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Northern Lights recipient – Marilyn King

On January 25, 2024, Marilyn King was recognized for bringing comfort and learning to young and old alike through a shared love of dogs.

Marilyn King

Location: Chestermere, Alberta

"Helping people, one dog at a time.”

It was the motto of Listening Tails, a unique program launched in 2014 by Marilyn and Steve King at the Chestermere Public Library with the goal of helping children improve their reading confidence in a safe and enriching environment. 

While sadly, Steve passed in 2022, Marilyn continues to move their shared legacy forward. The program grew to expand into schools and Visiting Tails, a new program, was created to brighten seniors’ days. These seniors, many who experienced depression, anxiety, loneliness, boredom or who, having moved into care facilities, simply missed their own cherished dogs, were comforted by having the time to spend with Visiting Tails therapy dogs. The Prince of Peace Retirement Community seniors in Rocky View County were the first residents benefitting from the Visiting Tails program and today the furry friends and their handlers are currently visiting nursing homes in Linden, Strathmore, Airdrie, Cochrane, Okotoks and Calgary, spreading comfort and joy to residents.

Along with continuing the pet therapy program, Marilyn has shared the story and mission of Listening Tails and Visiting Tails through a weekly community newspaper column and community radio show.

For the gift of joy shared with young and old alike, Marilyn King is recognized as a Northern Lights Volunteer Recognition Program recipient.

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