loving, 5K-running, canoe- paddling gal in your life, encourage her outdoorsy ways with these nature-ready picks.
Notebooks, $5 each, marshalls.ca.
Sharper Image waterproof speaker, $90, thebay.com.
WholeHome glass camera ornament, $7, sears.ca.
Yasmine Louis highway socks, $18 per pair, oneofakindshow.com.
Olivia rainboots, $65, kamik.com.
Honor artisan canoe paddle, $385, norquayco.com.
Flex 2 activity trackers, $130 each, fitbit.com.
Copper water bottle, $32, drakegeneralstore.ca.
Ellie Mae toque, $165, elliemaestudios.com.
MEC Leatherman Tread Multi-tool, $220, mec.ca.