Winston officially started in his new role as canine ambassador at Fairmont Empress this week. Tracy Drake, director of Public Relations at Fairmont Empress, says he has received a warm welcome by both guests and staff. (Keri Coles/News staff)

New dog greeter spreading smiles at prestigious B.C. hotel

Trained as a guide dog, Winston was ‘too friendly’ for official service

The Fairmont Empress in Victoria has a new greeter who is winning hearts and spreading smiles.

Winston, a two-and-a-half-year-old puppy – three parts yellow lab and one part golden retriever – officially started in his role as canine ambassador this week.

“He is certainly the belle of the ball,” said Tracy Drake, director, Public Relations at Fairmont Empress. “He’s great with guests and the staff love him.”

Trained as a guide dog in Ontario by the Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind, Winston didn’t quite make the cut as a professional service dog.

“In Winston’s case he was too friendly,” said Drake. “It’s a great way to be a drop out. He’s perfect for us.”

RELATED: B.C. Guide dogs is looking for volunteer puppy raisers

The Fairmont chain occasionally works with Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind, taking in dogs that didn’t wind up being suited to work as professional service dogs, for various reasons.

Hotel Vancouver has Ella and her best friend Elly, both former BC Guide Dog trainees who each found they were better suited to the social life of a hotel ambassador.

Chateau Lake Louise has Marcus who holds the esteemed title of Director of Pet Relations at The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies.

Banff Springs Hotel has a black Labrador named Bear who brings 18 months of training to his position as a graduate of the Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind Program.

Fairmont Chateau Whistler has Alta who is a black Labrador, and is “arguably the most popular team member of Fairmont Chateau Whistler.”

RELATED: Vancouver Island service dogs helping veterans deal with PTSD

Winston is the latest recruit and already has a popular following. He even has his own Instagram account for visitors who want to keep tabs on the friendly pup.

“It’s a great addition to the hotel. It’s a unique wellness piece. I think a lot of people find travel very stressful and having a dog or something that resembles home for them is very comforting,” said Drake.


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Trained as a guide dog in Ontario by the Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind, Winston didn’t quite make the cut as a professional service dog as he was “too friendly”. (Keri Coles/News staff)

Just Posted

Looking Back: Searching for Pitt Lake gold

‘Facts and fantasy in the Legend of Slumach.’

Surrey RCMP launches online crime reporting tool today

The online crime reporting tool goes live Monday but for emergencies people should still call 911

Sun shines on Car Free Day in Maple Ridge

First ever event featured live music, vendors and activity stations

Cyclists take over Maple Ridge

More than 100 cyclists took part in the 17th annual Race the Ridge

Flowers and ceramics take over the ACT Art Gallery

Ceramica Botanica runs until July 27

‘This is unbelievable:’ Raptors dazzled by massive crowds at downtown Toronto parade

Mayor John Tory declares it ‘We The North Day’ after team’s historic NBA title win

Skipping school costs a dozen B.C. students chance at a new car

Cowichan’s Jared Lammi showed up and won $5,000 cheque toward vehicle, but he can’t drive

BC Ferries adds extra and late night summer sailings

Seasonal adjustments to sailing times also in effect on many routes

People throwing food at a bear in Fernie alarms conservation groups

“Approaching and feeding bears contributes to habituation,” says conservation group

Feds announce $50M strategy to fight dementia

Emphasis is on prevention and and supporting caregivers

Federal Liberals’ plan to help first-time homebuyers to kick in weeks before election

Ottawa to pick up 5% of a mortgage on existing homes for households that earn under $120,000 a year

Parents of B.C. murder victim want her personal belongings back

Lisa Dudley’s parents, Rosemarie and Mark Surakka, were at the Mission RCMP detachment Sunday

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Most Read