January 2019

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HP was honored with a wonderful article about our B.A.R.K.S program in the Arizona Daily Star. Check it out at

Congratulations to HP Member: Anne Heath
Anne was featured as this week's LOCAL HERO in the News & Observer and on for her volunteer work with Easter Seals.  In addition to her work with Helping Paws, Anne is a respite foster care parent for babies needing care before moving to their adoptive homes. Anne is also the author of two books about HP fur-therapist, Gizmo.
The fist book was about Gizmo in his new home after being adopted by Anne and the 2nd book is about Helping Paws Therapy Dog class.  It is titled:  Gizmo Goes to School. 

On April 1st Ebony and Rena received first place at the Central New Mexico Rally Trial. They received 96 points out of 100 points. Ebony and Rena have now completed their Rally Novice title and can go to the next level. Rena, Ebony and Mercedes (a toy poodle) are graduates or our Fall 2006 Canine Good Citizen class and Therapy Dog Certification where they learned about Rally from the HP trainer Janet Pike. Both Ebony and Mercedes were in HP's Christmas Play "A Dog's Night Before Christmas" as sugarplum fairies. Ebony and Mercedes are also reading assistance dogs in Helping  Paws B.A.R.K.S.©, program, work with autistic children and make visits to our skilled nursing facilities.

On Sunday morning April 22, Helping Paws presented a program at Community United Church of Raleigh to the children during their church school. The program was to help the children learn about working dogs and how they help people on a daily basis in preparation for the church's first Blessing of the Animals to be held later that day. April 22 was also Earth Day, so all of the dogs dressed to support the theme. G.G. was a flower, Gizmo dressed as a lady bug and Isis as a bumble bee enjoying the flower. Teddy and his mom wore matching green polo shirts to represent nature.

Elizabeth Hunnicutt's beloved Golden Retriever Maizy, crossed to the Rainbow Bridge on Wednesday morning January 3, 2007. Sadly, Maizy lost her battle with her epilepsy. Elizabeth writes: "Her seizures had been getting progressively longer, more difficult to control and the medication she required left her incredibly weak". Maisy crossed the Bridge very peacefully at her vets. Elizabeth and Maizy joined Helping Paws in June of 2006 when they graduated from our therapy dog class. Even though Maizy was only with us for 6 months and battled her seizures almost daily, she and her mom were a very active team. While students they volunteered to work the HP booth at a few events, made facility visits, and this fall joined HP's B.A.R.K.S.© program. They had been working with two students at Lynn Road Elementary School. We shall miss Maizy as she joins our other fur therapists at Rainbow Bridge, but rejoice with her as she dons her angel wings, runs and plays and enjoys a healthy life with no more seizures.

On Friday March 2, 2007 Perry Pike, beloved greyhound of Janet and Bob Pike crossed the Rainbow Bridge after a short illness. Perry, Amber, Janet and Bob joined Helping Paws in early 2002. They were in our second Graduating class of Spring 2002. They have been a cornerstone of Helping Paws. Janet, Amber and Perry have helped to train every one of our fur therapists since their own graduation. Perry ranked 4th in Helping Paws Therapy Dog service hours with approximately 199.50 hours from May 2002-March 2007. Our deepest sympathy goes out to Janet, Bob and their two greyhounds Amber and Blaze as they work through this crossing.

Helping Paws member Jeff Patton has joined his fur-angels at Rainbow Bridge. Jeff's death was very sudden.  He had not been ill.  As he and his wife were the walking the dogs, he dropped and died within minutes at only 49 yrs old.  Jeff with his wife Dee and Doberman’s Tahoo, Yoli and Rosie were graduates of our Fall 2003 and Spring 2004 CGC-Therapy dog classes.  During HP's 6 years we have lost several of our fur-therapists but this is our first crossing of a member. Our prayers are with Dee as she works through this lost of her soul-mate and best friend.

On March 24, HP fur-therapist, Ebony ( toy poodle) and her Mom, Rena got their second leg for their Rally Novice A title with another first place, 99 (perfect is 100)! and a blue ribbon for first place.

On March 24, 2007, Braveheart Maxx Seide, beloved fur-child of Joan and Allan Seide     crossed to Rainbow Bridge after a year long battle with osteosarcoma.  Joan writes: “Maxx      crosses over to another world.....a world that will make him whole forever of
any pain he might have had. Maxx went quietly....he had a easy passing....even in his death
he made sure he didn't cause us any stress. That is the kind of a wonderful boy he always
was-sweet, gentle and so laid back. Whenever we fed him, that was fine. Whenever we
took him for a walk, that would be OK with him. A little thunder-no big deal. Fireworks-not
too bad-as long as Mommy and Daddy were near”.  Joan  Allan, and Maxx were founding
members of Helping Paws. Our hearts and prayers are with them.

During the month of December Helping Paws fur-therapy teams presented a Holiday play titled, A Dog’s Night Before Christmas”.  Three presentations were done. The first presentation was to the patients at Dorothea Dix Hospital on Dec. 6, 2006.  The other presentations were to the residents at Springmoor’s Stewart Health Center on Dec. 16 at 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.  The dogs and handlers started practicing for the play in late September and by the end of December had put in 266 hours practicing and presenting the play. The afore mentioned hours did not include all of the behind the scenes' preparation time.

            We had 10 handlers and 15 dogs participating in the play. The teams were:

           Phyllis (narrator) with greyhounds Daisy (child) & Winston (reindeer)
Anne with Alf, a maltese mix, Gizmo ( mouse) 
Rosemarie with malteagle Maggie (child & sugar plum fairy)
Jeani & Jim with greyhounds Isis (Hannukah) and Titan (reindeer) along with
                Italian Greyhound Charlie
Rena with toy poodles Ebony and Mercedes (sugar plum fairies) 
Janet with greyhounds Amber (I in my Cap) and Perry (Mom in her kerchief)
Ingrid with greyhounds Kitty (Mom in her kerchief) and Toughie (reindeer)
Pam with pomeranian Alfie (Santa Claus)
Karen with toy poodle Camella (Kwanzza). 


Denise Hutson & Jeani Gray with Maxwell, Cassie and Snow. Santa Cassie   

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