Skip to main content

October 2022 - Claudette Krentz

On most Thursday nights, you can find Claudette Krentz and her dog Ginger in the barracks at the 3rd Canadian Division Support Base Edmonton.  She is there as a part of the SOLO, a program designed by the PSP Community Recreation staff to support single soldiers living on base.

“I started volunteering at the military base as part of Ginger’s pet therapy training,” Claudette says. “Ginger and I have met some wonderful young adults that are away from home and missing their families and their pets! We have had some short visits and some long conversations with some of the personnel. It always warms my heart when I see a connection between Ginger and a new friend.”

Claudette prioritizes the members and their needs. She has even trained Ginger to give hugs to those who are comfortable with it. Many of the other volunteers now imitate her example with interacting with the members rather than just letting the dogs get pet.

“Ginger maybe who the participants say they are there to see but the conversations and care that Claudette is a part of with the members is amazing to watch,” says Tamara Marinutti, Community Recreation Supervisor. “She makes a point to learn as many names as possible and notices when someone hasn't been around for a while. Ginger is an amazing dog that many of the members love to pet but Claudette is the reason they will stick around for 20+ minutes chatting.”

One regular to SOLO nights is a young private who has been seen on video calls with his own dogs back home, introducing them to the therapy dogs keeping him company while he is here. He says that through this program, he has also made connections with other programs he was not aware PSP offered, allowing him to make some great friends with similar interests at the same time.

“I would encourage others to participate in volunteering because of the human connection it provides,” Claudette says. “ In an era where mental health is on the forefront, connecting with others is one of the easiest ways to accomplish this. I am happy we are part of the SOLO program!

Congratulations to Claudette and Ginger, our October Volunteers of the Month!