Russ served with the RCMP from 1978-1998 followed by a second career as an investment consultant (1999-2012). In 2010, Russ was diagnosed with and received treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In January 2016, Russ began the process of acquiring a professionally trained and certified service dog from Maritime Specialty Service Dog Society in Truro, Nova Scotia.
In June 2016, after six months of extensive training, Russ and Sophie passed all the necessary handler and public access tests, and Sophie became a member of Russell and his partner Patricia’s household. Since acquiring Sophie, Russ has seen significant improvement in his PTSD symptoms and overall mental and physical health.
Russ, Patricia, and Sophie live in Stratford, PEI, where they enjoy spending time with family and friends, taking walks, traveling, and following the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Islanders Major Junior hockey teams.