Therapy Dog program - Tillicum School (in conjunction with Oak Bay Rotary)
Aug 24, 2022
Peter Lawrie
Therapy Dog program - Tillicum School (in conjunction with Oak Bay Rotary)

Meet Miss Tilly Doodle, Tillicum School's Therapy Dog and hear aboiut the opportunity for another therapy dog for Mackenzie school.

Tilly – Education Therapy Dog at Tillicum Elementary

At Oak Bay Rotary, we became aware that Kate Beaulac, Social Worker at Tillicum Elementary, was planning to get a puppy bred specially to be an education therapy dog (Aussie Labradoodle). Specialized local training was estimated to be ~$8000.00. She had learned about this possibility at a conference and after her own research, determined that this could provide a unique and powerful contribution to her school. She worked with researchers in the UVic department of Psychology and the Education faculty to design a research project to attempt to measure the education outcomes that such a puppy could influence.

We, as a group, really liked the concept and were excited about the possibility and impact of the project. It required an unprecedented level of collaboration and partnership between the faculty at Tillicum, parents, and the administration. Another feature of this project was the added stress and disruption of the COVID pandemic on schools in general. Kate and her colleagues were exceptional partners with us throughout.

Tilly proved to be a gifted and amazing resource. The school has inspiring stories of Tilly and her impact on the kids. She is a great success by all accounts, even from cautious skeptics. With the continued research component, this project may provide the data supporting many more Tilly’s in many more schools.

I particularly like the connection with Harbourside on this project because of your amazing work with the breakfast, lunch, and weekend food project at Tillicum! This in many ways is like a complementary pincer attack in support of the kids and their education.

My chat will include some of the inspiring Tilly stories and the potential of additional projects.

Bio – Pete Lawrie

Rotarian for past 15 years in Oak Bay Club - Current position is Youth Services Director

  • Positions Held: President twice + multi years in each of the following – International Director, Community Director, and Youth Services Director.
  • Co-conspirator for many District and Global Grants
  • Very proud of the recent partnership Victoria, Harbourside and Oak Bay clubs have built for Youth Services. We are now leveraged to make a bigger impact together than we could alone
  • I am committed we provide extraordinary youth leadership development for young people who are up to something big

Professional experience (>45 years)

  • B.Sc. (Hons Math) at UVic; MBA at Ivey School, Western
  • Senior HR/Labour Relations executive in Government, Mining Industry, Forest Industry
  • Senior consultant with international companies providing leadership development, project management, performance improvement and transformational change in partnership from the executive floor to the shop floor.
  • Chair of the Conference Board of Canada’s Labour Relations Council
  • Founding Employer co-chair of the National Institute of Disability Management and Research (NIDMAR)


  • 51st wedding anniversary next week
  • Son + daughter-in-law + 2 grand girls
  • Daughter + son-in-law + 2 grand boys