Save-On-Foods stores in Greater Victoria help service dog

Owner grateful for help in getting surgery done on specialized dog

Save-On-Foods managers Ted Pigeon (left) and Lionel Gjerde flank Robert Gill and Starsky

The owner of a service dog in need of surgery for his arthritis is grateful for support from Greater Victoria’s two Save-On-Foods stores.

Robert Gill has multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. To help keep him safe and living independently, the Lions Society provided him with Starsky, a seizure response dog, in 2010. If Gill experiences a seizure, Starsky steps on an alert button to call neighbours and an ambulance.

“He’s saved me,” Gill said. “Without my dog I couldn’t live on my own. He’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me.”

Gill recently learned Starsky has arthritis, stemming from a bone growth problem as a puppy. Without treatment, he would have to retire, and that’s where the staff and customers at Save-On-Foods came in.

Saanich Centre and Baywest store managers Lionel Gjerde and Ted Pigeon presented Gill with a certificate last week paying for the entire surgery, along with several hundred dollars in store gift cards.

“Save-On-Foods has been phenomenal,” said Gill, a regular shopper at the Saanich Centre store. “Lionel, Ted, and the Save-On-Foods staff and customers – I have such gratitude for the people who have helped us get this surgery.”

Said Gjerde, “Starsky comes into our store so when we heard about his story and position he was in, it was a pretty easy decision, supported by our team members and our customers.”

editor@vicnews.com