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Vancouver Island dog calendar seeking submissions for fundraising initiative

Contest will raise funds for Operation Freedom Paws Canada

Do you think your dog is calendar-worthy?

If the judges agree, it may net you some great prizes.

Operation Freedom Paws Canada, in partnership with Pauliina Saarinen Photography, has announced the 2022 Calendar Contest featuring Vancouver Island Dogs, and they are looking for submissions.

For a $10 fee, proud dog owners can enter their furry family members into the contest, for a chance to not only have Fido appear as a “dog of the month,” but also be up for some great prizes.

There will be 13 grand prize winners (the Cover Dog and 12 Dogs of the Month) and six weekly mini-contest winners (plus additional local prize winners), to be determined by the number of votes they receive.

Twenty-five businesses from Vancouver Island and beyond donated their products and services for prizes that are sure to get Van Isle dogs and dog owners drooling.

And the best part is the money goes to a great cause. All proceeds from this contest go to Operation Freedom Paws Canada, a non-profit organization based in Fanny Bay on Vancouver Island.

Operation Freedom Paws Canada is a registered Canadian charity that matches rescue or shelter dogs with human partners and trains them to eventually certify them as a Service Dog Team. Proceeds from this contest will help OFP Canada with its goal of buying a property and building a permanent training facility. Visit to learn more about its Service Dog Program.

Saarinen moved to the Comox Valley a couple of years ago, and formed a relationship with Operation Freedom Paws Canada through happenstance.

“I moved from Toronto two years ago, and about six months later, I ran into a pile of service dogs in downtown Courtenay … dogs and handlers walking down the street,” she said. “So I approached them and said I wanted to help them. So I got a business card from the organization and started from there.”

Saarinen has been helping the organization with photography for the Operation Freedom Paws Canada website, and they came up with the idea for this calendar contest together.

OFP Canada’s training program is a lifeline for people suffering from trauma or other disabilities, as the program enables the clients to rejoin their communities and live life with renewed hope. OFP Canada’s mission is captured in itsmotto, “Four Paws, Two Feet, One Team.”

Saarinen said her involvement with this contest is a way to give back to the community.

“I want my pet photography business to do some good. Giving back to the community is one of my core values.”

Pauliina Saarinen Photography is a boutique pet photography service based in Comox Valley serving all of Vancouver Island. She specializes in eye-catching and meaningful wall art for people whose pets are family.

“I’m honored to partner with OFP Canada. They take their service dog teams under their wings, providing everything they need to succeed.”

Saarinen will photograph all the grand prize winners for the calendar, which will be available for purchase in the fall.

For more information on the fundraiser, or to enter the contest, visit

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Terry Farrell

About the Author: Terry Farrell

Terry returned to Black Press in 2014, after seven years at a daily publication in Alberta. He brings 14 years of editorial experience to Comox Valley Record...
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