April 2017 Newsletter
by Cheryl Cohen on 4/30/2017

                     HAPPY 4OTH ANNIVERSARY TO PET PARTNERS!!!! 

                                                                              &

                       HAPPY 20TH ANNIVERSARY TO PAWS PATROL!!

       With 2017 getting off to such a rough start, due to severe weather, here in SWGA and our extremely busy schedule, I am excited to finally get a chance to shout out the anniversaries of our Nationwide Organization as well as our local group. It is a wonderful time to celebrate and I plan on doing so over the next several months. Marty Harris began this group back in 1997 and it is still going strong. It all began with an idea Marty had when she adopted her rescue dog named, Hero! Marty was very passionate about our mission and wanted to know that what she had began back in 1997 would not die with her. The community has embraced the unthinkable, dogs in the hospital! We have been very committed to Phoebe and are honored to serve their patients, families and staff. Marty had a vision to visit all of the Phoebe facilities and she also wanted us to visit Aspire, along with the many other facilities that we have on our schedule. We are very proud to acknowledge that we also have added Lee County Health Care and Magnolia Manor in Americus. This rigorous schedule is only possible, because of the extraordinary dedication of our volunteer Animal Therapy Teams! We have quite a busy schedule and we have proudly surpassed Marty's vision. I know Marty would be proud of our continued commitment and perseverance. Thank you to all of you who remain committed to Paws Patrol and our mission of touching lives and improving healing, through the human-animal bond.

                      We are also celebrating National Adopt a Pet Day,

                                                          and

                                        National Animal Therapy Day!!! 

        To celebrate these very special days, Phoebe Putney's, Ben Roberts did a special story for their FB page about Beverly Nichols and Mandy. Mandy being adopted and now is the sweetest Therapy Dog! They did a beautiful job so please take a few moments to check out the video. I also posted it on our Paws Patrol page. Great job Mandy and Beverly!! We work this team hard and they deserve a huge thank you for all of their volunteer work.

       We had our annual Bake Sale and we did quite well. I want to thank Beverly Nichols, Betty Livingston, Sandy Knight, Becky Mills and myself for participating in baking goodies. Thank you to my hubby, Mark was on call, but he carried the tent, coolers, chairs and table down from the attic and loaded my car for me.Beverly & Mandy, Betty, Bill & Schatzi, Sandy, David  & Bella and myself with Mini, represented our group during the sale. It was fun and we got to visit with a lot of folks from the community. We even spoke with a few that are very interested in joining our group. We sold dog treats, kitty treats, human treats and water. Thank you to Bill Livingston for all his hard work helping us set up, tear down and also David Knight for his help with the booth and for helping us tear down. We were at the temporary Tift Market Place from 7:00 until 2:00 and then We moved over to the Dog Park to set up! Donna L'Esperance was so kind to allow us to continue our Bake Sale inside of her shop! I believe after all of the monies is finished being collected, we will exceed more than $700.00 this year to be used for our local group and our group raised more than $350.00 for Pet Partners Fundraiser. Last year we brought in $2,002.00, raised $350.00 toward Pet Partners Fundraiser, but we had three booth days last year. Limited space and an extremely hectic calendar prevented us from being able to schedule three days this year. I will be sending Thank you notes to Yoder's for donating a couple of delicious cakes, Honey Baked Ham for  donating  some delicious cup cakes, Lowe's for donating two very large coolers to keep our baked goods cool and fresh! Betty was great at asking for donations, we appreciate your go get em approach Betty! Thank you to Maria Burley for posting it on Peanuts Friends and coming out to buy our goodies. I posted it on FB and on our Paws Patrol site and I want to thank everyone who shared the post and especially those that came out and supported our mission! What a great effort and a fun day!

       The calendar for May is posted and we have switched a few things up from our usual. Things slow down a little this time of the year. We will not be visiting the Dougherty County Library on Monday evenings during the summer and we will be taking AARC/Lions off for the summer due to Albany State Nursing students working with the clients for the summer. Phoebe Hospice has been very flexible with us and we are still visiting weekly, but not always on Tuesday like before. Aspire has been changed to Tuesday and just once each month, but still is a very enjoyable visit. We have moved Phoebe Assisted Living and Evergreen to Tuesdays as Phoebe Assisted Living has requested and these two are also very enjoyable visits.  We will not be visiting Magnolia Manor Retirement Center or their Nursing Center in May due to them having a scheduling conflict. We have added a visit to the Lee County Head Start Program for pre-K children on Thursday, May 18 at 10:00 am. We will be meeting talking with approximately 54 of these children in groups of  approximately 8 or 9 at a time. Please try and sign up for this date. I will not be able to take a dog, because I will be on crutches (from hip repair). I am hoping that we can have at least two or three teams sign up for this. If you are available please sign up asap, so that if I have to cancel this visit we can give them ample time to get something else in our place. Fran Clinkscales with Rosie and myself and Mini went to the Lee County Pre-K and met about 220 children, our fur babies were a huge hit, the children were awesome and the parents and teachers had everything very organized well planned out. We had a great time! As usual we always need more teams at Pruitt Health and Wynfield. Please consider signing up for these visits, you may really enjoy them. 

         I am giving another Workshop on May 7, but this time on a Sunday afternoon instead of a Saturday morning. This has been requested by a few folks that have busy Saturdays. I believe that i have four signed up for this so far, but expect for a couple of more to sign up. We are planning on scheduling evaluations for Saturday, June 3, from 9:00 until 3:00 or sooner. I may need to schedule a Sunday afternoon evaluation also, but I will keep everyone posted. If you are available  to assist please let me know, because we sure can always use the help. Please check your expiration dates and request a time for your evaluation if you are expiring at the end of June 2016.

Our Spotlight Volunteer this month:Betty Livingston and Schatzi

        Our Journey to become a therapy team. For several years I have had the desire to help people with illnesses and disabilities and family and friends supporting them. In 2012 we got our first australian Shepperd, Jack. The intelligence and temperament of the Aussie was exactly what I was Looking for to pursue my goal of being a therapy animal team. My dream was to get the perfect girl to work toward being a therapy animal. Over a period of almost two years I kept in touch with the breeder that we bought our first Aussie from and in March 2014 my dream girl was born. From the time of her birth, I would visit her at the breeder's home. From the first time I saw her, I knew she was the little girl I was waiting for. She was the runt of the litter but didn't show her brothers and sisters any mercy when it came to dinner time. It was also a plus knowing that she and Jack, our first Aussie, had the same mother. Finally, the day came when she could come to her new home. The breeder, who is German, called her Schatzi which in German means Sweetheart. The name stuck and fit her perfectly. I researched the internet to learn the requirements to become a Therapy Animal Team. When Schatzi was four months old, we began our journey to becoming a therapy animal team. We enrolled in the training programs at PetSmart and after five months of training, we finished the Beginners, Intermediate and advanced courses. After completing training, we continued our one on one training waiting for Schatzi to reach one year old so we could apply for the therapy Animal Training . I researched organizations in the local area and learned about Paws Patrol and Pet Partners. I reached out to Cheryl Cohen and our journey was under way. In September 2015 Schatzi and I completed the Pet Partners requirements and became a registered Therapy Animal Team for Paws Patrol. Since then, we have participated as often as time permits and look forward to more visitations in the future. The feeling I get when I see that Schatzi has brought a smile to an ill person or family member, or in some cases, terminal patient cannot be described. You can see it in Schatzi's face that she knows she has brought a little love to a person in need. We love being a part of such a loving and giving group of people that are rewarded by smiles and appreciative comments.

         It is with a heavy heart that I share with you the passing of two of our very sweet (previously retired therapy dogs), Campbell McCleary and Missy Cohen. They served our community well, were loved by many and they will be deeply missed. R.I.P. Campbell and Missy!

Please continue to keep Barbara & Richard Harden in your thoughts and prayers!! We miss you Barbara and Charlye!!

April Birthdays! 

We do not have any this month, but if I have missed you by accident then, Happy Birthday!! Please be sure to let me know if I missed you!