All animals in the Love Dog programs are trained and evaluated by Sue Grundfest and Love Dog Las Vegas. Find out how to join our team by taking the Love Dog Las Vegas Delta Society Pet Partners Classes.Meet our Team:
COCO THE LOVE DOG
It all started with one fluffy poodle, Coco the Love Dog. Coco worked for almost fourteen years both in New York and Las Vegas. A very special girl, she was an insulin-dependent diabetic most of her life, as well as blind and deaf for many years. But her spirit was undeniable and her love palpable. Coco lost her battle in 2010 but her legacy lives on with all the Love Dogs and other animals in our program. You can learn more about Sue and her dogs at http://www.photodex.com/share/yourmomentsondvd/98mb9mg4
Kirby was found on the streets of downtown Las Vegas. His health was not the best but his desire to love and be loved was huge. Sue and Coco adopted Kirby and he helped Coco through her last two years of life. Kirby is the sweetest boy and is also losing his sight. He rides in a stroller as his hips and legs don’t work too well but all this has only made this little fighter more loving and loved.
We called him Monster Boy when he was first adopted. He had been adopted several times in his first year and always returned to the rescue. An out of control, unstable dog, Benny blossomed under the care of Sue and Kirby. Benny is now the most loving, cuddly poodle around and thrives on his “job.”
Rocky was found in a shopping cart in the parking lot of a grocery almost twelve years ago. Tiny puppies left to die. Adopted by Sandy and Jim, this lucky boy has become the most wonderful therapy dog. Steady, caring, dependable and loving, Rocky sets the standard for all of our Love Dogs.
The dog never thought capable of becoming a therapy dog, K.C. has become a star. An agility athlete, K.C. is also quiet, comfortable around all people and incredibly gorgeous! K.C. is our “go to” dog for any environment or population that requires the special touch of a big dog with an even bigger heart.
Lucy is a very special dog living with a very special family. She loves to sail on her boat and play, but mostly she loves to work with her mom and share her spirit with others. Lucy visits hospice as well as children and knows exactly who needs her love the most wherever she goes.
Bailey was a senior gentleman when his family expanded to include two children – his children now. Bailey loves being a big brother and loves volunteering with his family. He spends time at a skilled nursing facility and library and anywhere and everywhere he is invited!
George is a goofy dog. An Old English Sheepdog, George attracts attention wherever he goes. George is very loving and is a wonderful addition to our educational programs. The children love his Mohawk!
Aliah is a very special cat. She retired from the show ring and found a new home and a new purpose. Her owner, Dayna, is thrilled to have added Aliah to her family of several cats and is looking forward to volunteering with Aliah for many years to come
Joop was born in Switzerland, lived in Paris and now is a Las Vegas dog! Joop is extremely popular with the children, especially when they learn he has his own Passport. Joop and his person Paul love visiting hospitals and schools, spreading Joop’s unique love for life and his best friend is the cat next door.
Koda is a beautiful Aussie with one blue eye and one brown eye. He was also the dog who was afraid of everything! Once he joined his family and started learning about the world, his true colors shown through and Koda is now a star therapy dog, working with healthcare facilities as well as schools.
Bingo’s person, Sandy, wanted a black dog and look what she got? The most beautiful white Labradoodle. That’s how it works out sometimes. Bingo is a big silly dog, and makes everyone smile.
Can a five pound dog be a therapy dog? Absolutely! Maiya Joy may appear small and fragile but she has a large personality and enjoys being cuddled and made the center of attention.
Rygambo, also known as Gummy Bear, started her life as a racing horse. That didn’t seem to be her talent so she then went on to have babies. That didn’t work out too well either. So she finally, at the age of 23, found her true calling as a Delta Pet Partner Therapy Horse. Gummy Bear will visit health facilities and schools to educate them on equine behavior and how it is never too late to begin a new career.
Note December 2012: It is with great sadness that we report Gummy has passed away. She was a star therapy horse and will be missed by everyone who knew her.
Brenda always dreamed of having a Yorkie. And that dream came true six years ago when Brenda met Sophie. When Brenda experienced a very rough year, Sophie was by her side every step of the way. Her unconditional love and devotion helped Brenda make it through to better times. And now they are Delta Pet Partners together … and they are both survivors
Crush is one of four dogs in his home and definitely the leader of the pack. He is the most steady, loving Golden Retriever and one of our Complex Delta Team members. This means Crush has been deemed suitable to go into any and all environments and adapt to new circumstances and surroundings on a moment’s notice. As soon as Marcia and Crush enter a facility, Crush perks ups and knows he is working.
Cypress was one lucky dog to have been adopted from the Best Friends Sanctuary and now spends time promoting adoption with his mom Melanie, a Best Friends Ambassador. He has the perfect temperament and is a true ambassador himself for dogs looking for new families.
Maury found a whole new career as an older gentleman and loves his new job. Maury spends time with people living in hospice promoting the healing power of very special cats.
Can you believe Cheerio was a stray in Austin, Texas at just four months of age? But the lucky one was Cheryl who rescued her from the Gold Ribbon Rescue of Central Texas when she was ten months old. The bond was immediate and her sweet soul shone through. Cheerio loves to swim, play games with children and dogs and is the proud recipient of the AKC Canine Good Citizenship Certificate as well as AKC Agility Titles. Now she has embarked on her most important endeavor, to be a Love Dog and teach people about rescue, love and what a dog can do when given the chance.
Cricket is the quintessential poodle – beautiful, smart and extremely loveable. She especially enjoys being with children and cuddled all over her little body. Cricket and her handler Toni will begin working with Love Dogs in a variety of settings and make a big difference to everyone they meet along the way.
Sally made such an impression on everyone that even at twelve years old we knew she could be the greatest Love Dog. She passed her Delta evaluation with bells on but sadly took ill shortly thereafter. While she did not have the chance to volunteer with the Love Dogs, her spirit inspires us all and we will always remember her sweet and loving soul. She joins Coco the Love Dog in our memory and heart.
After losing two Lhasa’s I decided to try another breed and found a dog with the most soulful eyes. She was given up by a family and went from one rescue to another until I met her and it was love at first sight. She was dirty, ungroomed, her bones stuck out and no one really knew what kind of dog was hiding under all that fur. But she is such a special girl. Izzi is smart, loving and just the right dog for our family. When she gets excited she has shpilkes, which is Yiddish for pins and needles. Izzie is truly a Love Dog!
Spike is a very unusual Chihuahua. He is calm, quiet and extremely loving. He is also very handsome! He had several homes before finding Cheryl and her pack and is now working alongside his sister Cheerio as a Love Dog. They can look forward to a long career working with a broad range of populations and environments, as Spike can do it all.
Ziggy was found under a trailer when he was a puppy. Noah’s Ark Rescue took him in and he spent time running around on 40 acres with other dogs. Ilene wanted a dog to do agility with and he was perfect … or so she thought. He kept running off course to greet everyone and anyone! That’s when she knew he was born for a different job and he became a Delta Pet Partner and shares his great love for people.
Did you ever meet a dog that grew in your heart the moment you met her? With two dogs to love and care for I wasn’t prepared to adopt a third yet this little abandoned one, right off the streets, was an instant match. She was named Luna because she arrived the week of the full moon. Luna is a sparkler who is attentive and soulful with understanding humans.
Dancer is a four year old Russian Blue cat and has the most wonderful temperament for therapy work. Her owner, Emily, has been an occupational therapist for ten years and worked with animal-assisted programs before moving to Las Vegas. Now not only is she bringing a documented AAT program to the facility where she works utilizing therapy dogs, she will be volunteering with Dancer as well … working from both ends of the therapy spectrum.
My wife Jeanette met a friend’s Maltese. We thought this was the breed of dog for us. But as we searched for Maltese pups, Lucy’s face popped up. Who could resist that face? So we fell in love with a Shih Tzu. I had heard about therapy dogs, I think it was God, and found Delta Pet Partners. I contacted Sue and the rest is history. The once scared, bashful little dog has blossomed into a proud Love Dog! We look forward to serving our community together.
Isabel has several canine siblings but she was the one with the therapy DNA. Calm, easy-going, loving, with the focus of an Aussie, she is perfectly suited to be a Love Dog. She likes to arrange her bed and pillows “just right” before going to sleep … as any good herding dog should! Mary is a Registered nurse with the United States Air Force thus we have our first military team on board. Mary and Izzy have found their calling working with multiply disabled youth.
Dash is the most beautiful Italian Greyhound. He is sleek, soft, smart and loving. Dash will be a wonderful representation of his breed as he begins his journey to educate and comfort. Dash and his handler Leslie have had this goal for a long time now and cannot wait to show everyone that a great therapy dog does not have to be fluffy!
Tamara first learned about Love Dogs when she read about Maury, our Pet Partner therapy cat, in the Desert Companion. She hoped her cat could do this type of work as well. But after much consideration, it was determined her cat was not suitable to be a Pet Partner, but Tamara was! So Tamara attended a Workshop and became one of our valued Volunteers without her own Animal. This is a wonderful way to become involved and we all look forward to working with her.
Bailey is our first registered Guinea pig and will be a wonderful addition to our team. He has already spent a year as a classroom pet and now can expand his work through the Pet Partners and Love Dogs programs. A gentle, beautiful Guinea, Bailey likes strawberries and lettuce and being petted and cuddled by everyone.
Sophie is a four year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and true to her breed, a gentle soul. She loves people and is happiest when “working.” She likes to talk sometimes and people are always trying to figure out what she is saying. I think she is saying “Thank you Mom for making me a Love Dog and going to all these fun places with me.”
Can you believe we have two Love Dogs named Cricket? This Cricket is a Whippet and has the softest body ever. She is sweet, and calm and gentle and perfect for education programs. She loves to share her breed with others and teach them that not all therapy dogs have to be fuzzy!
Gamby was always a sweet, smart little dog. He didn’t begin his formal training until four years of age but quickly proved he is a natural Love Dog. He and his mom, Vanessa, found their true calling when they started their Pet Partner journey and have many years ahead of them making a difference to those they work with.
Ginger is a seven year old Yellow Lab and the perfect temperament to be a Love Dog. She is an excellent ambassador for her breed – loving, steady, gentle, kind and sweet. When she was a puppy she was far more interested in every person she met than in dogs … so this seemed the perfect way to share her love with others. “My heart swells with pride knowing that she is my dog!” says Susan.
Karen and her son Nicholas are proud to be members of the Love Dog team. While they are not working with their own animal, they are an essential part of our efforts and enjoy assisting with the evaluation process.
Nicholas has a special way with the animals and has two dogs of his own. Maybe one day they too will be Love Dogs but for now Nick is assisting other teams as a volunteer with our program.
Rebecca also does not have her own animal, but volunteers with the Love Dogs at evaluations, Workshops and facilities where the love Dogs visit.
You know Izzi because she has been working for over a year with her Mom, Ellen. But her Dad, Ira, wanted to join in the fun so he too took the Pet Partners Workshop, trained with Izzi and they sailed through the evaluation. She makes miracles happen every week with the special children she works with. Now the family can volunteer together and Izzi is such a happy little dog.
Clay has three Labs and one he always felt could be a therapy dog so he sought out Pet Partners and a few months later, Tucker is a Love Dog! Tucker is an exuberant seven year old, perhaps destined to be a puppy forever. He and Clay will find the perfect assignment and bring smiles to the faces of everyone who meets them. You can follow their journey at http://buckwhiteboys.wordpress.com/
Jill was determined to become Pet Partners with her Mini Dachshund Cedar. They took their classes seriously and when it came time to test. the nerves were left home and they passed with flying colors! Cedar is the sweetest nine year old dog and now at this stage in her life has found her true purpose.
Stevi is a beautiful young girl and she will work alongside her mom and their Golden Bailey. We love having young people part of our team and know Stevi will get as much out of volunteering as she gives to those she meets
Layla is an eleven year old Border Collie and just finding her true calling. She is the sweetest dog and has a way of just melting into your heart. She and Becca will bring their special caring to many people and places and we look forward to watching them grow into exceptional Love Dog volunteers