August/September 2017 Newsletter

Prayers were answered and Southwest Georgia survives another storm, Irma!

          Saying goodbye to Summer is not always as easy as saying goodbye to the heat!

       I hope everyone enjoyed having August off from our calendar commitments, because we are starting up with a very busy September schedule. 

       We held Evaluations on August 26 and we had five teams renew, Betty Livingstion with Schatzi, Sandy Knight with Bella, Mark Cohen with Spike, Cheryl Cohen with Spike and Preston Coangelo with Kosmos. Congratulations to all of these Complex teams! Thanks so much to those who assisted with the evaluations, Sandy Knight with Bella, Betty Livingston with Schatzi, Beverly Nichols, Preston Coangelo and Cheryl Cohen. Thank you to the Evaluators, Cheryl Cohen and especially Preston Coangelo from Tallahassee. It was a busy day for us and we had three teams that received a Not Ready, but they are all very close and hope they will continue to work with their animal and try again.

Please join me in congratulating Beverly Nichols on her recent accomplishment, she has received her Evaluators License! She worked very hard and traveled to Birmingham to complete the work that was required. We appreciate all that Beverly and Mandy give for our mission and look forward to her working with us in her new capacity. Beverly and Preston Coangelo will be completing more evaluations on Saturday, September 23 (note new location). We would appreciate anyone that is available to assist us on this day.  If you are available to assist please sign up on the calendar and if you have not already received an Assistant Packet, let me know and i will get one to you. We have traditionally held the evals at Easter Seals and are very grateful for the use of their facility, but this time we are trying a different location that I believe we will find roomier. St John’s and St Mark’s in Radium Springs have opened their heart and doors to our group in order for us to hold Evaluations.

      A huge passion of our founder, Marty Harris ,was providing Humane Education to the youth in Albany and surrounding areas. We have added the Youth Detention Center back to our calendar, which is now located in Dawson, as well as the TLC visit in Lee County. Paws Patrol has visited the Transitional Learning Center in Lee County for several years and due to lack of participation we were not able to visit since the beginning of 2017, but after hearing how much we have been missed, we have added it back on our calendar. If you have not visited either, you may want to consider giving it a try. We do a Humane Education class with these young people who are placed in this program for various behavioral, academic or emotional concerns. I have been approached from some of these young people out in the community and they tell me how much they enjoyed our visits and the education we provided them. Makes our hearts smile when we get such feedback! I feel that if we touch, or help to change just one life, then it was well worth our time and effort. Let me know if you are interested in visiting either of these facilities and I will be sure you get the necessary paperwork that is required. 

     I am excited that I was able to attend the Pet Partners Conference in Bellevue, WA this past Friday and Saturday, September 8th and 9th.  There were several wonderful speakers that are animal experts and have been involved with our mission for many, many years. These speakers gave several talks on a variety of topics including, professionalizing the profession, working with Autistic Clients, Animal Behavioral Experts, Child Psychologists, Animal Behaviorist, Dog Trainers, Animal Nutritionists as well as Annie Peters, who has over 20 years experience leading non-profit organizations. I found it not only to be a very wonderful experience, but also a wonderful growth experience. I met several other instructors, evaluators and handlers and we shared thoughts, ideas and experiences with one another. I had an awesome time and I hope more Paws Patrol members will join me in attending future conferences. 

     We are having our Semi-Annual meeting on Sunday afternoon, September 17, from 3:00 to 5:00. Please plan on joining us for this very important meeting. Please remember to sign up on the calendar. Paws Patrol will provide pizza, wings and salad. We encourage you to bring a guest if you would like, also please plan on bringing any guest that may be interested in receiving more information about joining our Paws Patrol group that serves our Albany and surrounding areas. I would appreciate your signing up on the calendar and please let me know the number of guests you plan on bringing so we can plan enough food for everyone to enjoy.

     We received wonderful feedback last year from our participation in the Willson Hospice House “Camp Good Grief” program and I am happy to say that we have been invited back this year. Please save the date for this special event on Saturday, October 21. You do not need to be a Phoebe or Hospice Volunteer, but you do need to be a registered Pet Partner. I hope that we will have several of our teams to participate in this very fun and rewarding experience. The children come from eleven surroundings areas and are referred to this event by Pastors, School Principals, Counselors and Teachers. I will have the necessary forms with further details, available at our meeting, or i can email you a copy.

    Betty Livingston had a great idea to setup a booth at PetsMart during one of their marketing days! Betty has great ideas and has been very active in helping Paws Patrol earn monies to help cover expenses. So, we are having a booth setup at PetsMart, one of Pet Partners big supporters, on Saturday, September 16, from 9:00 until around 3:00 to sell baked goods, bandannas and pass out information about Paws Patrol-Pet Partners. Please sign up to assist us if you are available, and/or donate something to help us raise funds, and/or be sure to stop by and help us greet the community and share our mission!

Our Spotlight Volunteers this newsletter is Meg Farris and Fig. 

Fig, our Italian Greyhound, has been a therapy animal with Paws Patrol since 2016. Before I even knew anything about animal assisted interventions, I brought Fig into hospitals and nursing facilities to visit my grandmother. Fig was always a welcomed guest and brought cheer to my grandmother, other patients, residents and staff alike. At the end of my grandmother’s life, whien she was in a memory unit, she still requested Fig by name, even on her worst days.

Even though Fig is small and a little shy, her expressive face and her gentle nature are great attributes as a therapy animal. Fig is still relatively “new to the game” and she is still learning the ropes, but she gets excited everytime we suit up to go on a visit. This is immensely rewarding to watch the joy Fig brings on every visit!

August/September Birthdays!!

Happy Birthday to Sandra Knight, Barbara Jackson, Bobbie Lee, Becky Mills and Beverly Nichols!!

Please continue to keep Barbara, Richard and Charlye Harden in your thoughts and prayers! 

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