With deep sadness, we announce the passing of our sister, Jane, born in Halifax, England and brought up in Vancouver, BC.
From a young age, Jane showed a passion for animals, having an uncanny knack for finding strays and bringing them home to nurse back to health, sometimes secretly in her bedroom. In her teens, Jane spent her free time looking after horses, mucking out stalls at 5:00 am and returning to feed after school in order to afford to keep her beloved horses, Romany and Calypso. Her devotion to the horses caught the attention of many in the Southlands community, and she was soon in great demand to exercise and train other people's animals. Jane started her post-secondary at the University of Victoria graduating from the University of Waterloo while working full time first at General Paint and later at Canada Customs, where she worked her way from border inspections to secondments to the RCMP in international drug enforcement and child protection. The degree of responsibility she took in these investigations earned her the respect of lawyers, judges, and her colleagues but took a huge toll on her health because she cared so deeply for justice. Jane was eventually drawn back to her love of animals and found a property on the Sunshine Coast large enough to accommodate all those she would eventually rescue while also forming the non-profit society Renaissance Rescue. At the same time, she began building a career as a professional dog and cat behavioural consultant eventually establishing Dogs of Distinction Canine Training. Through these and other channels, Jane was known and loved by many on the coast for her compassion, generosity, and tireless dedication to animal welfare. Her positive approach to teaching clients how to train their dogs only with patience, kindness, rewards and respect has made an ongoing impact on the health and happiness of hundreds of dogs on and off the Sunshine Coast. Despite all her responsibilities, Jane also made time to track people's lost pets, offer advice to pet owners across the globe, write a column for the Coast Reporter, host a local cable TV show "Doggin' It on the Coast," work in bylaw enforcement for the District of Sechelt, foster litters of puppies, and, most recently, write successful grant applications for Gibsons Wildlife Rehab Centre.
As a lifelong learner, Jane continually upgraded her skills and deepened her expertise in animal behaviour and fear-free, science-based training methods. In addition, she studied a wide variety of topics including teaching techniques, technology, integrative medicine for animals, and Indigenous ways of knowing. Jane was a very private and fiercely independent woman who kept up her many projects, responsibilities, and commitments while undergoing treatment after treatment for cancer. Despite all she was dealing with, she never faltered in showing her grace, kindness, and generosity toward the animals and people she cared so deeply about.
Jane was predeceased by her father, Fred Bowers, and will be missed by her mother, Barbara Anne Bowers, sisters Susan and Sarah Bowers and nieces Frances and Madeleine Bowers Ankenman, and Charlotte, Catherine, and Em Bowers Caswell.
A celebration of Jane's life will be held on the Coast when public health restrictions allow.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the charities Jane so passionately supported: Animal Advocates; BC Cancer Foundation; Gibsons Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre; and the Sunshine Coast SPCA.
To send flowers to Jane's family, please visit our floral store.