Next Act for Women Features the Love Dogs

Helene Tragos Stelian

Helene Tragos Stelian

crop 800 LOGO.JPGThere are many bloggers out there but every now and then one really resonates and you want to keep checking in to see who or what they are writing about. One such blog is Next Act for Women ( Helene Tragos Stelian writes about women, women of a certain age, women in transition, women who will inspire you.

Helene is 51 years old and lives in Chicago with her husband, twin daughters and a dog named Rocky. Her blog centers around women who have reinvented themselves, in small and perhaps major ways, to celebrate that it is never too late to take on new challenges and experiences.

It is never too late to start over.

As many of you know, I left the corporate world to work with animals and start Love Dog Adventures, a nonprofit animal therapy program in Las Vegas.

Helene approached me to write my story and it was a wonderful experience to be interviewed by her. Her questions were thoughtful and the chance to really reflect on the Next Act for this Woman!

This is her blog and I am honored to be the story of the day (


The article  ran in numerous zip codes

The article ran in numerous zip codes

The many Zip Code magazines in Las Vegas ran an article about animal therapy and the one therapy group they refer readers to is LOVE DOG ADVENTURES – we are proud they chose us as the organization people can turn to for more information about how to get involved:

We have had a great response to this referral

We have had a great response to this referral


Complete issue can be found at:


Article page 60




The Love Dogs have a Goal – Help us Achieve it

The audience is getting larger and larger

The Love Dog Adventures animal assisted therapy program in Las Vegas is a Pet Partner affiliate team. Our amazingly successful anti-bully program is called Be Cool, Not Cruel and we are in need of materials as we have grown so fast!

Thus we have created a page on Go Fund Me and if you would like To MAKE A DONATION GO TO

This program reaches out to young children to teach them kindness and acceptance and tolerance all through the eyes of the dogs. We like to give each child a trading card with the dogs’ photos and stories and silicone bracelets and other materials so they always remember to Be Cool Not Cruel.

Ginger and George became friends

Ginger and George became friends

We are entirely a volunteer program and providing all we wish to give the children is challenging. They thrive on the trading cards and bracelets and remember each and every dogs’ story, most of whom are rescues and have special needs. “If Petey can do it, so can I”.

Our program is inclusive and brings together children from all walks of life and they leave the room saying things like “I didn’t know dogs have feelings” and “I want to Be Cool Not Cruel to every living being.”

Benny is always ready to give a hug

Benny is always ready to give a hug

And of course our therapy team also provides services to hospitals, nursing facilities, rehab centers, schools, and we work weekly with children on the autism spectrum and anywhere and everywhere we are needed.


VOTE – Las Vegas Animal Therapy Team, Finalists in Contest

Benny at Edith Garehime School

Benny at Edith Garehime School

I’ve had a couple of questions about public voting. The contest is promoted and run through Facebook only. However, you can also vote from


You may vote once per IP address per day through Sep. 25th.


We are proud to announce that the Las Vegas animal assisted therapy program, Love Dog Adventures, is a finalist in the first national Books & Barks contest sponsored by Pets Best insurance.

The contest is to raise awareness of the benefits of using therapy animals for educational purposes.

The Love Dog team submitted their work with the Edith Garehime Elementary School in Las Vegas. This program brings “everything dog” to first and second graders every other week. It introduces subjects such as how to care for your dog, how to choose the right dog for your family, what therapy dogs do, the importance of rescue and how to be kind to all living beings. Park of the year-long curriculum is the anti-bully initiative Be Cool, Not Cruel and at this young age, the children truly understand how to make friends and how to appreciate differences and the beauty of each individual. Each class has at least five Love Dogs in the room participating and we conclude each session with Reading Circles so the children can read to “their” dogs.

Hundreds of submissions have been narrowed down to eight finalists and voting is open to the public September 8 to September 25please vote for the Love Dogs so we can present this amazing award to our beloved adopted school, Edith Garehime Elementary.

To Vote go to Pets Best Facebook page:

Click on the photo of Benny as shown in this column.

Or click on this link:



Please help us celebrate Edith Garehime students and their Love Dogs in this special way.


Love Comes on a Leash is published

Love Comes on a Leash is a wonderful book

Love Comes on a Leash is a wonderful book

Several months ago the call came out for Pet Partner therapy dogs to “audition” to be included in a wonderful children’s book written by a Pet Partner team.  They were seeking specific breeds and we have three dogs in the book: George, Spike, and Petey (and Benny gets a small mention!) ! The “real” dogs have been drawn as characters in the book and many teams across the country are represented.

Read their stories at:







We are hoping the author, Jody Otwell, will come to Las Vegas for a book signing event so we can have the “real” dogs from town there to pawtograph the books!




I will be ordering books for the students we work with etc. but thought you would all love to check it out and see this very special Labor of Love … Pet Partners has approved the book and will be promoting it as well. Portions of all sales go to PP and other animal-related charities.




To Order Go to






Huffington Post Recognizes The Love Dogs


Sue Petey and Benny

Sue Petey and Benny

I wanted to share this amazing recognition with all of our Love Dog supporters — I was absolutely thrilled to have been chosen as one of The Huffington Post’s “50 Over 50: Giving Back” this year:

Each and every day it is our joy to serve the community and I couldn’t be more proud of what we do.

Here is the text from the Huffington Post web site:

Sue Grundfest, 60, Las Vegas, NV
It all started with a white fluffy poodle named Coco the Love Dog. Nineteen years ago, when Sue Grundfest was recovering from a life-threatening illness, Coco entered her life and everything changed. The fact that she had to care for this special puppy while she herself was healing gave her the motivation and determination to get well, Grundfest said. And in the process, an animal-assisted therapy team was born. Grundfest, who for decades was an Estée Lauder Companies’ vice president, retired when she was in her 50s. She and Coco — by then a senior dog that was blind, deaf and insulin-dependent — launched Love Dog Adventures, a Pet Partner Affiliate therapy program, the first in Nevada. Grundfest became a licensed instructor and evaluator for Pet Partners and developed her own team of therapy animals. She and her animals work with children on the autism spectrum, children living with emotional trauma, stroke patients, children and adults experiencing great struggles in their lives. She created an anti-bully program Be Cool, Not Cruel that teaches tolerance and kindness, all through the eyes of the dogs (and cats!). “I’ve gone from being a corporate executive to a professional dog trainer and volunteer program founder. I can’t imagine more of a shift in one’s life than that but it is what shaped me and is why I survived all those years ago. From adversity I found peace and my true calling,” she said. “I have devoted this part of my life to improving lives at both ends of the leash.”






KNPR radio features animal assisted therapy


Arriving at the radio station

Arriving at the radio station

KNPR invited me to be on the “State of Nevada” radio program and it was a wonderful experience and opportunity to focus on the benefits of integrating animals into traditional and non-traditional therapies.

I was in the studio with Petey on my lap and shared the discussion with Dr. Aubrey Fine, who was calling in from California. Dr. Fine is on the Board of Directors of Pet Partners.

Dr. Fine has written many books on the subject from the medical/scientific perspective, including the “Handbook on Animal Assisted Therapy: Theoretical Foundations and Guidelines.”

Click on LISTEN to hear the entire broadcast: