Mike Grenier

Mike Grenier with Rusty and Big Max.

A few weeks ago I took part in one of my biggest outings since the COVID-19 pandemic started a year and a half ago, visiting A Horse Tale Rescue in Vaudreuil-Dorion. Dollard des Ormeaux’s Lori Rubin, a former colleague of mine at the school board, volunteers there a few days a week and has been twisting my arm for some time to drop by.

With over 300 dedicated members and volunteers, AHT Rescue is dedicated to providing a safe, comfortable, and loving environment for the horses that pass through its gates. They promote rehabilitation and when possible facilitate rehoming. There are presently 14 horses on the premises. AHT Rescue normally holds an open house almost every Saturday, from March to November. However, due to the pandemic they are presently only holding monthly open houses by reservation. Executive Director Mike Grenier was kind enough to give my wife and I a VIP tour. See our website for my video clip with Mike and horses Rusty and Big Max.

We got to meet and pet virtually each horse and learn their extraordinary backstories. I was especially intrigued by the AHT Experience Program. It provides equine assisted activities and learning to groups of individuals with special needs, residents of seniors homes as well as teachers and select frontline workers. They offer interactions with the rescued horses in a safe, nurturing and stress-free environment. In recent weeks horses have made trips to the Teresa Dellar Palliative Care Residence on the West Island and the Donald Berman Maimonides Geriatric Centre in Côte Saint-Luc. You can email lise@ahorsetale.org to find out more about this free program.

Lori told us “You will be amazed at how good you feel after that visit” and she was correct. If I could only adopt one of the horses.

Grenier has spent most of his 32-year career working in the information technology industry for both IBM and Bell Canada. Five years ago he joined AHT Rescue, along with his wife, while visiting an Open House. He soon gave up his professional career to devote all of his time to this new passion. A man with a great sense of humour, you can see how much he adores these animals as he literally kisses and hugs each one of them.

AHT Rescue is a volunteer run group with no government financial support so they rely on members, sponsors and donors to manage their annual budget of $180,000. Food alone for the horses costs nearly $45,000. As my friend Lori scooped up a shovel full of manure, Grenier told me how the horses do contribute to the revenue stream too. This excrement is transformed into fertilizer and accounts for at least $10,000 in sales.

For more details go to https://ahtrescue.org.

COHEN CHATTER: Steve Schneidman, who has been notable in the printing and promotional products industry for over 20 years, is the new president of Giant Steps. The NDG school boasts a large team of professionals specialized in autism and the widest variety of therapeutic services under one roof… Stephanie Tsirgiotis has left her senior communications post at the Montreal Children’s Hospital to become Director of Marketing and Communications at The Study…James Dambreville, who served as director of operations at Cinemas Guzzo for 16 years and did one outstanding job, has assumed the same title with his new job at Couche-Tard… Cora MacDonald, most recently a senior communications specialist at the Jewish General Hospital Foundation, is now the Director of Philanthropic Development at Share The Warmth… Montrealer Dimitri Soudas, who served as a chief advisor to Stephen Harper when he was Prime Minister, has been named senior vice-president of Cavalia.

Something to share? Email mcohen@thesuburban.com, follow me on Twitter @mikecohencsl and on our blog section at www.thesuburban.com

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