Breed: British Lab
Dog parents: Linda & Mark Norling
Dude and his parents recently moved to Omaha from Bloomington, MN in the Spring of 2016. From a very early age, Dude exhibited the qualities of a very calm and somewhat lazy Lab. Even as a puppy, he acted more like a much older dog. When he would go to the dog park, he loved to play with other dogs, but when he was done playing, he would wander around and go up to other people on his own. Dude would give them that special look with his soulful eyes and everyone would just melt. Most would stop and pet and talk to this amazing, gentle boy. From that point on, I could see he would be a great therapy dog. My only dilemma was, how do I go about doing this in a new city.
My sister, Jackie Roach who founded Taysia Blue Rescue, ran into Glenna and Coco at pet event and they talked about Paws for Friendship. Jackie emailed me and said this would be a great organization where Dude could fulfil his destiny of being a therapy dog. I called Glenna and we set up an appointment for her to evaluate Dude and he passed with flying colors! I am excited to get started going on visits with him. Even his Dad decided he wanted to volunteer after he saw how excited I was after our first visit.
Dude was excited when his Paws for Friendship vest arrived and he wears it with pride. I put it on him when I take him out for walks so we can promote this fine organization whenever we can.
We all look forward to making a difference in other people’s lives!
Hi, my name is Savannah. I am from central Mass but live with my Mom in Springfield, Mass. I am from a family of show dogs but Mom had other plans for me. I make a super bird hunting dog, even if Mom misses most of the time. I think she just loves to see me running in the corn fields and woods. She says I smile a lot when I run. Because both Mom and I are getting on in years and have slowed down she saw in me a gentleness with other people and dogs. When her parents were in a nursing home we would always go to visit and sooo many people just loved me. Mom felt this was my next step in life. We presently visit nursing homes and visit people we don't know. They love petting me. One lady said she would exchange her children for me. No way, Mom says. Most of all I love visiting the senior center. Some of the ladies even have dog biscuits for me and sometimes the director brings her dog and we play. I have a Wonderful Life. Thank you for letting me share.
DOB: April 19, 2013 Breed: Toy Poodle Adopted: June 11, 2013
Disposition: Gentle and snuggly, sweet and playful, loves to cuddle. Plays ball endlessly. Gives out kisses sparingly.
When I was a baby and weighed 1.8 pounds Lynsey brought me to my forever home. Her daughter Carolyn, whom I love so much, was with Lynsey when they came to get me. I was shaking and so scared, but I calmed down when I snuggled up in Lynsey’s lap for the long ride to my new home in South Windsor, CT. When we got to the house they played with me on the floor for a long, long time. It was so fun! Then I got really tired from all the new things happening to me and I collapsed in happy exhaustion in my new bed, which I promptly chewed up into pieces the very next day. Boy that was neat!!!
I totally L-O-V-E playing “get it” with my-own-size, mini, tennis balls. I never ever want to stop playing "get it", no I don't , not unless Lynsey tells me we are “all done”. She and Carolyn take me to the dog park sometimes so I can run after the tennis balls like crazy! I love to get together with our PAWS team of therapy dogs but sometimes I can be a little shy around them all so I run and go hide under Lynsey’s legs. Then she usually picks me up so I can see everything better.
When Lynsey puts my “PAWS for Friendship” vest on me, I know it’s time for me to stop fooling around and to get to work being my C-U-T-E-S-T self. I always get brushed extra fluffy before I go to work. I want to look my best when I do my visits. I love my therapy work because I get to be petted TONS and TONS and TONS by really nice people. It’s great when Lynsey holds me up high so that I can see the nursing home residents faces better and not just their feet from way down here on the floor. I like to see the resident’s eyes and smiles and then I like to reach out my two front paws towards them because then they usually reach out, back to me! Sometimes I even like to hold on to their fingers with my teeny-tiny toes, which is so much FUN for me that it cracks me up sometimes because they are amazed that I can do that!
The friends I visit talk to me in the sweetest ways, saying such nice things about me, ALL OF THE TIME, I so love that!!! It makes my little fluffy head swell with pride! I put out so much love for each resident that I see, that after a nice long drink of water, I usually fall asleep when we get back in the car to head back home. I love my work SO much. I love working with Gizmo and all of the other therapy dogs. They taught me everything I know…well,okay, Lynsey helped me too!
I now also visit with children so that they can read some really cool books to me. All I do is let them pet me and simply rest with them, while they read to me. I go nuts for kids. It takes some strength for me to remain extra calm when I see the little people
closer to my own size!!! Mostly I just want to go crazy and run with them but I don't, I stay really calm. I am 2.5 years old now and a whopping 5lbs. I like to walk but I also like to be carried. It is really easy to carry me around with one hand.
Time for me to go snuggle up on the couch next to my Lynsey. Thanks for reading my blurb!
MAISY and my Mom
Here is DIVA and her Mom all ready for Halloween!!!!
LUCY and I were daily visitors of my dad as his health declined. She never got in front of him when he was walking to distract or trip him, she sat by his side during daily Telemetry readings, she visited him everyday when he was in rehab centers. She watched him change from walking on his own, to using a cane, to using a walker, and finally the wheelchair. She knew hours before we did when my dad was going to have an emergency situation requiring hospitalization. The day Dad went into a nursing home Lucy was totally depressed and sulked, I don't know how she knew about this life change, but she did. After my dad passed I realized that she had the kind of empathy and temperament to continue visiting the folks in the facilities that my dad lived. From there we joined Paws for Friendship to expand that mission. When I get her PAWS vest out of the closet, she dances , she is so happy to be going on visits.
Breezy has done a wonderful job. I'm so very proud of him. From my standpoint, the most challenging aspect, is when we lose Seniors that Breezy visits on an ongoing basis. And it seems like lately, there's been just way too many of these wonderful people passing on. But I understand it's the nature of the world we live in. But even as we lose these folks, it gives me great happiness in knowing that in their final days, Breezy was able to bring smiles to their faces and happiness to their hearts. I get a front row seat to watch people who are slumped over in a chair, perk right up with excitement when Breezy walks into the room. I see people in memory units, who in some cases can't remember their own names, but they remember Breezy's name. This is all very powerful stuff. This keeps me coming back week after week, multiple times. And keeps us wanting to come back even more often.
In a few weeks we will hit the century mark. Breezy will have done 100 visits since late January . There has not been one of them, that I would ever consider to be ordinary. Each one of them was special. We plan on continuing with Paws for Friendship for many years, for as long as we both are able.
We feel blessed to have met so many wonderful volunteers, both four legged and two legged. And so happy Jan, that fate brought us together with you as well.
Neil & Breezy
I joined Paws for Friendship because my baby, Abigail, loves being around
people and children. Although I am not a very outgoing person, Abigail has
helped a great deal in over coming my shyness. The minute the animal rescue
gave her to me (after much persuading and background checks) with her happy
tail and wet kisses, I knew then she was a special dog. People come up to
her everywhere we go, especially at nursing homes, and want to pet and hold
her, which means I have to engage in conversation! So I tell them the story
of how I acquired her. If I'm feeling a bit down, Abigail will bring over one of her toys and we all get a big laugh out of her antics because she is such a clown.
Now tell me, who can be sad with a dog like that around?
My name is MAISY and I am a 9 year old Rottie/Shar-pei mix. My mommy adopted me from the local county shelter when I was 4 years old and we have been having lots of fun ever since.
Can you believe that I was previously adopted into other homes twice before I met my mom? They weren't the right ones so I ended up back at the shelter. Mommy and I believe that it's because she and I were meant to find each other. She saw my potential as a companion for herself and for others right off the bat. Even thought I was more interested in playing in the play yard than with her at the shelter, she just knew that I'd be one of the most loyal and loving creatures she'd ever meet.
I do live with several other animals and have 4 kitty siblings and 2 dog brothers. We get along ok but sometimes it's hard to get Mommy all to myself. I love attention, especially to snuggle and get pets - even from people I don't know! My motto is, "if you have a free hand, it better be petting/scratching me". ;) Mommy knows that I have a lot of love to give and just how comforting it can be to have an animal like me, especially when you are lonely, sad, scared, sick.
I know basic obedience and am certified by the American Kennel Club as a "Canine Good Citizen". After we completed our training to pass that test, Mommy decided it was time to get me a job doing what i do best - being a compassionate caregiver to those who need some TLC. We joined PAWS in November of 2015 and have weekly visits at a nursing home every Saturday morning. Mommy laughs at my behavior because every time she gets my vest off the hook, I immediately start dancing, spinning & crooning with excitement at knowing I am going to go see my friends. We also have started going to the hospital to visit patients once a month as well. First time in an elevator was kinda scary but I did good and was SO happy to have people to pet me when I got to each floor.
I am so glad Mommy and I joined this awesome organization - it gives me the chance to use my special natural ability to bring out joy in people where there was none, replace a frown with a smile, wipe away/soak up tears,etc. "
Coco and I had a divine intervention when we met. Coco and I were very busy going to hospitals trying to save my husband Dave’s life. When Dave was sick I had a message from God that said “expect a other miracle” and guess what we received one. So after seeing how
Coco marched into Mayo like she owned the place and then hospitals and nursing homes for 3 1/2 years. I promised the Lord as soon as Dave was better Coco and I would give back for this wonderful miracle.
So it begins, I was thinking of another group and Coco’s vet said you don’t need to do that - check out "PAWS for Friendship." So I did and I believe we both were meant to do this and it saved my life and Coco’s because three different people had her before I got her. When Coco sees that vest come out she knows it is visit day. She gets very excited as we pull into one of the places we visit. The residents, children at schools, libraries and people every where are blessed and so are we!
My name is Diva, I am a Chihuahua, apple head,10 lbs. 5oz., short haired.
I get to spend time with my mommy, and when I make my critical visits to nursing homes or halfway homes, my mom dresses me up in the most beautiful outfits every month. Also,I get a lot of attention, and we meet new patients that likes "little dogs." I get excited and wiggle when mommy takes me out....I love being a member of Paws For Friendship,Inc. for the past 4 years because my mommy and I are giving back to the Community with all of our heart!
I feel "Special" to be involved with this organization, and I am happy mommy joined me....I will never leave this organization because I have a duty to do every month!
Clyde, LUCY and Sally
May I Introduce Myself.....
On this page many of our "BABIES" introduce themselves and their Parents (if they wish to do so). We sincerely thank them for joining and sharing their little angels!
Hi, my name is Rico and I am a 5-year-old miniature labradoodle. I have been a therapy dog for almost four years now. My mom and I didn’t really start out to do this, but as I went through training my trainer suggested that because of my temperament I would make a good therapy dog. We visit three very different facilities – an Alzheimer’s unit, an assisted living facility, and a rehab facility – along with a library. I have to admit that the library is probably my favorite as I just sit on a bean bag chair and kids just come and read to me as the pet me – really a pretty easy job.
I am going to tell you about something that happened at the Alzheimer’s unit yesterday. We have been going there for the entire I have been working. There is one lady named Betty who is very special to me. She is always sitting in the same chair in the same spot in the same room. Betty loves dogs and I always make sure we visit her – sometimes we even have to wake her up but she doesn’t mind. She tells me she loves me and that I am her favorite. I am not a real cuddler but I do let Mama pick me up so Betty can pet me. Well, yesterday my sister Bella (who does like to sit on laps) sat on Betty’s lap. You should have seen the smile on Betty – it lit up her whole face! And although Bella was probably her favorite dog yesterday, this is why we do what we do.
JAZI and Tina
MY 10 YEAR DREAM CAME TRUE
I met my first Greyhound back in 2004. My daughter, 18 month old grandson and I were at a local pet store. A Greyhound rescue group was outside the store with several dogs available for adoption. It was the first time I had ever seen a Greyhound up close and personal. I knew nothing about them except that they ran very fast. They are large elegant dogs and very friendly. One dog in particular really liked my little grandson. He was in a stroller and the big white dog walked over to him, lowered her head so he could pet her. He was gentle with her and her with him. It was a sweet moment. After a few minutes, we walked into the store. From the other side of the store, we saw the door open and the big white hound found us and again walked up to my grandson and lowered her head to be petted. He was happy saying, “doggie, doggie!” I was impressed with how gentle she was and seemed to sense he was a baby. It almost seemed there was an instant bond between the two of them.
When we left the pet store, we told the doggie “bye-bye.” It was a tearful parting on his part. Once in the car, it was very much an all-out wailing for the “doggie, doggie,” as we drove past the Greyhounds. You don’t know how I wanted to go back and claim that Greyhound as my own!
When we got home, I was telling my husband all about the Greyhounds with excitement in my voice. He gave a stern “NO” to the question he knew was coming next. Often I would look at the different Greyhound rescue websites to see the available dogs. I would approach the subject of adopting a Grey, but still the answer was, “NO,” followed by, “they are too big for the house.” I kept looking at all the Greyhound rescue websites dreaming of the day I would own a Greyhound. The fawn colored ones always caught my eye and I knew I wanted a female. One day…..maybe…just maybe?
Fast forward to June 2014. I found a Greyhound rescue group on line I had never seen or heard of called BAGA (Bay Area Greyhound Adoptions). Their website had a lot of information about Greyhounds along with the photos of the adoptable ones. The bio’s contained much more detail about each dog than the other sites. There were several available for adoption and as I began reading about them, one dog caught my attention. She was a light colored fawn with a black mask named Sassy Courtney. Call name, “Courtney,” and she was young, only 2 years old. She was retired after 11 races only winning once. I didn't care much for the name Courtney and looked at the others. I wouldn't say Courtney was the most beautiful but there was just something about her that attracted me to her photo.
She was just starting the training program at Hardee County Correctional Institute as a Therapy Dog – approximately an eight week in-house training where she would learn basic commands and not to fear wheelchairs, walkers, etc. because she was being trained to be a Goodwill Ambassador for nursing homes, hospitals and schools.
I wasn't even sure what a Therapy Dog actually did but after a few minutes trying to talk myself out of it because I'm a widow with a little handicap and on a limited income; I took the leap and filled out an online application for this Greyhound, Courtney. Was I crazy?!!? I had not even met this dog. What if we didn’t “click?” Yet there was that “something,” about her.A couple of days later I received word that my application for Courtney had been approved.
Now I've got to somehow pay for her! I read about Therapy Dogs and exactly what they do, and the difference between a Therapy Dog and a Service Dog. I read everything available online about Greyhounds that i could find. The more I read, the more I was convinced Courtney was exactly what I wanted and needed. Greyhounds are gentle and very intuitive dogs and from her bio it said she was a very friendly girl. Her basic command training would include both verbal and hand signals.
I arranged to meet her a couple of weeks into her training. She was a light fawn and quite pretty but her name didn't seem to fit her. How about the name Jazzy, spelled Jazi? Yes! She looks like “Tina’s All That Jazz!” So Jazi it is! Now her handlers had the additional task of getting her used to her new name.
I put a deposit down on her when I met her at the prison training facility and began saving money here and there so I could to finish paying for her. Surprising how easy it was! I saw her one other time and this time she wagged her tail as she walked up to me. We had a good visit.
She graduated her training and she came home to me on August 25th as a certified Therapy Dog. I filled out the necessary paperwork to enroll her in Paws for Friendship.
I've owned many dogs in my life and never have I seen one settle in as quickly as she did. She didn't whine after her “foster Dad” left, she ate well later that day and slept peacefully all night. We have bonded so quickly I was amazed.
My ten year dream of owning a Greyhound finally came true! Not just a Greyhound, but the perfect one for me.
Sept. 3, 2014 we made our first (of many more to come) visits to the same nursing home I called home for those seven months. Jazi, a Greyhound that was absolutely hopeless as a racer, has found hope as a wonderful pet and Therapy Dog. She has a large fan club base at the nursing home/rehab center and brings smiles to everyone there. She instinctively knows when we enter a patient's room that we only stay for a few minutes. Then she is ready to go to the next room. When she meets someone in the hallways, she will stand and let them pet and talk to her as long as they like. The Physical Therapy room is the same, she will not be in any rush to move on but enjoys each person there. It is my pleasure to share with them my own personal story of being paralyzed in both legs and feet but with a lot of prayer and hard work on my part and the Therapists there, look at me now. Walking albeit with a brace on my right foot, but walking, driving and being independent.
No one knows their future; but with faith in God, what was hopeless can be given hope!
Jazi and I are living proof!
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