Faces in the Crowd – Rose to the Rescue

Posted on January 25, 2018 under Faces in the Crowd with no comments yet

Brenda’s Best Buddies


“Teaching is the greatest job in the world. You can make such a difference in a child’s life.”

Meet Brenda Rose.

Brenda grew up in the Gaspe, the youngest of three children. There was no running water or electricity in the home. Baths took place in a large washtub in the kitchen by the woodstove. When she was four years old, the family moved to Montreal. There were more job opportunities in a big city after the war and her parents wanted her oldest brother to attend high school there. In spite of their lack of education, her parents were aware of its importance and wanted the best for their children.

Her father worked as a pipefitter in the shipyards and her mother did housecleaning for the wealthy folks of Montreal. Her mother would often come home with toys, castoffs from the home owners. Brenda amassed a large collection of dolls and would often line them up and pretend to be a teacher… a precursor of things to come.

A love of music surfaced at an early age and once again, she and her siblings benefited from the largesse of their mom’s employers. Brenda started taking piano lessons around the age of 8. With no piano at home, she practiced on a cardboard keyboard.

The idea of service to others was ingrained in the Rose children from an early age. Brenda knew (and so did the dolls!) from an early age that she was going to be a teacher. She worked at Morgan’s (which eventually became The Bay) which paid for her entire university career. This also developed a strong work ethic.

She attended Sir George Williams (Concordia) University, the educational institution for the working class. She eventually received her B.Ed. from McGill. She taught for 37 years and in many cases, chose schools that served poorer populations. She realized that she could make the biggest impact on those less fortunate.

She raised two small children as a single parent. Both had allergies, especially to fur. It was no surprise then that the children coveted a dog! In 1992, a story appeared in the Montreal Gazette about Greyhound Rescue Dogs. At the urging of her daughters they went to see them. Neither of the children sneezed or coughed. The children pleaded to take one home. “I thought I had died and gone to hell,” quips Brenda.

And so began a love affair with this special breed of dogs.

Brenda and the children did a lot of camping over the years in different parts of Canada including two weeks every summer at Cape Breton Highlands National Park. She decided that when the time came, she would buy some land and retire in Nova Scotia. In 2005, she acquired land in Cape George, sight unseen. She built a home which has become home to Fable and Queenie, her beloved greyhounds. She also babysits for other people’s greyhounds.

Reflecting on her life Brenda comments, “Not everything I did worked out but at least I tried.”

Brenda has rescued the lives of many of God’s creatures … of the two legged and four legged varieties.



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