Monday, December 5, 2011

Therapy Dogs United Helps Grant Wish for Erie Senior in Need

Therapy Dogs United was blessed to be part of a pre-holiday wish granted to an elderly senior through the Twilight Wish Foundation, Erie Chapter.   Read the full story online here.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Therapy Dogs In School Rule!

Dogs in school rule and our therapy dogs know it!  Check out this picture of Jet ~ she goes to Davis Primary School in North East on a regular basis, and today she was invited to ride on a school bus as the kids headed out on a field trip!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Therapy Dogs United

The clock is ticking to yet another "Be Kind to Animals Week" celebration with your friends at Therapy Dogs United! This year our Celebrity Bartending event is Thursday, May 5th at Under the Clock (101 Boston Store Place) in downtown Erie. The fun gets underway at 5 p.m. with a special greeting and photo opportunity with one of our 10 select Canine Ambassadors! Highlights include auction items, 50/50 raffle, door prizes and free mardi gras beads for everyone! Drink and appetizer specials available at Under the Clock all night long. Please join us and show your support for our team of dedicated therapy dog volunteers.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Penney has been adjusting to her new home in State College very well. Every Saturday she gets dressed in her PSU gear to support our football team. She is quite the little cheerleader!

Whenever we have extra time we practice her tricks. So far she is having some trouble with the hula hoop jumping. She'll walk through it a million times but as soon as I lift it higher for her to jump she looks at me like I'm crazy and walks away. If anyone has any ideas on how to get her jump I would love to hear your advice.
As far as her sign language and reading goes, she is a genius. (I'm beginning to think shes a book worm, not an athlete) She has perfected her English words so well that she is now beginning to learn Spanish! Sientate (sit) Bajate (down) Mano (paw). Sad to say Penney is going to be trilingual before I'm even bilingual :)!

On October 31st, Halloween, Pen will be celebrating her 1st birthday dressed as a little devil. With Penney turning one she will soon be eligible to take her Therapy Dog exam. I am very excited because we have been working so hard and she has perfected almost all of the requirements to pass. I cannot wait for her to officially be part of this organization, and on her way to doing what she does best. Making people in need of a smile, laugh.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Life with Penney is such a joy! She is a total goof ball and has the most hilarious personality. She loves to be the center of every ones attention. When shes not she knows how to get all eyes on her by wiggling her bottom and jumping up and down like a jumping jack. She is always making a silly face whether her top lip is stuck under her bottom teeth or the tip of her tongue is hanging out. She loves to be loved. She always wants to be near you and loves to be petted or snuggled.

For being deaf she is an exceptional listener. Not to speech of course, but to sign language. She has learned the commands for sit, stand up, lay down, stay, come, no, 'go potty' and her favorite 'good girl' (which is "spirit fingers," this turns her into an excited wiggle worm) She has also caught on very fast to the house rules of sitting before you go outside or come in and before eating. Since she has caught on so well to everything I have taught her thus far I am continuing with many new tricks.

Inspired by Therapy Dogs Padame and Blaze I am going to begin teaching her how to read. Therapy dog handler Tammy Baker floored me when she showed me how she taught her standard poodles Padame and Blaze to read one word commands such as sit, stay, down, off, come. I instantly thought that this would be an awesome ability for Penney. Another trick we are working on steamed from what I originally thought to be Penneys worst attribute, jumping. Blocking the dogs from entering the dinner room is a baby gate. While eating dinner one night Penney deiced that that baby gate was NOT going to stop her from begging and in one leap she cleared the gate and was siting at my feet. Since she has began jumping over everything, including Pete! At first I hated the fact that she could jump so high but then I got the idea of how to use this ability- Hula hoop jumping. Just yesterday I bought her a pink hula hoop and our training will begin soon.

I am happy to announce that Penney has been granted permission by the Barber Center Senior Center to practice socialization. Starting tomorrow she will begin her official training for her Therapy Dog exam by visiting the Seniors. I am so excited to finally get her out interacting with people. She is well on her way to becoming an official member of this organization. I know she is going to be a wonderful addition and is going to touch so many individuals lives. She is an outstanding little girl.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pete 'n Penney

On a rainy day in March of 2008 I was blessed with a miracle when a wet and hungry little brown and white boy showed up at my door step. It was love at first sight. I took the hungry boy in and from the moment he walked inside it was obvious that he had stumbled upon his forever home. I named him Peter, but what I should have named him was shadow because since that rainy day in March he has never left my side. He follows me everywhere I go, no matter where I go; I am beginning to wonder if I will ever have privacy when I pee again!

To some this may sound pathetic, but I am honest when I say that my American Bulldog, Petey, is my best friend. We even have best friend key chains; mine on my keys and his on his collar. Nothing makes me happier then when I come home to his wagging tail and wiggly excited body. He is the apple of my eye.

There has never been a time when I thought that I would want to add another pup to my life. What’s the point? No dog could ever compare to my man Pete! Well let me tell you, I was wrong., because on June 19, 2010 I found a pure white little girl. Just as it was for Pete, this little girl was love at first site. I went to visit her after she was found lost and hungry then, sheltered at the A.N.N.A shelter. While petting her through the cage as she excitedly licked my fingers, a worker informed me that she was 100% deaf. Learning of her impairment I knew that I had to have her; that Pete and I had to have her. She needed us. We had to help this poor little girl. Little did she know, from that moment she too had found her forever home.

I couldn’t take her right away though; I had to have time to warn Pete. I know that sounds stupid, but I had to prepare. I spent the next two days obsessing about this little girl. Could I do it? Could I raise a deaf dog? Could I raise two dogs? Could I share my love equally? Could I train her? Could I afford them? Would Pete resent me? But then I thought: Did it matter? I was already in love, and with love anything is possible. Right?

Monday June 21st finally arrived! I was bringing home my girl, our girl. I bought her a new bright pink collar and leash and arrived 45 minutes before the shelter opened and paced outside of their door. I just wanted to hold her. Finally the moment came; I could barely sign my name or sit still enough to listen to the adoption information. I just wanted to hold my girl.

The ride home was hilarious she kept trying to stick her head between the puppy gate in back of my jeep. I couldn’t drive home fast enough, she needed to meet Pete. He was going to love her! Right? Wrong. HE WAS HORRIFIED! Oh my goodness, what have I done? I broke his heart.

At first reaction to her he did his “I’m going to attack this intruder” stance, and then when he saw me petting her he fell to pieces in a huge trembling mess. I had traumatized my boy. He just lay at my feet crying, he thought had been replaced! It took about an hour before he calmed down, but he eventually did. He eventually fell in love with her, just as I had.

We named our little girl Penney. Pete and Penney- could that sound any more perfect?!

As the two of them were wrestling yesterday, I decided to put all of Penney’s papers away with Pete’s. Just to see I decided to compare the two’s first vet visit papers. Hand written on Penney’s under the ‘ears’ category was- “deaf.” Hand written on his under the ‘teeth’ category on Pete’s was “sever under-bite.” My poor babies.

Pete has taken on the role of big brother like a champ. He lets her jump all over him, lets her bite at his ears and sit on him when he’s sleeping. It amazes me, but I know that he senses her hearing impairment because he is constantly looking behind him to make sure she’s following. It’s as though he knows he’s suppose to guide her.

As perfect as they are though, they are equally as devilish. I have only had Penney for three days and the two of them have managed to make their share of messes. I came home from work yesterday to Penney in her kennel covered in poo. She went, and then decided to roll in it? I know ewww. Letting her out of course did not go smoothly. Pete apparently thought it would be funny to play. He jumped right on her, next thing I knew, I had two poopy dogs wrestling. The next thing they knew, they were in the bath.

As much of a challenge as this is going to be, I feel as though my heart has done it again, it has guided me in the right direction and has found me another best friend. I am so blessed.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

See You at the St. Patty's Day Parade

Be on the lookout for our pupparatazi on Saturday, March 13th at the St. Patrick's Day Parade in downtown Erie. We'll be the cool dogs walking with our owners! The Parade starts at 2 p.m. at 12th and State. May the luck of the Irish be with you!