Keeping Your Pandemic Pooch Safe in the Car

Our dog, Effie, loved to ride in the car. Most of the time it meant she was going some place fun, like the dog park. Occasionally, it meant a trip to the vet. But she seemed to forget about those less-than-pleasant-trips and always enthusiastically hopped in the back seat. She had a slightly less than enthusiastic reaction to her seatbelt harness, but she eventually got used to it.

Effie

Effie says "Don’t forget to buckle up!”"

Since COVID-19 hit early in 2020, dog adoptions have been up across Canada. And since there is likely to be some travel over the upcoming holidays, I thought it would be a good idea to review the best ways to travel safely with your pet. It is important to note that every province has its own regulations regarding pet restraint in cars and pickup trucks, so it is best to check with your provincial SPCA.

In general, there are three ways to safely restrain your dog in your vehicle:

  • A seatbelt harness – a harness that is fitted to your dog and then attached to your seatbelt receptacle. This lets your dog have some movement in the back seat, but will restrain them in case of a sudden stop.
  • A crate – a sturdy container that confines your pup while you’re traveling. It should also be secured via a harness to the back seat or via a tether in the cargo area of your vehicle. Not all dogs are good in crates, so be sure to get them used to it at home before you travel.
  • A car seat – similar to booster seats for children, these are better for small or medium dogs. They can see out the window, but are safely restrained while you travel.

Your local pet store can help you choose an appropriate safety restraint for your dog.

If you are driving with your dog over the holidays, in addition to the right safety gear, you’ll want to pack the essentials – food, water, bedding, their favourite toy, collar and leash, and any necessary medications – and bring a copy of your pet’s medical record, in case you need an emergency vet along the way.

Our furry friends bring such joy to our lives, let’s be sure to keep them safe.

~Kate T.


Caring for Those Who Care for Others – The Petro-Canada CareMakers Foundation

I am in awe of my upstairs neighbor, Lydia. In the last year, Lydia has had both her older brother, who suffered a stroke, and her 89-year old mother move in with her. Lydia works full-time to support her family and also continues to care for both her mom and her brother. She works tirelessly to make sure they have everything they need. Lydia is a caregiver.

Launch of the Petro-Canada CareMakers Foundation

There are Lydia’s all across Canada. Eight million Canadians (that’s 1 in 4) provide unpaid care to a family member or friend with a long-term health condition, physical or mental disability, or age-related need. These caregivers play an integral role in supporting relatives, friends and neighbours, and they often go unrecognized and unsupported. At some point in our lives, over half of Canadians will be a family caregiver.

At Petro-Canada we believe that caregivers need support too. That’s why we are introducing the Petro-Canada CareMakers Foundation. Through the CareMakers Foundation, Suncor, the proud owner of Petro-Canada, plans to invest $10 million over the next five years to bring awareness and support to the essential work of caregivers.

Caregivers provide roughly 75% of all patient care in Canada. Among other things, family caregivers provide transportation, meal preparation and housekeeping. They schedule appointments, help with medications and provide emotional support. On average, a family caregiver will spend 19 or more hours per week on their caregiving duties, often while working full-time themselves.

But these essential activities come with a cost for the caregiver. According to Statistics Canada, 43% of caregivers reported missing work, 15% cut down their hours, and 10% passed up a promotion or new job. And while there are many rewards to being a caregiver, they also face a number of challenges, including a change in relationship dynamics, extreme lifestyle changes, depleted mental health, and tend to spend time worrying about their loved ones.

The Petro-Canada CareMakers Foundation will provide grants to charitable organizations in Canada that support family caregiving, to enhance and amplify their work. The first recipients of the CareMakers Foundation include:

For many, caring is more than a simple act of kindness; it’s an everyday commitment and an unspoken promise. Working with other organizations in the sector, the CareMakers Foundation will focus on providing tools and resources that can help support family caregivers in Canada. Want to learn more about the impact caregivers have and what Petro-Canada is hoping to do, visit caremakers.ca.

~ Kate T.


Remembrance Day Stories, Part 3: Life Lessons from the Military

To observe Remembrance Day this year and to honour all those who have served, we’ve asked a few members of the Petro-Canada family to share their stories and connection with the Canadian Armed Forces. We’re featuring three stories this year: Monday was William Bradley, a GSA in Sudbury, ON; yesterday was Renald Mazenc, an Associate in Regina, SK and his son, Orin Mazenc; and today is Christine, a member of our Marketing team and her son, Jaden.

Poppies by the Sea, British Columbia

Christine’s family doesn’t have a history of military service, so it was a bit of a surprise when her son, Jaden, enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces. He has currently served for over two years. “We are so proud of him and his service.” Christine introduced us to Jaden and he gave us the following interview.

PumpTalk: Can you describe your role in the military?

I am a member of the Canadian Air Forces and am currently an apprentice to become an aircraft service technician maintaining electronic systems on the CC130J Hercules. They do overseas and domestic flights.

PumpTalk: What made you decide to join the CAF?

I joined because it represented an opportunity for personal and professional development while serving a greater purpose. It gave me an opportunity to find a role supporting Canada and its people both domestically and internationally.

PumpTalk: Why is serving in the military important to you?

I see it as a great way for young adults to work in an environment where we are challenged and where our work matters; a lot of people my age may not understand how we can impact the world. I see the role of my squadron as facilitating positive change in and around the world. The Canadian Armed Forces works to uphold the law, protect our citizens and protect those in countries where human rights violations are breached. We also provide natural disaster relief when required.

Jaden, on duty
Jaden, on duty

PumpTalk: How has being in the military influenced your life?

It has taught me how to be more resourceful and determined while sometimes under high stress situations. I was trained to become a better team player because everything we do is team based. It has shown me that although hard work does pay off, determination and willpower will make or break any obstacle whether professional or personal.

PumpTalk: Is there anything that you would like to tell Canadians about Remembrance Day?

It’s easy to forget that not long ago, the world was a very different place. People gave their lives to prevent our world from slipping away from us. Remembrance Day is one day a year to reflect and appreciate that all that we have is irrevocably because so many died to preserve it. It should be a humbling experience as we remind ourselves that Canadians made a difference during such a horrible time.

PumpTalk: What do you do on Remembrance Day?

I participate in parades and ceremonies to honour the fallen soldiers worldwide. This year will be an exception. We will honour them differently this year given the unorthodox circumstances. We will adapt and overcome, but we will not forget.

Petro-Canada has a Canadian Forces appreciation program that all active and retired members of the military can participate in.

PumpTalk: Can you talk about Petro-Canada's relationship with the CAF?

It is amazing to see a company that wears a national symbol of pride recognize those that protect and serve our citizens. It is a token of gratitude that reminds those who have chosen to serve that we are appreciated. Thank you. We don’t do this for recognition or praise. We do it because we believe in it. Thank you for believing in us and those who have fallen during their service.

 

Jaden, thank you so much for talking with us today, sharing your thoughts and reminding us all about the importance of honouring and remembering those who have served our country.

This is the last in our three-part series of interviews with members of the Petro-Canada family and their connections with the Canadian Armed Forces. Thank you for reading. #LestWeForget

~Kate T.