All animals in the Love Dog program are registered with the national therapy organization, Pet Partners (formerly Delta Society).
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.
Kirby update June 2013: After just a week of illness, Kirby succumbed to an aggressive invasive cancer…this brave little dog will be missed by many and showed us all what it means to love unconditionally right up to his last breath.
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.”
When Petey was almost eleven years old he needed a new home and Sue and Benny thought he would be perfect for them. Having just lost Kirby, they knew this tiny little poodle had what it took to be a therapy dog. Petey has had to have all his teeth pulled and his eyesight and hearing is failing, and he lost all the hair on his ears, but he is the quintessential Love Dog.
Rocky was found in a shopping cart in the parking lot of a grocery with a litter of 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.
July 2015 Update: At fifteen years of age, sweet Rocky passed away. He will be remembered as one of the first, and best, Love Dogs in Las Vegas.
The dog never thought capable of becoming a therapy dog, K.C. has become a star. An agility athlete, K.C. is also a quiet, comfortable presence 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 play, but mostly she loves to work with her mom and share her spirit with others. Lucy visits several facilities each week 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 and Bailey loves being a big brother and volunteering with his family. He spends time at a skilled nursing facility and library and anywhere and everywhere he is invited!
2013 Update: We lost Bailey this year but his legacy lives on in every Love Dog who learned from him how to be the “gentle giant.”
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!
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.
2014 Update: Bingo lost her battle with cancer and will be remembered as a very special dog indeed.
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 Pet Partner Therapy Horse.
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.
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.
2014 Update: Maury retired from therapy work but he will be remembered by everyone whose life he touched
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 volunteer.
2013 UPDATE: We lost Cheerio this year and she will be sorely missed by everyone – she was the most natural therapy dog.
After losing two Lhasa’s Izzi’s owners decided to try another breed and found a dog with the most soulful eyes. Given up by a family, Izzi went from one rescue to another until they 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. 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 as a Love Dog. They will have a long career working with a broad range of populations and environments, as Spike can do it all.
Dash is the most beautiful Italian Greyhound. He is sleek, soft, smart and loving. Dash is 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!
Ginger is a Yellow Lab with 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.
August 2015 Update: Sweet Ginger passed away and she will be forever missed.
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.
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 older dog and now at this stage in her life has found her true purpose.
Boise is a very calm, settled-in Golden and perfect for therapy work. His handler, Lisa, is also ready, willing and able to become a volunteer in a variety of environments. Boise will be a great addition to our educational and therapeutic programs. And is the dog everyone wants to meet and pet!
Not many people have met an Airedale and Cassidy is the perfect representation of the breed. She was born on Thanksgiving Day and was one of many in her litter. But there was something about Cassidy that made her new family say “that’s the dog for us.” Marilyn and Cassidy participate in a Reading Program with special children.
Lisa has begun the journey with her Black Lab, Luna, and will volunteer with the Love Dog team while Luna learns all she needs to become a therapy dog. We welcome Lisa to a wide range of our programs as a volunteer.
Kona is a beautiful Chocolate Lab and is lucky to be working with two family members, Kristi and her daughter Hope. Kona is a most special dog, who loves nothing more than being petted and cuddled and loved on. Kristi passed her Pet Partner Evaluation with flying colors and will now think about all the volunteer opportunities out there for them.
Kona sailed through her second evaluation with her second handler! She is a very calm, settled Chocolate Lab who will contribute greatly to the Love Dog programs and Hope demonstrates that young handlers can be the best handlers! Hope also raises goats and a pot-bellied pig and two other dogs and is looking forward to starting her therapy journey with Kona.
Pet Partners permits children ten years and older to volunteer with or without their own animal. Dani is our youngest Love Dog volunteer! She will be a tremendous help with our events and socializing the dogs (and cats!).
Dani’s mom was afraid of dogs once and now she is a Love Dog volunteer! We are so grateful for her introducing Dani to our program and supporting this effort and thrilled to have her on board to assist with evaluations and events.
Max is a great representation of his breed, Border Collie. He loves nothing more than being petted and given tons of attention! He and his handler, Scott, have a lot to share with whichever facility they wish to volunteer at and Max is a very talented “ball dog!”
While training with her own terrier Moose to become a Love Dog, Susan has already begun volunteering with the Team as a non-animal volunteer. Our program could not exist without our amazing volunteers who help all of us with our animals and other elements of programming. Susan is particularly great with Benny and Petey and they so enjoy knowing she is there when they need extra assistance.
T-Bone is a typical Dachshund and did a lot of talking when we first met. After some positive training, he is calm and quiet and just a great Love Dog. He likes to cuddle up for hugs and will be a comfort to any and all he visits.
The Love Dog team is fortunate to add another fabulous Yellow Lab to the roster with Roxy and her owner Kristy. They are looking forward to beginning their therapy career in a rehabilitation facility and who knows what will be next!
Diane is one of our invaluable volunteers who helps with all the Love Dogs. She participates in our school programs, special events and any other time she can assist with our team. Thanks to volunteers such as Diane, we can always make sure the team is well represented.
Atlas is one tough Newfie. His first year of life was spent in surgeries, casts, rehab and kennel rest. He has had numerous procedures to correct his legs and now passed the Pet Partner evaluation with no special accommodations! This is a testament to the love and dedication of his owner, Lindsay, who spent countless hours preparing him not only for therapy work, but a full life as a happy dog.
Cheryl Croft has been volunteering with Spike for several years and now has little Junie to add to her team. Junie will work with Cheryl at a local hospital. Everyone is thrilled to have another Chi in the roster and excited about her new career.
Lisa and Fergie are so excited to become part of the Love Dog therapy team. It is always wonderful to have a Cavalier King Charles in the program and we know they will make such a difference in any place they choose to volunteer.
Beautiful Fergie has a second handler. Gabi and her mom Lisa will work with Fergie together and they are working to decide where they will volunteer. Wherever they go, Fergie is sure to be a hit.
Josie and her handler, Mary, are going to work with a variety of populations and we know no one will be able to resist this special Shih Tzu. They both have a lot to contribute to our therapeutic efforts.
Chloe is our first Schnauzer on the team and she and her owner, Candy, are very excited about their future in therapy work. She has the most expressive face and very special assignments await this new team.
While Sandra works with her two dogs, Norman and Artie, to prepare them for therapy work, she will volunteer with Love Dogs . We always need volunteers without their own animals to help out so we appreciate her spending this time not only training her dogs, but being a part of our team.
Reggie and Aiza passed their Pet Partner Evaluation easily. Not only is Aiza the first AmStaf (Pit Bull) on the Love Dog therapy team, but the first Pet Partner graduate of her breed in Nevada. We hope they can participate in educational programs but know wherever they volunteer, they will make an impact.
Pumpernickel was starved for many years by his previous owners and only nine pounds when adopted at the age of eight. Now he is a thriving Pug with the most beautiful face and ready to begin his therapy dog career as a Love Dog.
K.C. is a dog full of spirit and joy. He dances when he greets you and only wants to be hugged and petted. He is a terrier mix with the cutest snaggle tooth and is the second Love Dog in his family.
MARLEY – Only a year and a half old, this Golden Doodle is ready to be a therapy dog and will most likely work with children – her favorite thing in the world! We can’t wait to see where she makes the most impact.
BRITTANY – Brittany was found on the street in Shanghai and had to have her leg amputated but this didn’t slow her down one bit! A natural therapy dog she will contribute to many programs as she inspires and motivates others to live their best life
Brittany now has a second handler – her dad! They will contribute in so many ways with so many different populations – this Tripod Therapy Dog is a true inspiration
ROSIE – Rosie was found on the street, pregnant with her puppies. A rescue took her in, cared for her and then adopted out her babies. Rosie was left to wait for the perfect new family and she found one! Rosie and Helen are looking forward to volunteering and seeing this beautiful dog make a difference in people’s lives.
Aleta and Darren are looking forward to volunteering with several different populations and sharing this lovely Lady with everyone. From schools to working with people living with life defining trauma, she will truly serve the public.
LADY also volunteers with Darren – what a wonderful threesome!
NALAH – we are thrilled to have this beautiful Burmese cat amongst our therapy dogs. Nalah will volunteer at health facilities and perhaps make a few special school visits as well. And we know the college students will love meeting a cat during exam time.
PHOENIX – it is wonderful to have another Geman Shepard in our group and Phoenix is the most beautiful dog. He will begin his therapy career at a rehabilitation hospital and we look forward to following his career.
LOUIE – another blond Chihuahua joins the Love Dog team and Louie is very special indeed. He loves to be petted and watches every move you make. Perhaps teens at risk will be his calling, only time will tell.
DAISY – a true Love Dog, Daisy was part of another program and now is a Pet Partners therapy team. We are so glad she is part of our team and can’t wait to see where she makes the most impact.
MAKO – Mako is a gorgeous dog ready to go to work! No one really knows what he is but he sure is handsome! He has the spirit and calm personality perfect for many types of assignments. Let’s see where he finds his best job.
ACE – Ace is a Louisiana Leopard Catahoula, a breed rarely found in a shelter but he was and now has the most perfect home. This breed requires a lot of exercise and mental stimulation and has the sweetest nature. He will certainly be popular with anyone he works with so we want to see where his true passion lies.
BENTLEY – This beautiful Australian Shepherd became a Pet Partners therapy dog elsewhere and moved to Las Vegas and we are so fortunate that Bentley has chosen to become part of Love Dogs. He has a huge future ahead of him and will be a school dog as well as work with First Responders.
TOOWOOMBA – we have another black Lab in our group – how wonderful. Initially trained for other work, Toowoomba is a natural therapy dog and will make a difference wherever she chooses to volunteer. She is fortunate to have two handlers.
GUINNESS – Guinness is a German Shepherd / Great Dane mix and our largest Love Dog. He is truly a gentle giant and will contribute greatly to our program, whether working with adults or youth
SAMANTHA – we are fortunate to have a wonderful group of college students volunteering with us as Pet Partners Ambassadors. Samantha met us when she was writing a paper on the integration of therapy animals with mental health patients and ever since has become a very important part of our team.
CINDI – a business management major at College of Southern Nevada, Cindi is studying music management and loves dogs and loves to travel!
LAUREN – a student at UNLV, Lauren assists the team with training and testing and in just so many important ways. She has a natural way with the animals and is a joy to have on our team.
SHREYA – a student at UNLV, Shreya joined Love Dogs because she enjoys helping people, loves dogs and wanted to volunteer and make a difference.
JAZMINE – another student at UNLV who has chosen to volunteer with Love Dogs. Jazmine loves working with the dogs and is always there to lend a hand with a big smile.
WILLOW – is a Jack Russell / Portuguese Podengo Pequeo mix! What a mouthful! She is sweet and smart and much softer than you would imagine. She is thinking about working with children as well as visiting a rehab.
ELSA – you can never have too many black Labs in a therapy program! Elsa is a beautiful dog with a lot to contribute and now the fun is finding out exactly what her best work will be. Perhaps bringing her gentle soul to the elderly will be her calling.
DALLAN – this little kitty lost his eyes at three months old and now at just over a year he will be helping others “see” what a therapy cat is all about! Dallan definitely sees with his heart.
RAJA – this beautiful Burmese has a big future ahead of her. She and her owner may work with hospice or anywhere they can share their love and knowledge about cats and their healing powers.