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Brittney got Petey as a puppy while she was working towards her Master’s Degree in Library Science. It was through her library work that she learned about the therapy dogs program and hoped that someday she and Petey could become a team. She knew that being a therapy dog would be something that Petey would love to do – he loves people! Brittney and Petey finally got the chance in 2015 to join the Therapy Dogs of Johnson County and she was right! Petey loves it!
Petey’s favorite visits are with youth, especially teens and young adults. He often makes visits to the local Universities and Colleges around finals to make sure the students are taking breaks while they cram for exams. He also loves to go to the libraries and have kids read to him.
His favorite books are always about dogs, especially the book “If You Give a Dog a Donut” by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond. His favorite foods are peanut butter and popcorn!
When he’s not out and about visiting his friends, Petey likes to take very slow walks (so he can sniff the ground to see what his local dog friends are up to). Brittney likes to take him to the dog parks so she can play fetch with Petey’s sister Roxy and he can cuddle up to all of the other humans who are there. Petey loves to sleep, usually cuddled up under a blanket by Brittney’s feet, and eat!
My husband and I picked Annie up at a kennel in Kentucky. She is a Blue Merle GoldenDoodle and turned a year old on February 25, 2019.
We were taking obedience classes at Spot and Company, and they asked if anyone was interested in therapy dog training. Annie has always been a mellow dog, so I thought we’d look into it. The Spot & Co. trainers thought she would do great and let us know what our next steps would be.
Annie passed her Canine Good Citizen test in February, and then we passed our Pet Partners Team Evaluation in March of 2019. Annie has participated in several events already and loves everyone, but she really loves the kids.
We are in the process of joining the Furry Friends Group at the University of Iowa. A few more steps and we’ll start volunteering there. Annie is also in a Reading program at the West Liberty Public Library where kids read to her.
Annie loves running and clowning around with her two brothers, Jackson and Rufus, both Havanese. When they are tired of playing with her, she plays with her favorite toy, a stuffed hedgehog.
We are so excited to be part of the Therapy Dogs of Johnson County!
Skeeter is a 7 lb. Pomeranian, born 7/1/2013. She became a registered Pet Partner in 2015.
I got Skeeter from Weber Pomeranians, a local breeder where I got my previous Pomeranian, Sophie (we visited as a Pet Partner team for over 12 years). Sophie was a wonderful therapy dog and her mentoring was a big reason for Miss Skeeter’s success. Skeeter was born on July 1, 2013. I wanted to name her Gidget but after we had her for two days my husband and I agreed we did not have a Gidget, Skeeter fit her much better. She was a very feisty puppy but with a lot of work and socialization has learned to settle well. She likes people very much. She loves to play fetch with her squeaky squirrel tail toy. She loves walks. She loves to visit the hospital and be adored by patients, families, and staff alike. We recently got another Pomeranian, Widget. Widget and Skeeter have the same father. Skeeter loves to play with her and they are great entertainment. Pomeranians are very social little dogs and love to be the center of attention, so visiting people at the hospital and in care centers is a great match!
What is your favorite activity to do together?
For a little dog, Skeeter is a great walker! We both enjoy being outside and I am surprised at the staying power her little legs provide!
What is Skeeter’s favorite treat and favorite toy?
Skeeter doesn’t care as much about treats as our other dogs. But she loves to play fetch with a squeaky toy. She gets so excited and spins in circles when she sees me reach for her favorite toy, a tiny tennis ball with a tail on it that squeaks.
What do you like most about helping people through TDJC?
Skeeter and I visit regularly at Briarwood Care Center and at UI Hospitals and Clinics. Skeeter loves people and enjoys greeting them and getting attention, but she isn’t very good at sitting calmly yet – she is still young and we are working on that. I just love when we walk down the hallway and when people see her they call out her name “SKEETER!!!” – they are so happy to see her visit and she gets excited when she hears them call her name and that makes them happy, too!
What’s the best story you have about one of your visits?
Probably the thank you’ s after visits you never knew made such a difference. I got a note from a woman I never met, a daughter of a patient we visited, who shared how much the visit meant. She couldn’t be with her mom as much as she would like and her mom loved animals so, so much, and what a comfort it was to this daughter to know that her mom was getting this kind of care and love in her absence. Another family member mailed me her husband’s memorial service program. We had visited months ago and I might not even have remembered at all, but the wife shared how the visit came at a really tough time and the husband felt that unconditional love was a sign, and he told so many of his friends and family about that visit after his hospital stay and how that little dog being “sent to him” kind of became part of his story, and how grateful they both were for that. Stories like that are just more than you ever imagined being part of, and it is such a gift when someone goes out of their way to reach out to you to share the impact your visit had, a side you would never have seen or known – that is a true gift.
Lacey is an English Yellow Labrador Retriever whose birthday is July 5, 2012. She joined our family in the summer of 2017. With my hope of finding a dog who would have the temperament to be a therapy dog, I tracked several breeders for over a year. An Iowa breeder kept rising to the top with an extraordinary reputation for puppies going on to be service dogs and family pets. Lacey became available for adoption after having had three litters of puppies. Her kind and gentle demeanor, along with her easy trainability is a testament to her being well-tended to while she was a momma.
Lacey and I became a registered Therapy Team in the Spring of 2018 through Pet Partners. Lacey enjoys making home visits to individuals with disabilities and to those who have difficulty getting out of the house. She loves having children read to her as part of the Read with Me program at the Coralville Public Library.
Around the home, Lacey loves to go on walks and carry around various stuffed animals. Her favorites are her giant turtle, her giant snake, and any random sock that might be laying around. She is not much for playing fetch but Lacey is all about giving and receiving hugs and pats.
Milo is a 1 and 1/2 year old mini golden doodle. We first met one of his siblings at the University of Wisconsin children hospital during a job visit while he was working as a therapy dog there. We contacted the breeder and a year later when his parents had another litter we picked HIM.
It became obvious early in his life that he had the sweetest and most loving personality of any dog we have ever had. He is a true part of our family. He sleeps in our beds, naps in our laps, and is quick to snuggle many times throughout the day.
His favorite thing to do is fetch his tennis ball, although he also enjoys running and walking with his humans. His favorite toy is a purple stuffed bear named “BURT”. He enjoys visiting humans of all ages and enjoys being read to and being scratched behind the ears.
Flatts is a 9-year-old Golden Retriever. He joined our family as a puppy and has grown up with my kids, so he has been training his whole life to be a therapy dog! I have wanted to work as part of a dog therapy team for many years, and I am so excited to get started visiting with Flatts. We plan to visit schools, nursing homes, and hospitals.
Flatts loves walks, eating popcorn, and chasing sticks. He is such a loving and calm guy, perfect for therapy work. I’m excited to share this sweet boy with others!
Catalina is a 6 year old mix of Cavalier Spaniel, Bishon, Lhasa, and Poodle. She is a 22 lb. blonde fur ball who came to live with us at age 1.5 years. At that time, I was making daily visits to a nursing home to visit my mother. Catalina went with me and was very social with the residents. I decided then that, when I had the time, I would try to get her certified as a therapy dog.
Fast forward several years and 2 obedience training classes, she passed her exam in the Fall of 2017!
We started volunteering at Kirkwood Elementary School in Coralville in February 2018. She gets so excited when she hears, “It is time to go to school!” She loves the children and they love her.
Henry is a Goldendoodle, adopted from the Iowa City Animal Care & Adoption Center.
As a therapy team, Nikki and Henry are regular visitors to the Youth Emergency Shelter in Iowa City. They have also had fun visiting with Girl Scouts at summer day camp, college students during finals weeks at the University of Iowa and health awareness events at Kirkwood College, and retired folks at Bickford Cottage and Emerson Pointe assisted living facility. Many young people have read stories to Henry at the Iowa City and Coralville Public Libraries as part of the Read With Me program. Henry regularly attends the annual Take Back the Night March and Rally on the University of Iowa campus, where he is always a calm presence on the receiving end of many, many hugs. Henry loves visiting the University of Iowa Women’s Resource and Action Center for special events.
Nikki and Henry have gone on wilderness canoe trips together as well as on numerous adventures around the country in Nikki’s little RV, joined by the rest of Nikki’s family, including Henry’s dear friend Miette the cat.
Henry is probably a Labrador retriever, and he is probably two years old. He was found stray in Washington County in early 2018. Jude adopted him from PAWS & More in Washington, Iowa in March 2018. In June 2018 Jude broke his ankle and Henry spent the next few months as Jude’s constant companion. He was comfortable around crutches, gentle at all times, and loved keeping Jude company. During that time, it became clear that Henry had the potential to work as a therapy dog. After Jude recovered, he and Henry got to work on getting registered as a team with Pet Partners. They have been a team with Pet Partners since April 2019.
In addition to his Pet Partners training, Henry is a graduate of Basic Obedience, Advanced Obedience, and Agility at SPOT & Co. in Iowa City.
Henry’s favorite places to visit are the Johnson County Courthouse and the Iowa City Veterans Administration Hospital. He also enjoys going for walks on the Ped Mall and meeting new people. When he’s not working, Henry loves to go to the dog park, play at home with his older brother Stanley the beagle, snuggle with Jude’s children, and snooze on the couch while Jude plays video games.
Cindy is an absolutely adorable toy poodle that is full of love, love, and more love. She enjoys performing tricks for cheese, spa days, and motorcycle rides with her dad. Cindy spent her early years traveling over the road in an 18-wheeler, and has enjoyed the smells and culture of our great country from the east to west coasts. She only has one toe on her back foot, but gets around very well. Cindy has a natural ability to sense who around her needs extra attention and will naturally gravitate toward that person to try and make them feel better, thus making her perfectly equipped for therapy dog duties!
Hi, my name is Davis and I am a 2-year-old Weimaraner. I have been a therapy dog with my owner (I call her “Mom”) since 2018. I LOVE going to school with her and seeing all the students! My favorite activities are swimming, following around my mom, and playing frisbee. I always return the frisbee but if you throw me a tennis ball, I will just stare at you. The dog park is fun, and I love going for hikes with my family…I even have my own backpack! My mom says I am really gentle with all the foster kittens we have each summer from the animal shelter. I had my first major victory this year by winning rights to Mom’s bed! Now when she is gone I get to sleep on the bed instead of in my kennel!
My name is BJ, and I am a dog lover from a long line of dog lovers! Phoenix is my third (consecutive) rescue dog, two of whom were certified with Pet Partners; I have been a member since 2011. Phoenix was 9 years old when I adopted him: his family had had him his whole life, but they had three kids and were having a fourth, so (rightly) felt Phoenix was not getting enough attention. He is now getting scads of attention, as I am single and retired and he is an only dog! We visit regularly at a nursing home and the VA Hospital, as well as doing as many other events as we can. There is nothing like dog love to make one feel better 🐾🐾
Brody came to live with me in 2015 at the age of 4. Brody is an Australian Shepherd. He was meant to be a cattle dog but his calm, sweet personality did not fit that job. His job is to bring love to everyone he meets. Being a therapy dog is his calling. He spent many hours visiting my mother when she lived in assisted living. He loves people of all ages and he loves being hugged.
As a therapy team, we have participated in finals week stress relief sessions at the University of Iowa Main Library, at the Women’s Action and Resource Center, and at the School of Engineering. We have visited with children at Wickham Elementary School. In either setting, Brody is happiest when surrounded by as many students as possible. We have also participated in a number of charity walks.
We love meeting new people and animals alike.