It pretty much only takes one glance to fall in love with Navy. The two-year-old black lab is friendly, well-behaved and, of course, has those puppy dog eyes.
But a second glance also reveals something a little extra special about Navy.
He wears a blue PADS bandana, which means he's in training to be a service dog for a disabled person.
Essentially, PADS, or Pacific Assistance Dog Society, trains and raises assistance dogs for people with a physical disability or who are hard of hearing.
That means dogs like Navy can perform tasks that most canines can't do - and most people take for granted - like opening doors, pushing buttons and picking items up from off the ground.
Navy also needs to be completely comfortable in social settings and public places like malls and restaurants.
But these service dogs don't learn their skills or obedience on their own.
That's where volunteers like Coquitlam resident Ashley McMillan come in.
For 15 years, McMillan and her family have been raising PADS dogs.
The family started volunteering after meeting a neighbour who was a member of the PADS board of directors.
For the 29-year-old animal lover, Navy is her 10th dog.
Raising a PADS dog usually means a commitment of one to two years.
McMillan has had Navy for about two years now.
"It's a big commitment, but the reward is at the end when you get to see the dog placed with someone and how much they help," she told The NOW.
Though many of the more difficult tasks Navy handles are learned through an advanced kennel-training program once a week outside of McMillan's home, her commitment includes taking the dog to work and pretty much everywhere she goes throughout her day.
That means taking Navy to restaurants, the movies, the airport and even concerts.
At least when it comes to theatres or restaurants, McMillan is by his side to make sure he doesn't eat anything off the floor.
Over the years, she's seen a big change in attitude toward service dogs, noting more people know about the program than when she started volunteering.
McMillan, who also works at a veterinary clinic, said the general public is fairly accepting of the four-legged helpers, and understands the dogs need to be socialized.
In some cases, people may be a little too accepting.
"Sometimes when you have the little eight-week-old puppies, it's very difficult to get from one end of the mall to the next 'cuz everyone wants to stop to pet them," she said, adding it's OK for people to do so, as long as they ask first.
While time is the biggest part of raising a PADS dog, costs for necessities like food and vet work are covered through donations.
But not every pup in training makes it through to becoming a service dog.
Of the 10 dogs McMillan has trained, just two have gone on to work as assistance dogs.
She said in some cases, the dogs simply don't want to work.
"They have to have the right personality," McMillan said.
"They have to be really willing to work. You can't force them."
The dogs that don't quite make the grade usually end up being placed as pets in families with children who have disabilities.
Though Navy is a few months away from graduating, there's a good chance he'll become McMillan's third dog to be pressed into service.
What that ultimately means is McMillan will have to give up Navy to a new loving owner.
Though she admits it can be difficult, she also added it's the expectation going in as a volunteer.
"It's hard to give them up, but when you see how much they help someone [it's easier]," she said.
The handover is also made a little less difficult knowing that, on occasion, she'll get to visit the dog and meet the client.
McMillan said she's not sure if or when she'll take on another PADS puppy after Navy, but joked that's what she tells herself after every dog.
"I always say after every dog that's the last, but my friends always laugh because I always end up getting another one," she said.
For more information about the Pacific Assistance Dog Society, go to www.pads.ca.