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Celebrating International Dog Day with Joe and his Petro Pals

It seems like I’ve always had a dog in my life. Honeybear, the fluffy and gregarious Old English sheepdog, dominated my childhood. An incorrigible black lab puppy named Lucy ruined several of my university textbooks. And four Sharpeis (not all at once!) have blessed my adult years. The most current is Pumbaa – she’s a sweet one-eyed girl adopted from Korea. Look at that face!

Smiling dog, Pumbaa

August 26th is International Dog Day – a holiday first celebrated by American Colleen Paige in 2004 to draw attention to the number of dogs in shelters. It has grown in popularity and is now celebrated across the world. I thought today would be a fitting day to introduce Joe Rustad and his @Petro_Pals account on Instagram.

Joe is the site manager at the full-serve Petro-Canada station located on Lakeshore Road in Kelowna, BC. When you’re working full-serve, you interact with customers a fair bit, including the furry-faced customer peering out at you from the window of the vehicle.

Joe Rustad and his @Petro_Pals Instagram account

Joe noted that the station has always been a treat-friendly place for dogs and he just ramped that up a bit when he started taking selfies with the dogs. The customers asked Joe to post them online and, voila, @Petro_Pals was born.

Joe doesn’t currently have any canine companions: his Mastiff/Ridgeback/Pittbull cross, Buddy, passed away from cancer and his black lab/Rottweiler cross, Keena, passed away a few years ago – she was 14. Taking the selfies is a way to have interaction with dogs. Joe believes that “Dogs are the gateway to a happy life.”

The account is popular with customers and employees alike – there’s even been a little family rivalry to see whose pup takes the best selfie. Some customers stop by just to get their dog’s picture taken. It’s easy to understand why - who wouldn’t love seeing a pic of their happy pet with a friendly fellow like Joe?!

We’re featuring more of Joe’s Petro Pals over on Petro-Canada’s Instagram account today. Check them out and be sure to give the @Petro_Pals account a follow for more cute pics of pups.

~Kate T.

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