About K9 Convention

Are you a dog lover? Would you like to know what’s happening in the canine world? The K9 Convention offers you the opportunity to meet with other like-minded people who know and love man’s best friend.

The convention offers a range of quality guest speakers on topics ranging from dog psychology to health and nutrition to training to the role of dogs in society, and lots more. There will also be a canine-based trade show where all vendors are offering products and services that improve your dog’s quality of life.

Throw in a silent auction and some fun activities for the delegates and you’ll understand why the organizers are so excited to be offering this event!

IMPORTANT: This Convention is for humans onlyPlease do NOT bring your dogs (or any other pets)

Saturday 18 June 2016



MC Del Pease

Mel Foat, President of Chestermere Rec Centre & Leela Sharon Aheer, MLA

Heather Forsyth, Former Leader of the Wildrose Party

Bob Eden, Eden Consulting Group



Dr. Carla Simon, Dog Trainer, Nosework Instructor, Hunter’s Heart Kennels






Megan Armstrong, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA, Dogma Training and Pet Services Inc

Dr. Wendy McClelland, Chief Medical Director Vets to Go


Jenn Birchall / Pat Murray / Steve King, President of Chestermere Therapy Dogs Society










Who's speaking?

Megan Armstrong
Megan Armstrong, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA, is the owner of Dogma Training & Pet Services Inc. and Treasurer for the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. dogma is a canine education organization that offers daycare, training and retail services at two facilities. Dogma is an innovative canine center that specializes in modifying complex behaviours and offers full range programs to integrate dogs back in with their canine companions and the urban world. Through dogma, Megan developed a unique and comprehensive dog training apprenticeship program that is one of a kind in Canada. The first session began in November 2009, and to date, there have been over 60 successful graduates.

Megan has over 10 years as a professional dog trainer and education is the core of her business. She has recognized that there is a strong need for regulation in the pet care industry and has set the standard for dog training and daycare in Calgary through dogma. She provides education through her business, free online resources to dog owners and trainers and through speaking engagements, such as the APDT Conference. Most recently, Megan has launched www.everydoghasitsdayblog.com to create a community of support and sharing for entrepreneurs. She believes life is too short to not do what we love, so strives to inspire and encourage others to follow their dreams.

Jenn Birchall
Jenn Birchall is a native Calgarian. Jenn has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature, along with a diverse background in journalism, graphic design, and marketing. While living and working in Australia for 10 years, Jenn was a magazine editor - and once had the opportunity to conduct a lengthy interview with sitting Prime Minister John Howard.

In Australia, Jenn was a regular volunteer for the Wollongong RSPCA Shelter and a member of the Australian Native Dog Conservation Society. She was also a founding and active member of the Kiama Council Companion Animals Advisory Committee. On-going local campaigns included the promotion of responsible pet management along with increasing awareness of the NSW (New South Wales) Companion Animals Act.

A firm believer that dogs are an integral part of family life, Jenn rode twice in the 100km Sydney to Wollongong Ride for MS. Jenn towed Peyto, her  40kg Australian Kelpie/Yellow Lab-cross, in a specially built chuck wagon.

"Team Brown Dog” was the top fund raising team for two consecutive years.

Luckily for Jenn’s colleagues, Peyto went to work with his "mom" everyday. He was affectionately known as The Morale Officer. Over the years, Peyto travelled extensively with his mom, and lived in three countries: Kiama, NSW, Australia; Laguna Beach, CA, USA; and Calgary, AB, Canada.

Sadly, in February and July 2009 Jenn and her husband Pat lost both Peyto and their beloved Black Lab Jack to old age. Another 4 months later, Jenn was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer. Jenn immediately took leave from her position as Communications Manager with Rocky View County. Since that time, Jenn and Pat have looked after a total of 28 different dogs - who stay with Jenn as canine companionship during her prolonged illness.

Jenn’s lifelong love of all animals is real and comes from the heart, but her love of dogs is over-the-top. The license plate on Jenn’s car tells the whole story - it reads: DOGBLSU ( Dog Bless You ).

Bob Eden
Bob is a retired 28 year police veteran with over 30 years of dog training experience and 16 years as a police dog handler. He has authored two books, "Dog Training For Law Enforcement" and "K9 Officers Manual" and been involved in the development of a number of video productions for law enforcement K9 training. Bob served on the B.C. Police Commission's committee to create minimum police dog training standards for law enforcement agencies in the province of British Columbia and coordinated the competition site for the World Police & Fire Games Police Dog Championships, held in Vancouver, BC.

Bob created and developed the International Police K9 Conference in an attempt to bring a professional training seminar to officers.  Bob also assisted the Phoenix Police Department in re-developing their K9 Unit. He conducted training in Brazil, where, at the request of the United States Government, he assisted in the development and training of officers for Brazil’s first explosives dog program.

Since retirement, Bob operates his own business, Eden Consulting Group as a global law enforcement consultant. He has also authored articles and columns in such periodicals as Police Magazine, Law and Order, Police and Security News, Finland's Rottweiler Magazine, The Police K9 Recruiter and Offlead Magazine from Australia as well as being a past contributing editor for Police K9 Magazine.

Heather Forsyth
Heather was elected in 1993 as the MLA for Calgary Fish Creek. She has sat on numerous boards and committees, was the Alberta Solicitor General and the Children Services Minister.

She received the Readers Digest Canadian Hero Award for her work on the Protection of Children Involved in the Prostitution Act, the work she did on the Drug Endangered Children's Act and bringing the Amber Alert to Canada which were also firsts.

She successfully took the Amber Alert across the country. One of her greatest honours was being bestowed the Blackfoot name Aahsoikinnah-Kaiki, which means healing women.

Heather keeps busy, she is the Founder & Chair of the Peanut Butter Classic Charity golf tournament, Founder of the Working Together for Fun (#WTFFWomen) and Co-Chair of the Alberta Prosperity Fund.

Heather has struggled with her hearing for many years, and applied to the Lions Foundation of Canada for a service dog. One of her proudest moments was introducing her Hearing Ear Dog, Quill, to the Alberta legislature in October 2013. Heather will be the first to say that her personal and professional lives have been enriched by having Quill.

Heather and Quill love educating Albertans about service dogs as they truck around the province.

President, Chestermere Therapy Dogs Society
Steve has always been a dog lover but it was only when he emigrated from England with his family did his true passion for dogs really begin to show through. In 2006, following a chance meeting with the then Calgary co-ordinator for Alberta Guide Dog Services (AGDS), he became involved with the world of service dogs which lead to Steve becoming the Founding Chair for the Calgary Chapter of AGDS in 2009. In the four years of volunteering with AGDS, mainly on the promotions and fundraising side, Steve learned to appreciate the huge positive impact that service dogs can have on our society. This passion was carried forward when Steve, now a member of the Chestermere Lions Club, became involved with Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides program in the role of PR for the Calgary area.

In 2012, Steve retired from his full time career as an accountant and took his career in a totally different direction by becoming a certified dog trainer through the Animal Behavior College in California. Always fascinated by canine communication and psychology, Steve realized that there was an opportunity to help society through dogs and, in December 2013, Chestermere Therapy Dogs Society (CTDS) was born. Inspired by Jane Goodall and her work with animal communication, Steve set about rolling out a program whereby kids that were struggling with reading could gain confidence in reading out loud by reading to dogs. Mirroring programs such as “Reading with Rover” and “Reading Pals”, so was born “Listening Tails”. Very shortly after the introduction of “Listening Tails”, interest was expressed by a local seniors’ residence for CTDS to roll out a seniors’ visitation program whereby seniors could visit with therapy dogs and enjoy their company on a regular basis. So was created CTDS’ second program “Visiting Tails”. After just one year of unprecedented growth in both the number of therapy dogs on the program as well as interest in what CTDS was bringing to the community, a third program (“caring Tails”) was introduced to help individuals or groups who struggle with high stress or anxiety.

CTDS has grown to the point where “Listening Tails” is held at Chestermere Library as well as at six schools in the area, “Visiting Tails” is now at five seniors’ homes and “Caring Tails” is expanding into a variety of situations.

Dr. Wendy McClelland
As the founder of “Vets To Go”, Dr. Wendy McClelland is passionate about treating pets like members of the family. From her earliest memory, Wendy’s family always had pets that were loved as members of the family. She was so concerned about her pets’ well-being that she decided to become a vet when she was just 8 years old.

Her dream came true when she received her certification as Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Saskatchewan in 2002. At first she practiced in a mixed-animal clinic in the small town of Pincher Creek, Alberta. Then in 2006 she moved to Airdrie, Alberta.

Wendy was frustrated by the time constraints in the clinical setting. Treating a pet in the 15 minutes allowed for a procedure was too often at odds with her desire to make pets and their owners comfortable.

Dr. Wendy founded “Vets To Go” so that she can provide the kind of care you want for your pet. When she visits your home, she can get to know you and your pet, make you both comfortable and take the time to make recommendations, explain your options and answer your questions.

Dr. Wendy has been featured in a number of publications and media outlets, including the Calgary Herald, CMT Television, Corus Radio Network and was the featured veterinarian in the national television show, Pet Heroes.

Pat Murray
From an early career playing and coaching hockey in Europe, to working in politics, Pat Murray now operates a chemical distribution company in Calgary.

Pat and his wife Jenn Birchall have always supported animal welfare organizations. They are longtime supporters of the Calgary Humane Society and the World Wildlife Foundation.

Once upon a time, Pat and Jenn were avid sponsors of the BC-Alberta Guide Dog Association, including a year in which they were recognized as having sponsored the highest number of Service Dogs in training. Pat and Jenn were also trained to provide respite assistance to Service Dog Puppy Raisers.

In 2009 when Pat’s wife Jenn was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer, a close friend "lent" Pat and Jenn their Black Lab, Riley, who provided comfort and support for two full months while Jenn battled for her life.

Riley was the first of 28 dogs who called Aunt Jenn’s Bed ’n' Biscuit his / their second home.

Pat is Jenn’s husband, advocate, health care provider, and Aunt Jenn’s Bed ’n Biscuit’s official dog walker.

Carla Simon is a professional dog trainer and nosework instructor, who completed instructors’ training with law enforcement detection dog trainer, Andrew Ramsey, in California, USA. She is a founding member and President of Sniff Alberta. She teaches nosework for all levels, and helped to bring UKC nosework to Alberta.

Carla has been training hunting dogs under the prefix Hunter's Heart Kennels since 1999, as featured in the Pointing Dog Journal, Dogs in Canada, and the American Brittany magazine.

With the support of Calgary Associated Dog Fanciers, Carla introduced the first Canine Good Neighbour (CGN) test to Alberta in 2002. Since then, Carla has continued to apply her experience as a CGN Evaluator for the Canadian Kennel Club.  CGN tests are an informal, practical evaluation of a dog’s basic manners and training, including tests such as: Accepting a Friendly Stranger, Walking Through a Crowd, Stay, Recall, Reaction to a Passing Dog and Supervised Isolation.

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Register Yourself

Individual Ticket:  $40.00 CAD

Couple Ticket (2 Attendees):  $70.00 CAD

Chestermere RegionalRecreation Centre


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Host > Chestermere Therapy Dogs Society

The K9 Convention is brought to you by the Chestermere Therapy Dog Society (CTDS).  CTDS is dedicated to helping people through the use of therapy dogs.  Based in Chestermere, but active throughout Southern Alberta, CTDS was born out of a vision to help people add value to their lives through association with therapy dogs.  CTDS is a registered charity and all our programs are offered free of charge.  We currently have three programs:

Listening Tails – a program designed to help young children improve their reading confidence by reading out loud to therapy dogs.

Visiting Tails – a program designed to enrich the lives of seniors through interaction with therapy dogs.

Caring Tails – a program designed to bring comfort to people experiencing stress or anxiety through contact with therapy dogs.

In less than two years CTDS has grown from an idea to an organization with over 41 therapy dogs and 45 volunteers.  We're in 6 schools, 5 senior's residence facilities and provide therapy dogs at other critical times and places where people are experiencing stress.  We are growing at an amazing rate, proving there is a very high and unmet need for therapy dogs in Southern Alberta.

CTDS’s motto is "helping people, one dog at a time" and you can find us at www.ctds.ca