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.
Hello Jan. Here is our story:
It's funny, I know God speaks to me everyday but I guess I don't always have my listening ears on. But there have been certain times when His message has been so clear, it was like He was right there in front of me, urging me along the path He planned for me.
I am a stay at home mom, taking care of kids both 4-legged and 2-legged, a house, bills, etc. I was selfishly thinking last year, what can I do for me. I started Taekwondo and enjoyed it but it really wasn't what God was whispering for me to do. He had impressed on my heart a need for more. I continued thinking that this feeling was to simply find something that focused on me. Finally when I was not hearing His whispers, He spoke loud and clear to me in a dream. He basically said 4 words, "Take Tuck to jail." Tuck had already been through loads of training and passed his CGC at that point at the age of 1 1/2. With his temperament it wasn't the first time certifying him as a therapy dog whirled in my head. I believed this was what he and I as a team were meant to move toward. I immediately did research via AKC and found Paws for Friendship, Inc. After a successful evaluation, we started out on our journey to a local assisted living facility.
Now I had to figure out how to fulfill the dream and get us into jail. I spoke to the jail administrator at our county jail and she was extremely receptive to the idea. She took Tuck and I on a tour that day and we couldn't wait to get started. Unfortunately, we had to. They needed to do their background checks and I needed to attend a volunteer orientation.
The first day of actual visits there was beyond what I had imagined. Inmates were excited, some sad because seeing Tuck reminded them of their own dogs that they couldn't see, but all were really grateful that we were there. Since that first day, Tuck and I have spent a lot of hours visiting around 75 - 100 inmates each week. He has formed some close bonds with a handful but is generous with his love to all.
We still do our visits at other facilities, including our weekly visits to a transitions program for children under the age of 10, but when we are at the jail, it just feels like the perfect match.
May I introduce Myself...
My name is Trooper and I am an eleven year old boxer. I was born and raised in North Carolina until one day I got hit by a car and my owner dumped me at a high kill shelter instead of bringing me to the vet. A rescue organization saved me and got me the medical care I needed. My leg had to be amputated due to my injuries. In 2011 my Mommy saw me on Facebook and that I needed a "furever" home and to get out of the foster home I was in where the other dogs were beating me up because I was so mellow.
I was immediately transported to her in CT and it was love at first sight. She saw through all of my injuries and scars. She brought me to her nice vet where I tested positive for heartworm and had to be treated for that. In 2015 I was diagnosed with severe/painful glaucoma in one eye and they had to remove it. Through ALL of that I am still the happiest/loving pup ever. I now live the best life with a Mommy, Daddy, four canine and three feline siblings.
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
The reason Lizzie and I joined Paws for Friendship Inc. was to help people alleviate any stress, calm nerves, and to provide companionship. I used to take anxiety medicine regularly before I got Lizzie, but she made such a difference in my life that I don't need the medicine any more! That's when I realized that she had a gift that needed to be given to the world rather than me be selfish and keep her to myself. Lizzie LOVES to receive attention in any way she can, but her favorite is to be petted around her head and neck. When she was a puppy learning new commands, I rarely used treats as a reward - she loved praise more! When I take Lizzie on visits, I love to see all the heads turn and eyes light up once they see this beautiful dog. When they sit down with her and get on her level, she likes to halfway sit on their lap and put her head against their body. You can just see the joy in people's faces once they make that bond! I've had multiple people tell me that I have a special dog and it's a compliment I never get tired of hearing. Lizzie and I enjoy being a part of Paws for Friendship Inc. and hope to stay with this organization for many years to come! Thank you.
WHY DID WE DECIDE TO DO THERAPY WORK?
Years ago when I purchased my first English Setter, I became friendly with Pat Daley who had a littermate to my puppy, Abercrombie. Pat also had an older setter named Chester, and she often spoke of her visits to the Veterans home, and how rewarding it was to see the smiles on those folks faces. She told of one gentleman who had not uttered a word in years, but when he met Chester, he began to speak.
I have never forgotten this.
CH. Admiralty's He's The Dickens! (DIckens) Is one of the sweetest, friendly and well behaved English Setters I have owned, and I thought he would be a perfect ambassador for our breed, to meet and greet folks, and bring some smiles to those who no longer own a pet. So here we are, enjoying our visits to Waters Edge Nursing and Rehab Facility, Port Jefferson, NY.
In April, Dickens and I were each presented with a Certificate of Appreciation for our volunteer work at Waters Edge, and I got to attend the sumptuous luncheon buffet sans my freckled partner.
We are so pleased to be able to give something back to the community where we live, and in turn make some folks happy in doing so.
Toni Lynn Mulhearn
Stony Brook, NY
My name is Eddy, I am a 10-year-old English Labrador that recently found herself looking for a forever home. I knew I was lovable, faithful, healthy, very beautiful and eager to belong where I would never want for anything ever again. Little did I know I would be a representative of an organization that visits nursing homes, care centers, hospitals, schools, libraries, etc. throughout the nation. As a matter of fact, I am the successor to the Founder of Paws For Friendship Incorporated, Jennie.
I will do my best to follow in her paw prints while leaving my own in her Legacy. I LOVE visiting in care centers and meeting new friends! It's like I have found one of my favorite things to do besides play with my toys and nap! Everyone showers me with hugs and pets I feel like a Princess!! I know you wish for me many wonderful visits to all those in need of my unconditional love.
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?
Here is DIVA and her Mom all ready for Halloween!!!!
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!
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 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.
Hello, my name is DRIFTER. I am a Boxer. No one knows my exact age, but they tell me that I am four years old. You see, I was born in Arkansas, a long way from Bellevue. I was tied up outside and got free. So, I started to explore, but then I got lost and could not find my way home. After drifting around a long time, I had lost a bunch of weight as I had nothing to eat or drink.
Some nice folks found me and took me in their home. Since I had no tags and could not speak their language, they had no way to find my home. Well, I really liked this new home as they let me stay inside and loved me so much. They fed me and had a great bunch of dogs to play with whenever I wanted. Unfortunately, they already had three boxers and did not feel they could take on a fourth since one was older and needed extra care. They reached out to Missouri Valley Boxer Club, who agreed to take me into their foster system.
I drifted again (Do you see a pattern to my name?) to Omaha where I was in a nice foster home for about a month. The Jones’ had rescued a female boxer about a year before and she needed a companion. We all met up and they adopted me in their home in Bellevue. I like it just fine! My new little sister is Sadie and we love each other so much. She could not be here today because she has not passed her tests yet.
I know a few tricks and commands. I like to play and eat, but the thing that I love most is cuddling with someone that loves me. Come see me and we can explore together without drifting.
JAZI & 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!
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!
One of our Members will be happy to contact you within 24 hours. For urgent needs call us at: (866) 925-7297
Welcome to the Official - Paws For Friendship Inc. - Website
We added a few centers but wanted to do more. Simon and I joined Paws for Friendship so we could expand our visiting opportunities in 2016.
Since then we have had the privilege of visiting libraries, more centers, participate in festivals and such and so much more! Currently, we've done so many visits, Simon has earned the AKC Distinguished Therapy Dog Award.
The 'new family' we have made is a blessing! The faces of those we visit light up when the dogs come.and the joy is very evident. This program has touched so many hearts and lives and I am proud to be part of it with Simon.
Simon began his " Therapy Dog" career as an 8 week old puppy. I was fortunate to be able to take him to my school everyday because my principal loves dogs and what I had planned for him. He grew up with children at school. His best friend was a girl in a wheelchair that took him everywhere in her lap. He learned not to be afraid of chairs, wheelchairs, carts and other mobile things. Noises such as kids crying, fire alarms, books falling, etc. didn't phase him. He was learning everything he needed to be the perfect therapy dog. He was a natural!! He earned his first CGC at 6 months and has since earned the CGC Advanced and Urban awards. As he got older he went to school two days a week and some Fridays. He participates in all the family school activities such as family nights, awards nights, field days and even has parts in the school plays! He's our unofficial mascot! The kids write him stories and notes, we have 'Simon Says' signs, and even Simon Friday T-Shirts.
We Started to visit a couple retirement centers as favors to friends of mine that worked there and we soon joined our training club's therapy dog group, Therapaws for about 2 1/2 years.