The Perfect Dog

Life is full of "First's".  The first time you rode a bicycle, your first day of school, your first best friend, and of course your first pet.  The bond we form with our pets as children is a special and unbreakable one.  It stays with you forever, and in many ways it changes us.

I will always remember my first dog, Ginny.  She is what people would call my "Heart Dog", the one that grabs hold of your heart and soul and never lets go, never leaves you for the rest of your life.  As the youngest of 5 kids, I literally grew up with Ginny.  I hardly remember a day in my young life without her.


I was 7 when that fluffy bundle of joy, a Golden Retriever mix, joined our family.  She left us 17 years later when I was in my twenties.  Ginny was everything to me; my best friend, my respite from an otherwise chaotic household, and my protector.  She always "understood" me. She knew when something was wrong and when I needed someone to comfort me.

You never forget your first dog.  My first dog Ginny was such an important part of my childhood.
My childhood dog Ginny, my Heart Dog.  I will love you forever sweet girl.
I have so many wonderful memories of Ginny, she was truly a special dog.  I know we all say that about our childhood pets, but she really was!  She never needed any kind of training, she instantly grasped all the basic commands and never misbehaved.  Wherever you went Ginny always remained at your side.  She was super smart, friendly, always gave kisses in abundance, and was as loyal as any dog could be.  She loved everyone she met and everyone she met loved her!  I was so lucky and so blessed to have Ginny in my life.  To me she was the perfect dog.


When my older brother and I fought she would get in between us and start barking, like a Canine Referee.  We'd have to laugh and stop fighting!

When things got "heavy" at home and I was upset she'd come over and lay her head on my knee or nuzzle me to let me know she was there for me and that it would be OK.  

I was a teenager when an Uncle I loved dearly was in the hospital.  We didn't know if he was going to make it through a complicated surgery (he didn't), and I was left home alone while my parents rushed to the hospital.  I was sitting on a living room chair crying when Ginny came over and placed her head on my knee.  She licked my tears away as I hugged her vigorously.  She always knew when I really needed her.

Oh, how I wish I had a photo of Ginny dressed like Cinderella that Halloween I decided to bring her Trick or Treating with me and my friends!  I remember putting her in a blue Cinderella princess dress from my Halloween costume the year before - Ginny was nothing if not a cooperative dog who only wanted to please her owners.  

The neighbors got a kick out of this beautiful Golden Retriever dog who came to the door dressed as Cinderella.  In those days, we didn't dress our pets up or spoil and pamper them like we do today.  Although, my Mom did make her a bowl of meatballs and spaghetti so she could join in our Italian family dinners on Sundays!  Not giving the dog people food that could be potentially toxic wasn't of particular concern back then either.  My Father declared Ginny "An Italian dog" because of the way she devoured Mom's meatballs - she made the best meatballs!  Living in an Italian household, Ginny probably ingested more garlic than any other dog in the county, never mind that garlic is toxic to dogs!

My first dog Ginny.  I was 7 when we adopted her and in my 20's when she passed away.  My Heart Dog, Ginny
Ginny loved running free through the woods next door to our house.
Like all our pets, Ginny was a shelter dog, and like many Long Islanders we got her from the Bideawee Home animal shelter.  I remember my Dad loading my brother and I into the car to "go get a dog" at Bideawee.  I remember looking into the cages and seeing a litter of adorable puppies, Ginny among them.  I remember the car ride home and how me and my brother fought to hold our new little golden ball of fur in our laps.  I remember the whole family, my parents and my 4 siblings, gathered around this new puppy in the family room brainstorming to come up with a name for her.  I don't recall who came up with "Ginny" but it was perfect, and to this little girl she was perfect.


Ginny definitely had us all at "woof".  She captivated our entire family for 17 years.  Decades later I still think of Ginny and what she meant to me.  It's amazing that after so many years, I can still vividly remember the glorious experience of going to adopt my first dog, and so many of the wonderful experiences I had with her.  

I am proof positive that giving a child a pet can be the most wonderful gift of all. Pets can teach a child so much; Responsibility, Kindness, Empathy, and most of all Unconditional Love.  I'm filled with gratitude to Bideawee for giving my family the joy of our lives, a Golden Retriever mix puppy who for us was The Perfect Dog.   


There's a Rescue Organization For Every Breed Of Dog

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Do you remember your first pet?  Tell us about it in the comments!

Flowers For Angel Dory

I always say, one of the best things about blogging is all the wonderful pets you come to know and love through their blogs.  The worst thing is having to say goodbye to some of those beautiful pets.  Last week we said goodbye to Dory, from the blog Dory's Backyard.  On this Blog Hop we all come together to honor Dory with a Flowers For Dory Tribute.

Saying goodbye to our sweet friend Dory from Dory's Backyard.
Look at Dory's gorgeous smile, This beautiful photo was borrowed from the blogs Kinley Westie and  Dory's Backyard  Join us on this special Blog Hop, Flowers For  Dory, below

I loved seeing photos of Dory on her blog, Dory's Backyard.  She had the most adorable smile.   

Flowers For Dory, a tribute to Dory from Dory's Backyard

Jakey, Bilbo, and Arty will miss their big sister terribly.  Perhaps she'll visit them in their dreams to let them know she's ok and will wait for them on the Rainbow Bridge.

Dory was such a sweetie.  I will miss seeing her adorable little face on the blog.  I'm sending a photo of my favorite kind of flowers, the puppydog bouquet, in Dory's honor.

A Flower Puppy as tribute to our friend Dory, from Dory's Backyard

Run free, playing on the Rainbow Bridge,  Angel Dory!

Two Adoptable Dogs Looking For LOVE!

There are several days in April devoted to pet adoption, but really Anytime is a great time to give a shelter pet a home!  There are so many pets in need at shelters and rescues everywhere.

Today I'm spotlighting two dogs beautiful shelter dogs who are in need of a loving home.  They are from Bideawee, in Long Island New York.  I grew up on Long Island, and Bideawee has been a fixture in our community ever since I can remember.  Talk to any native Long Islander and chances are a good percentage of them will say they adopted a pet from Bideawee at some point in their lives!

The two dogs I'm spotlighting today are Frank and Neida.  They are Long Stay adoptable animals at Bideawee who need a little extra care and patience.  They are part of Bideawee's Long Stay Animals, known as the Bideawee Bunch.  Frank and Neida have been waiting for quite some time for that special person or family to take them home! 

Adoptable dog Neida is a beautiful Border Collie/Terrier mix in need of a loving home from Bideawee
Neida, a beautiful girl in need of a loving home

It isn't every day that you meet a lady as unique and gorgeous as this gal! Please allow me to introduce you to Neida, a Border Collie/Terrier mix. She is a stunningly beautiful 6-year-old pooch, who boasts one sky blue eye, and one that's cocoa-brown! Neida is full of personality and affection and has been with us here at Bideawee for over a year. 

Adoptable dog neida has been waiting for a home for over a year at the Bideawee shelter, New York

Neida's dream home would be the one that can give her all the time and patience that she deserves, so she can settle in, and bond with her family gently and quietly. She longs for a family that she can trust, and who will make her feel safe. In return, Neida promises a lifetime of love, friendship, and faithfulness. 

Handsome adoptable dog Frank waiting for a home at the Bideawee shelter in New York
Handsome Frank is looking for someone to love who will love him back!

Everyone please come on over and meet Frank! He is a charming and handsome 3 year old Chinese Shar-Pei mix, who dons the most adorable little ears! If they don't get you, Frank's wrinkly face and happy-go-lucky smile certainly will. Over-flowing with spirit and love, Frank is gung-ho for his people pals and playtime alike. He loves to run around and play games! Weighing in at 50 pounds, he's a great size for anyone seeking a medium-sized companion! Frank is seeking an adult-only home that can provide him with daily exercise, adventures, and playtime. A home with a canine companion is a possibility as well, as long as Frank and his future doggie siblings hit it off on the meet and greet! If Frank sounds like the one, please ask about adopting him today.  

Frank and Neida's adoption fees have already been covered so their adoptions are FREE!  Contact BIDEAWEE if you are interested in Frank (ID: 1650 or Neida (ID: 0809) they're at the West Hampton location.

Bideawee is America's First No-Kill Animal Rescue, saving lives since 1903

There was a third dog named Scout in the Bideawee Bunch that I was supposed to spotlight as well.  He had been at Bideawee for Five long years!  That is way too long for any pet to wait for a loving home!  I just learned that Scout has finally been adopted!  I am overjoyed to see this long timer finally go to a forever HOME.  Scout is proof that no matter how bleak a shelter pet's future seems, there is always hope.

Bideawee is a wonderful organization.  They do so much for pets in need throughout our community.  They are extra special to me for two reasons;  

😺 Icy and I do our Therapy Dog volunteer work through Bideawee.  They provide us with assignment where we can do the most good helping people, and they give us the support we need to do so.

😺 The biggest reason Bideawee is so special to me is that I'm filled with gratitude to them for giving my family the joy of our lives, Ginny, a Golden Retriever mix.  I was 7 years old when we got Ginny, and in my early twenties when we lost her.  Having Ginny in my life was so important to me, she was one of the greatest gifts a child could have in her life.  She was my true Heart Dog.  

My childhood dog Ginny, the joy of my life.  I'm so grateful to have loved you, I'll never stop missing you my sweet girl.

Frank and Neida could be one of the greatest gifts in someone's life too, if given the chance.  I hope you'll consider giving Frank or Neida a loving home.  If you can't adopt right now, please share this to help them find a loving home with someone else!

Thank You!!

Improve Your Social Media and Blogging Skills At The BlogPaws Conference

BlogPaws is the premier online social media company for Bloggers, Micro-bloggers, & Social Media Influencers.  Enhance your Blogging & Social Media Skills! 
Join us at the BlogPaws Conference in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina! 
May 18 - 20, 2017 
Sheraton Myrtle Beach Convention Center Hotel
Myrtle Beach, SC 
This post is sponsored by the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network™. I am being compensated as a BlogPaws Conference Ambassador to help share information about the BlogPaws 2017 Conference but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. BlogPaws is not responsible for the content of this article

Have you registered for the BlogPaws Conference and reserved your hotel room at the Reduced conference attendee's rate yet?

If you haven't registered don't delay, this conference WILL sell out!  Register for the conference and enter code:  BP17-10off-Ambassador to get my 10% Ambassador's Conference Discount!

As a Conference Ambassador, I'm pleased to offer you my AMBASSADOR 10% CONFERENCE DISCOUNT!!  Use the code  BP17-10off-Ambassador to receive 10% off the price of your conference ticket!  Click here to Purchase Your Conference Ticket   (discount applies only to the conference ticket, not hotel or airfare and is not available to members of the BlogPaws Influencer Network i.e. those who have gotten paid for campaigns through the BlogPaws network)

If you've bought your conference ticket but haven't reserved your hotel room at the discounted conference rate, don't wait!  There are only a limited number of hotel rooms at the discounted conference rate at the Sheraton Myrtle Beach Convention Center Hotel so Reserve Your Conference Hotel Room now!

BlogPaws 2017  Conference will sell out so don't delay, get your tickets & reserve your hotel room now!
Our beautiful conference venue, the Sheraton Myrtle Beach Convention Center Hotel

My BlogPaws Conference Story:

When I first started blogging I had no idea what I was doing, and I didn't know any other bloggers out there.  My friends and family weren't bloggers and didn't understand what I was trying to accomplish with my blog.  I had no network of like-minded pet lovers that I could share with or learn from, I was eager to connect with an online community.  

Finding BlogPaws was a total game changer for me.  If I hadn't found BlogPaws I would have given up on blogging and social media altogether.  That would have meant giving up on my passion for sharing what I know about pets and animal welfare, and turning that passion into a full time endeavor.  It may sound a bit extreme but it's true, I was only a few months from giving it up completely because I felt like my blog was going nowhere fast!

I found BlogPaws in 2014 and it changed everything for me. I quickly discovered that I didn't know what I didn't know about blogging and social media!  My first conference was a whirlwind of learning and networking.  I knew there was a way to make blogging a business and that there were people doing it. The trouble was, I had NO IDEA how to do it!  But by the end of the conference I felt like the full time blogging life I was dreaming about could actually become a reality!  Thanks to the learning sessions at the conference I had a better understanding of how to "monetize" a blog, how to use social media to promote content and much more

After that first conference, I was on my way to pursuing a life of working from home as a pet blogger and social media influencer.  BlogPaws conferences offer learning sessions at all levels, so each year I've learned and grown my blogging and social media skills more and more.  I've expanded my network of bloggers, social media experts, and brands as well.

In reviewing my Blogging Goals for 2017,  I'm thinking about which Agenda Topics will be the most relevant for me to attend at this year's conference.  Here are just some of the sessions I'm most looking forward to attending:

One of my goals is always to continue growing my blog, so I will definitely benefit from attending one of the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) sessions.  SEO optimizing each of my blog posts will help me get my numbers up.  It's not all about the numbers of course, but if I'm putting my heart and soul into everything I write, and I want to consider my blog a business (I do!), then understanding and utilizing SEO is a must.  There's a session for beginners and one for advanced bloggers, I just might attend them both!

 Another goal of mine is to line up more campaigns for myself.  The working session on What Are You Worth In 2017 And How To Make Brands Believe It is definitely on my radar!  There's also a Branding Workshop that will talk about creating a blogging brand strategy and what brands are looking for in the Influencers they choose to work with on their campaigns.

 Online Video Marketing has begun to dominate, especially on social media channels. reported that "by 2017 online video will account for 74% of all web traffic"  Needless to say, a session on improving video skills is on my agenda.  There are two great video sessions offered at the same time, I've got 3 weeks to decide which one to take!

 How To Set up Shop and Monetize Selling Your Own Product is another one I'm interested in.  I've got a product idea but I'm not sure how to bring it to fruition.  I'm really looking forward to getting some solid guidance at this session!

 Fabulous Keynote Speakers always provide a wealth of information and a hefty does of motivation!  I can't wait to see what Digital Marketing expert Jay Baer and expert Marketing Strategist Kathleen Gage have to share with us.

And of course there's  FUN stuff like the Yappy Hours, the Revamped Cat Lounge, the Special Events hosted by conference sponsors, and the Conference Grand Finale, the Nose To Nose Awards Dinner!

Whatever level your social media or blogging knowledge and skills are at, there are presentations and sessions that are right for you.  The BlogPaws conference is jam packed with sessions that will help you enhance and expand your blogging and social media skillset.

BlogPaws blogging & social media Conferences are totally Pet Friendly so you can bring your furry, feathered, or scaly muse along!  Get your conference ticket & book your hotel room, before they sell out!
BlogPaws conferences are totally PET FRIENDLY!  That's right, you can bring your furry, feathered, or scaly Muse along!

I regularly visit the BlogPaws web site to stay current with all things blogging, social media and pets!  The myriad of social media, blogging, and pet-related educational articles and resources on the BlogPaws site is unparalleled!  There's so much to learn and share on the BlogPaws web site and it's FREE!

BlogPaws is an inclusive, global community of pet enthusiasts who write about and support pets via social media.  They connect brands with pet parents and pet parents with each other.  BlogPaws is  shaping social media excellence, influence and education one amazing pet parent at a time!

What are you hoping to achieve for your blog and social media strategy this year?  How do you think the BlogPaws conference might help you accomplish your goals?  Leave us a comment, we'd love to know what you think!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of BlogPaws. The opinions and text are all mine.

Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring!


We're saying goodbye to cold Winter weather and welcoming Spring!
Icy is one dog that probably isn't all that happy about saying goodbye to snow!

Dogs are welcoming Spring!
Phoebe loves the warm weather & all the flowers so she's happily welcoming Spring!




See Beautiful; Footprints On Our Hearts,Tribute To Sugar

One of the most wonderful things about being a Pet Blogger is getting to know and love each others' pets.  One of the saddest things is when you hear about the loss of one of those pets.  We have had to say goodbye to many of the pets we've come to know and love in our blogging world.  One of those pets is the beautiful Sugar, from Sugar The Golden Retriever.

I feel so lucky to have had the pleasure of meeting Sugar in person at the BlogPaws conference in Phoenix last year, and spending time with her.  She was so beautiful.  So sweet, gentle and loving to everyone.

Sugar and her Mom, front & center in a group photo at BlogPaws.
Sugar was so exceptional.  She touched the hearts of everyone who knew her.  When you see Sugar's smile, you can't help but smile yourself.

I love this beautiful photo of Sugar and her Mom!
Sugar's Mom Rosalyn is also very special.  She is always so kind and helpful to fellow bloggers.  She helped me out quite a lot with one of my earlier campaigns, when I was feeling a bit clueless. 

Here's Sugar at the PetSmart table at BlogPaws.  She was getting ready to get a pet "tattoo"!

Sugar left Footprints on so many hearts, so today we honor her with this See Beautiful blog hop.

Dog Friendly Beach!

What's more fun than a dog friendly beach?!  I love seeing the dogs diving into the water, chasing after balls and frisbees, it's a blast!  They have so much fun.  We have a nice little dog friendly beach here in Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island.  It's mainly used by the local residents but the word has been spreading thanks to the internet.

Icy doesn't actually "swim" per se, but she is really starting to enjoy wading into the water up to her belly.  When there are a bunch of other dogs at the beach she gets very excited, her hesitation melts away and wants to join in!  

Icy likes to get up on the edge and watch the other serious water dogs dive in after balls and frisbees and marvel at how they swim!  She won't jump in from the edge, she will walk gingerly down the aluminum dock launch or walk in via the sandy beach.  I'm glad she doesn't dive in, it can be dangerous for any dog to dive in when the tide is low and the water is shallow. 

Look how much fun these dogs are having jumping into the water, swimming and chasing balls and frisbees!!  I hope Icy will one day join in with exuberance like these dogs and really SWIM!  Who has more fun at the beach than these dogs!?

Icy is a total people lover, she loves every person (as well as every dog) she meets!  She insists on greeting all the humans at the dog park, pet friendly beach, and pretty much everywhere else.  You may think that's great, but actually it is sometimes an issue.  Other dogs are often possessive of their humans.  Icy has been "corrected" by dogs several times  "Hey, Husky Girl, get your big snout away from my hu-mom!!"  I always have to keep an eye out for her being too friendly with the other pet parents.  Their fur kids don't always appreciate it!

It was an awesome day at the dog beach, we are so glad it's beach weather again!

Summer is around the corner, so keep these Pet Beach Safety tips in mind as the weather warms up!

Planning a beach vacation this Summer?  The stunning, pristine beaches of The Hamptons and Montauk on Long Island, New York are really special and can be surprisingly dog friendly, if you now where & when to go!


(This is a PetSmart Affiliate Link; if you purchase something through this link, I may receive a few cents as a PetSmart Affiliate Partner)

Do you take your dog or other pets to pet friendly beaches?  What does your pet like most about the beach?  Leave us a comment and share!

Phoebe Gets Ready For The BlogPaws Conference

Phoebe is getting ready for the best Blogging and Social Media Conference of the year, BlogPaws!

Getting ready for the BlogPaws Blogging and Social Media conference
All the Essentials I'll need for the conference.  Do you think I need more toys?
Blogging and social media learning at the BlogPaws conference
The conference is at a beach, Myrtle Beach, so I'm packing my Mermaid collar!

Lots of networking and learning at the BlogPaws social media & blogging conference
My pink pearl necklace will be perfect for the Yappy Hours

Have you registered for the BlogPaws Conference yet?  They are 75% full so don't delay, tickets will run out!  I hope to see you there!

Therapy Dogs Making a Difference for Children

I met my friend Christine Orantes in the children’s reading program at our local library in Phoenix.  It’s a program where kids read aloud to therapy dogs to help improve their reading skills.  Icy and I were one of the Pet Partners therapy dog teams that volunteered at our library along with Christine.  At each visit, Christine would have one of her 3 beautiful therapy dogs with her.

Christine has been a Therapy dog handler, on and off, since the year 2000.  I’d like to share the amazing work she and her therapy dogs have done to help children and give back to the community.   Christine graciously agreed to do an interview for Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them.  Grab a tissue and get ready for your heart to be seriously warmed!

DOGS LUV US AND WE LUV THEM: Christine, how many dogs do you have & how many are therapy dogs?

Therapy Dogs helping children and giving back to their communities
Retired therapy dog Bette Davis taking a bite of her birthday Pupcake!
CHRISTINE: I have 3 Golden Retrievers, 2 of them are therapy dogs.   The oldest is Bette Davis who is 14 years old. She used to be a therapy dog but she can no longer do it because she has cancer now (due to an oral growth).   

DOGS LUV US AND WE LUV THEM: I had the pleasure of meeting Bette Davis at one of our earlier children’s Reading To Dogs programs.  She was a wonderful therapy dog, she’s definitely one of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever met.  A very special Golden!

CHRISTINE : Then there’s Polly, who is 8 years old and Higgins who is going on 6 years old.  

Therapy dogs help children improve their reading skills
Sweet therapy dog Polly, dresses up for the kids in the reading to dogs program
DOGS LUV US AND WE LUV THEM:  Christine got all of her dogs as adult rescues except Higgins.  Higgins is goofy and playful, and was born blind.  When I first met Higgins at one of our kids’ reading sessions, I had NO idea he was blind!  I just saw a beautiful, sweet and loving Therapy Dog.  When I found out he was blind I was shocked.  Honestly, you would never know he was blind if someone didn’t tell you! 

CHRISTINE:  Higgins came from a breeder as a puppy.  He was born blind and the breeder was going to put him down!  The dogs I’ve rescued were all "disposable" dogs, and look how they give back to the community as Therapy Dogs!

When people hear you have a blind dog they feel sorry.  No, don’t be sad or feel sorry!   The dogs don’t know they’re blind.  They can be part of a pack and a family.  I never treated my blind dogs (she’s had several) like they were disabled, I always pushed them to their limits and let them feel they were ENABLED not DISABLED.  Don’t baby them and act like they can’t do things, you limit them when you do that.  I treat them normally, no pity parties!

Beautiful therapy dog Higgins is blind, but it doesn't stop him from helping children or enjoying life!
Higgins loves to swim at the dog beach & chase his friends around!  I use heavier balls that make noise to play with so they can find the ball!  Emma, Higgins’ sister, is also blind.  Their entire litter was born blind!  Higgins and all his siblings were born with Juvenile cataracts.   Their eyes weren’t developed properly behind the cataracts.  The Breeder had de-wormed the mom while she was pregnant, and that may have caused all the puppies to be born blind.  Or, the mom & dad could have had this blindness gene, we don’t know for sure.

DOGS LUV US AND WE LUV THEM:  It’s incredible that blind dogs can make such great Therapy Dogs!  Can you imagine, a breeder was going to rob Higgins of the chance to live, simply because he is blind!  Higgins has given so much to this world and has made a real difference in the lives of children. 

DOGS LUV US AND WE LUV THEM : What made you want to get involved working with therapy dogs?

CHRISTINE : I wanted to give something back.   I felt so blessed to have one of my earlier dogs Maggie, who was amazing.  It inspired me to give back.  

I had gotten a call about a Golden Retriever Rescue who needed help.  The dog’s owner said she had this “horrible dog” she wanted to give up.   At the time, I wanted a female Golden Retriever about  1-2 yrs old with a nice golden color.   I decided to see this “horrible dog”.   

Turns out, the “horrible dog” was the friendliest most beautiful dog!   Maggie had been kept outside alone and was never allowed in.  It's no surprise that she became “destructive”.   Maggie had chewed up the sprinklers and the kids’ stuffed toys.  She wasn’t trying to be bad, she just loved stuffed toys and she loved kids!  She just wanted to come inside and be with the kids.   As soon as I got Maggie, I took her to PetSmart and let her  pick out a toy.  She picked out a stuffed Hippo.  She never wanted any other toys, just that Hippo.

Maggie ended up being an amazing gift for me.  Because of this gift I was given, I wanted to pay back somehow.   I never had a Therapy Dog before, but I always wanted one.   Before Maggie, I never felt I had the right dog for therapy work.   With Maggie, I had the right dog, she fit the profile of a Therapy Dog perfectly.   She loved kids and was the perfect Therapy Dog.

DOGS LUV US AND WE LUV THEM: In addition to the kids reading program at the library, what other type of visits do you and your therapy dogs do?

CHRISTINEWe visit the Oncology department at the Children’s hospital.  We also visit the College, where the dogs help ease the stress students feel during exams.    We tried visiting a nursing home, but I realized my dogs liked kids so much, that working with kids was a better fit for them.

DOGS LUV US AND WE LUV THEM: Is there a particular therapy visit that stands out with you more than others?

Christine shared these two heartwarming stories with me.  I’m tearing up again writing about it. Grab a tissue, if these stories don’t bring tears to your eyes, better check your pulse!

CHRISTINEMy Therapy Dog Cody, who has since passed, visited the children’s hospital with me.  Cody had this shark toy he loved.  He brought it around with him everywhere we went, even on our therapy visits. 

We were at the children’s hospital making our “rounds” to see who might need a visit, when a nurse came over to us.  She said there was a child who was extremely frightened and needed some attention.  The little boy had a stuffed penguin toy he was clutching in fear.  He would not let go of it and he wouldn’t interact with anyone.

I brought Cody in to see the boy and asked if he would like to meet Cody and pet him.  “NO!” the boy cried and turned away.  I had Cody’s shark toy in my pocket.  I gave Cody his shark and without a word, he went over to the boy.  He leaned in close so he could show the boy his shark toy.  The boy then showed his penguin toy to Cody and started giggling!   The boy’s mother said to me “This is the first time he’s smiled since he got here!”

Therapy dogs can get people to open up in so many ways. Therapy dog Cody brings comfort and smiles to kids in need.
Beautiful Cody with his shark toy, the toy that helped get a frightened boy to open up. 
As we left the room, the boy said “That was fun, Mom!”   No cues, no commands.  I just let Cody do his thing. 

DOGS LUV US AND WE LUV THEM:  Another story Christine shared with me was when she and her therapy dog Polly were at the library for the children’s reading program.  Our other good friend Paulette and her Keeshond therapy dog Teebo were on the other side of a partition put up to give the kids and dogs privacy as they read. 

CHRISTINEPolly was reading with a child when a mother, whose daughter was reading to Teebo on the other side of the partition, came over.  She recognized Polly and asked me if I’d ever been at the children’s hospital.  I said yes,  Polly and I had visited the children’s hospital.   Her daughter came running over and hugged Polly.  “Look Mom, she remembers me!”  She then said that Polly “Is so sweet and made me feel better [when she was in the hospital]”.  The mom thanked me for bringing Polly and being there for the kids.  

Beautiful therapy dog Teebo who helps kids improve their reading and also visits people struggling with substance abuse.
This is how Therapy Dogs impact people!   I’m always impressed by the courage and honesty the kids in the oncology unit have.  They are always so upbeat. 

Sometimes a sibling of a child in the hospital is kind of ignored.  All the focus is on the sick child.  I think the siblings need attention too, so I give them a book to read, some fun stickers or a bookmark so they get some attention too. 

DOGS LUV US AND WE LUV THEM:  Christine, what advice would you give to new therapy dog handlers, or others who are interested in becoming therapy dog handlers?

CHRISTINE:   I would tell them to know how to read their dog, know whether or not their dog is right for it [being a therapy dog].  Also, know if a particular therapy dog assignment is right for your dog or not.

I want to thank Christine for talking with me about her amazing therapy dogs and all the work they do to help people in their community, especially children!  She and her dogs are pretty darn special, aren’t they?!


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I hope you enjoyed this interview.  Please share your thoughts about it in the comments.  We always love hearing from you!!

A Dog's Slumber

We love to follow the daily comings and goings of our two favorite Persian cats, Truffle and Brulee from Sweet Purrfections.  They always have something interesting to say, and they have great giveaways!  I won this beautiful TRUSTYPUP Dog Bed on Sweet Purrfections.  

BlogPaws Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop and the eco-friendly dog bed I won!

I wanted the bed for my Siberian Husky Icy, but of course Phoebe wanted it too!  Little sisters are like that, they always want what their big sisters have!

Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop and the eco-friendly dog bed I won!

This dog bed is big and comfy and is made with memory foam, so it's good for my dog's back.

Eco-friendly dog bed I won and a Blog Hop

Big puffy reclaimed memory foam fill makes this pet bed Eco-friendly!

Dog bed made with eco-friendly reclaimed memory foam

Read Sweet Purrfections review of the TrustyPup Memory Foam Bed here.