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.

There are five canine ambassadors at Fairmont Hotels in British Columbia.

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

Last of southern Selkirk caribou relocated to Revelstoke area

One cow from the South Selkirk herd and two from the Purcells were moved this week

How to stay safe in the Nakusp backcountry: BCSARA

The B.C. Search and Rescue Association recommends planning, training and taking the essentials

Skier caught in backcountry avalanche near Rossland

‘The man was lucky he had the ‘A-Team’ of ski patrol people able to respond as quickly as they did,’ says Rossland rescue spokesperson

Kootenays unemployment rate best in B.C.

In one year, the region has gone from highest unemployment rate to lowest, at 3.1 per cent

Nakusp search and rescue group seeks volunteers

Senior Nakusp SAR member Ross Shkuratoff says the group is on the lookout for new members

VIDEO: U.S. Congress to probe whether Trump told lawyer Cohen to lie

At issue is a BuzzFeed News report that about negotiations over a Moscow real estate project

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered B.C. girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

UPDATE: Injured firefighter in stable condition

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Arrest made after historic B.C. church hit by arson

The fire at the 150-year-old Murray United Church in Merritt was considered a possible hate crime

B.C. dangerous offender in court for violating no-contact order, sends letter to victim

Wayne Belleville was shocked to see a letter addressed to him from his shooter, Ronald Teneycke

Crowsnest Pass RCMP seek help locating missing man

58-year-old Stuart David Duff was last seen on Jan. 6, 2019.

Man blames his loud car radio, sirens for crash with B.C. ambulance

Tribunal rejects bid to recoup ICBC costs after crash deemed 100-per-cent his fault

Most Read