Although you may not recognize the name Tracey Silverthorn, you just may recognize some of her family.
Silverthorn is the owner of Zombie, and the late Igor Pugdog, London's infamous Pugs.
Igor, who sadly passed away in June was an obedience Pug and a child tested St. John Ambulance therapy dog.
"Igor and I were also the very first St. John Ambulance therapy dog team to visit in the LHSC hospitals. We started at UH, moved to Vic and the ultimate was getting the program into Children’s Hospital," said Silverthorn.
A star from the start, Igor also could be seen on the big screen. Securing the role as Gordon Pinsent's dog in the award winning short film, Life Doesn't Frighten Me led to other films with roles next to other Canadian greats including, Eric Peterson, Yannick Bisson and Mary Walsh.
Being involved with Pugalug Pug Rescue, Silverthorn being a retired graphic artist created Igor's first calendar. Seven years later, a Pug Community was formed in London.
"We do a yearly calendar, Pee Parties, Kids Love Pugs parties, Kissing Booths with ALL proceeds going to the rescue. We have raised well over $80,000 over the years."
Zombie Pug, Igor's successor came into Silverthorn's life in 2016.
"Zombie followed in his big bros footsteps by becoming a therapy dog at one year old and soon became the number two rally obedience pug in Canada."
Zombie Pug and Igor Pugdog having a virtual visit (Source: Tracey Silverthorn)
Zombie, trained by Sliverthorn went from learning agility to earning his trick dog title with a disc dog league. Following his brother, he too rode a Harley Davidson with his family around the city.
The pandemic hasn't held Zombie back as he and Silverthorn continue their therapy dog visits – virtually.
"The patients miss being able to touch him but with his rather large 'bag of tricks' we manage to keep our friends entertained every week."
If you would like to support Zombie, you can purchase the 2021 Generation Z calendar with all proceeds going to the Pugalug Pug Rescue online or in store – Global Pet Foods (Wellington and Wonderland), A Village Tail, Hyde Park Feeds, Petacular (York & Ridout) and A Handmade Tale in St. Thomas.
"As a family, we do what we do with our Pugs to make people smile and make the world a better place. In London we are known but seem to 'fly under the radar' most of the time. Connections are a big thing in this city. We spread love and support for those in need be it two legs or four."
Written in loving memory of Igor Pugdog, who I didn’t have the honour of meeting, but am grateful for all the lives that he touched in his almost 13 years.