Active Pet Therapy Teams
Maria, Veronica and Balto
Introducing Balto, a Great Pyrenees rescued from a machine shed who was brought home in the summer of 2015 by the Richards, a caring family. Balto was about two years old and only 80 pounds at that time. He has since grown to about 97 pounds, which is actually small for his breed. Compensating for his size, Balto shares a big heart. He enjoys being hugged, cuddled and receiving a good ear tussle. Favorite foods of his include chicken and bacon.
Balto’s Animal Therapy training began with two years in the 4H Dog Project with Veronica, then about 9 years old, as his handler. Maria assisted with the training to also become a handler. They joined B.A.R.C.C. in 2016 and began volunteering in 2017. Therapy experiences include Beaver Dam Hospital safety fair, 4H dog safety presentations and Blood Pressure Screening Sundays at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Waupun. R.E.A.D. dog experiences include Literacy Nights at Mayville Schools, and open R.E.A.D. events at local libraries.
Kim and Hattie
Miss Hattie Shea is our Southern Belle from Mississippi. She came to us via Hoover Hause All Dog Rescue in the Milwaukee area which helps homeless dogs from the south find forever homes in the north. Although she was given the name of Shea from the rescue facility, she didn’t seem too attached to it so we turned to a Mississippi map to find a more befitting name. Ultimately, we settled on Hattie, in honor of Hattiesburg, to pay homage to her heritage. In true southern fashion, we also kept the name Shea so her official designation is a chic two-name, southern name!
I knew from the moment we first met her that she was a special dog. Her profile from the rescue organization indicated that she loved everyone and everything. That has most definitely proven to be true! Her gentle disposition and love of being pet endlessly for hours and hours, make her perfect for sharing with others as part of B.A.R.C.C. Hattie’s luxuriously soft coat and deeply soulful eyes quickly draw people in, while a constantly wagging tail is reward for their attention and affection.
Since becoming registered as a therapy dog in October 2017, Hattie has visited several local elementary schools as a R.E.A.D. dog to help children become better readers. She has also helped brighten people’s days at local group homes and prisons. Some of her favorite visits are to college campuses to help students destress before final examinations. To date, she hasn’t encountered a therapy situation she hasn’t thoroughly enjoyed!
Hattie also loves to chill at home with her family, which includes her humans, Alan and Kim, as well as a cat, several chickens and two horses. While we will never know her past, we look forward to giving Hattie a great future, while sharing her with others along the way.
Cathy and Alaska
Alaska is a male English Crème Golden Retriever with an amazing temperament. In 2014, he came to live with our family including three Goldens at 7 weeks old from a breeder in Kenosha, WI.
Alaska thoroughly enjoyed his puppy classes, especially preferring the smaller dogs. He would bow down, lay down, and let them jump all over him! Early on, he exhibited an ability to learn, and a gentle nature with both people and dogs.
Alaska received his AKC Star Puppy title along with CGC (Canine Good Citizen) in his first year. In the Fall of 2017, through Intermountain Therapy Animals, he became a Registered Therapy and R.E.A.D. team with Cathy, his owner. He currently is reading with children at local schools, and will expand into other areas in the future.
Alaska enjoys chasing his ball, whether on land or ponds he resides on. He especially loves walks at the Horicon Marsh Education Center which offers him an array of people, including children who are always excited to greet him. He has become the ‘Marsh Mascot’ of sorts, sitting at the entrance by the bench watching for anyone entering or leaving the marsh. When no people are present, he is content to simply watch and listen to all the sights and sounds on the marsh. Alaska’s presence so often brings smiles and an irresistible, “Won’t you please come meet and pet me?” expression, which draws a crowd often!
Dar and Betty Boop
Betty Boop is a 6-year-old Boston Terrier. She has lived in Mayville with her human family, two cats, and an older dog since she was 8 weeks old. She has a wonderfully sweet, relaxed and loving personality. Betty Boop thoroughly enjoys and loves people of all ages and personalities. She seems to have an “it’s all good” attitude about the world.
Betty Boop received her AKC Canine Good Citizen registration on 10/31/11. She and I became a Reading Education Assistance Dog (R.E.A.D.) team and an Intermountain Therapy Animals (I. T. A.) registered therapy team on 12/19/11. Betty Boop and I currently visit at Clearview Long Term Care & Rehabilitation Center in Juneau, Green Valley Enterprises and Trosten Haus in Beaver Dam, and Daybreak in Horicon. We are also Heartland volunteers. We have done R.E.A.D. sessions at Parkview School and St. Mary’s School in Mayville as well as participate in dog safety programs. When not engaged in these activities, Betty Boop enjoys walks, naps, and squirrel watching.
Linda and Gracie
Gracie is a purebred Samoyed born June 18, 2010, in Dousman, Wisconsin. Samoyeds are a cold-weather, working breed that originated from Siberia. They were raised as sled dogs and reindeer herders with the Samoyed people and actually slept with the children to keep them warm at night. Their double-coated fur was spun into yarn and used for clothing and rugs. Linda is currently saving some of Gracie’s fur to spin into yarn.
Since brought into the United States, they have become wonderful family pets as they love people, especially children. They do blow-out their fur twice a year and require a lot of brushing. Gracie gets groomed daily and Linda published a children’s book called Grooming Gracie in paperback published in 2015.
Samoyeds also like to “talk.” They love to engage in barking and are known for their “aroo-roo” vocal sounds. Being a very intelligent breed, they can be a challenge to train, but are gentle, loving and fun. True to her breed, Gracie is a talker and Linda still has to occasionally remind Gracie that there is “No talking in school.”
Life with Gracie
Requiring a lot of exercise, Gracie likes to take daily walks and play fetch in her backyard. Gracie’s favorite time of year is winter. She loves to run and play in the snow. During the summer, she likes to play in her swimming pool and loves visiting with neighbors and friends. Gracie is a family dog and has lived with her handler, Linda, since she was a puppy.
Becoming an I.T.A. Pet Therapy and R.E.A.D. Dog
Gracie has been a registered I.T.A. Pet Therapy and R.E.A.D. dog since 2014. Following the I.T.A. (Intermountain Therapy Animals) standard for pet therapy and R.E.A.D. (Reading Education Assistance Dogs), Gracie is re-evaluated and tested every two years. Their pet therapy work includes visiting colleges, group homes, assisted living and nursing homes, participating in Pet Safety programs, and working with day care and elementary students with the R.E.A.D. program.
Bob, Diane and Kona
Kona is a chocolate Labrador retriever born on May 16, 2011 in the presence of Bob and Diane. He was named Kona after the coffee because of his warm brown color. Just a few days after his birth, Kona started his training to become a therapy dog. The little pup was held each day, stroked gently, listened to a human voice, and softly had his paws touched. As a young pup, he quickly exhibited a very calm personality and demeanor. At six months old, Kona was enrolled in a puppy obedience and socialization class. Kona earned the Canine Good Citizen certificate. He continued his education by attending another dog obedience class and became a registered therapy dog in February of 2014.
Kona grew to be a large muscular canine with a very mellow personality earning the nickname of “the gentle giant.” He loves to romp in the backyard of our rural home, run through the fields with his mother, and roll in the snow in winter. At night he will stretch out on the carpeted floor and play with our small dog, Baxter. He is quite the detective hunting for treats hidden in his toys.
Kona is a registered with both Bob and Diane through Intermountain Therapy Animals. He works as a therapy and reading assistance dog visiting schools and other facilities with either Bob and Diane.
Diane and Baxter
Baxter is a Shit-Tzu-poodle mix. He was born in April of 2013 and came to live with us when he was two months old. Baxter attended puppy training sessions, dog obedience class, earned his Canine Good Citizen certificate and became a registered therapy dog with Intermountain Therapy Animals in the summer of 2014.
Baxter and Diane love visiting schools, volunteering as part of the Reading Education Assistance Dogs’ program. Baxter enjoys greeting the children and having his ears scratched and his body stroked with their gentle hands. Diane shares her experiences as a reading teacher. The therapy team will expand their visits to other facilities in the future.
Baxter is an energetic bundle of fluffy fur. He loves playing with his Labrador retriever friends; Kona, a registered therapy dog and Kona’s mother, Mocha. Baxter often zooms around the house, running from room to room looking for excitement and carrying a toy. After his exercise he enjoys cuddling on someone’s lap.
Pat and Déjà Vu
Meet Déjà Vu…Wonder Dog extraordinaire. Why Wonder Dog? Because we wonder what breed she is! This Smooth Collie mix was rescued by Pat Goham from the Fox Valley Humane Society in October 2013. This Southern Belle was born in Gulfport MS, nee Daisha Jones on 3/13/2013. She relocated to Appleton, WI where she spent ten weeks in Rebound Training with a prisoner who called her Déjà and the name stuck.
Upon her release, she immediately passed obedience training with Pat at Selten Ruhe Kennels. The team then advanced to the AKIC Good Citizen certification on 4/23/2014. She and Pat then were evaluated on 4/27/2014 for Intermountain Therapy Animal (ITA) registration. She now regularly visits local hospitals, nursing homes and schools where she listens to young children read. She also regularly visits local prisons, returning the favor to the prisoner who once trained her.
Marge and Libby
Libby is a black 6½ year old standard poodle with just a few white markings on her chest and back paws. Her mom, Dahli, is a white standard Parti Poodle with large brown spots and black spots. Dad, Riff, is an all-white standard poodle. They live in Germantown, WI, about 10 miles from Libby and me. Libby had 10 litter mates and so far all are in good homes and doing well.
Libby joined me, my cat, Pocho, and mini horse, Dandy on December 21, 2008. She was 15 weeks old. Libby became a good friend to all of us. We lost Pocho last year. She died of a stroke at 19 years old.
Dandy is still with us at 27 years old.
Libby and I passed our pet therapy and R.E.A.D. tests in December 2013, and we are now members of ITA (Intermountain Therapy Animals), R.E.A.D. (Reading Education Assistance Dogs) and B.A.R.C.C., Inc.® (Badgerland Animal Reading & Comfort Companions).
Libby and I have since been working as a R.E.A.D. team in elementary schools in Dodge and Waukesha counties. We both enjoy the children. Soon we plan to add visits to a Waukesha county nursing home. Libby is very sociable and enjoys all animals, children and adults. She is a great friend.
Marge is now a newly retired pharmacist (August 2014) and living on a 4 acre mini-farm in Waukesha County with Libby and Dandy in charge. Two married children, a grandson and two granddaughters also living in WI keep our family busy.
Through the years, Marge has been a ski patroller, a professional clown, a 4H leader and now her life is going to the dogs! GREAT FUN!
Pat and Colleen
Colleen is an eight year old Goldendoddle who was rescued from a shelter in Huntley, Illinois. She was left tied outside in front of the shelter in the rain and the shelter was not sure if she was dropped off the night before or in the morning before they arrived. She has a sweet and gentle disposition, and loves everyone, which is why I believed she would be wonderful as a Therapy dog.
In July of 2009 we moved to Wisconsin and that November Colleen was first registered as a Delta Dog (now called Pet Partners). Two years later, Colleen was again tested and re-registered as a Delta Dog/Pet Partners in 2011. It is a Pet Partners’ requirement that all dogs be tested and re-registered every two years. Colleen was re-registered with Pet Partners again in 2013.
In November of 2011, Colleen was tested and became a part of Intermountain Therapy Animals, so at that time, held two certifications as a registered therapy dog.
Colleen has worked in Wisconsin at the Clearview Nursing Facility, Saint Katharine Drexel’s; St. Mary’s; Parkview and Dodgeland Schools in their R.E.A.D. programs. She also visited at Bethesda House in Fox Lake, Hillside Hospice and at several UW dorms doing stress relief for students preparing for their exams.
When we returned to Illinois in September of 2012, Colleen was tested and registered again with Rainbow Animal Assisted Therapy where we originally began our journey as a Pet Partner team in 2007. She will again be re-evaluated with Rainbow during 2014.
Currently, she works in Illinois at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital three days a month and at Midwest Palliative Care every Friday. She also visits at a local nursing home. Colleen has done programs at several schools in the Chicago area and at the Kohl’s Children’s’ museum. This April, Colleen became a member of Rainbow’s Crisis Response Unit, where we provide stress relief for victims of disaster, schools during finals or wherever the Red Cross asks for assistance.
Retired Pet Therapy Teams
Ann and Miley
Miley and her partner, Ann, were one of the original pet therapy teams who helped pioneer the creation of B.A.R.C.C. in 2010. Over the years, Miley’s patience and expressions of love have brought countless smiles to people of all ages in many various settings. Still a sweetheart, Miley is now 12 years old and recently retired from active pet therapy.
Marcey and Molly
Molly is a 10-year-old-Staffordshire terrier mix. She was a stray in Horicon when she was taken to the Sage home in January of 2006.
After taking Molly to the vet, she was diagnosed with having extreme allergies to dust mites. Now that she is on the right medication and diet, she is healthy and has a beautiful coat.
Molly has a 4 year old cat named Peanut that she loves to play with. She also enjoys chasing tennis balls, rabbits and chipmunks. Her best dog friend, Daisy, lives close by and they visit each other often.
After passing the Canine Good Citizen test, she became a registered therapy dog in 2009. She is registered and insured by Intermountain Therapy Animals of Salt Lake City, UT. She has visited assisted living, nursing homes, and adult day care facilities.
Molly also became an official member of the R.E.A.D. program in Feb. 2010. Children come to read to her at the Horicon Public Library and at schools in Dodge County.
Marcey is the proud owner of Molly. After raising 3 daughters, all of which are on their own now, she wanted to do something else to fulfill her life.
When the local humane society told her that Molly would make a good therapy dog, she didn’t have to think twice about what that would be.
Katie and CiCi
CiCi is a boxer or boxette as my husband refers to her, since she is a girl boxer. She loves children and females. She likes to be in the middle of the action in the neighborhood. She came from St. Louis, MO as a puppy by airplane. My husband had to pick her up at Mitchell International Airport. The workers there took her out of her crate and pet her because she was so cute and loving. She was 11 pounds and all wrinkles. I am constantly asked, “Are you CiCi’s mom?” Cannot figure out how she knows more neighbors than I do. I am even stopped at Pick n Save and asked that same question. CiCi is my first dog. Until now I was afraid of dogs. I had no experience or reason for this fear; it was just there. No more. Now she is ready to spread her love to others in pet therapy.
Mary and Scooby
Scooby and I met on May 14, 2016. He was on display at a PetSmart store from the Fox Valley Humane Association. His calm and gentle spirit was evident as he just laid in the portable crate while the other dogs were barking up a storm.
I joined the wonderful B.A.R.C.C. group which helped me achieve my goal of becoming a therapy team.
Scooby got his Canine Good Citizen certificate on August 25, 2016. We passed the test and are registered with International Therapy Animals as of December. 5,2016. The next day he became my personal therapy dog for 11 months as I battled cancer.
On Oct 24, 2017 , thanks to Lynne and Darlene we joined the R.E.A.D. program.
As of Nov. 2017, my dream of being a therapy team became a reality. We started visiting the Agnesian Adult Day Care on a weekly basis.
Scooby will be taking on the duel role again as I re-enter the cancer battle.
Rainbow Bridge members
Lynne and Oreo
Oreo is an 11-year-old Sheltie-Springer mix who came to live with us at 6 weeks old. She is very sweet and gentle and loves people of all ages. Some of her favorite activities are walking in the woods, playing Frisbee, playing catch and sometimes retrieving. She is not as active as she used to be, but she enjoys her visits to schools, nursing homes (hospice) and assisted-living facilities. She’s always ready to jump in the car when I put her scarf on and she knows she is “going to work”.
Oreo has been a therapy dog for 9 years. She gets along well with the other dogs that work in the R.E.A.D. program. She still needs reminders and training so we practice to get ready for our evaluations. Through pet therapy, we have made many new friends, both humans and animals!
Helen and Daisey
Daisey is an 11-year-old, white and tan Shih Tzu. Daisey has been living with Helen and her husband, Denny, since she was 11 months old. They found Daisey at a pet shelter in the Chicago area where she was living with a foster mom who nursed her back to health and happiness after being neglected by her original owner. Daisey has an unstoppable happy disposition and loves to have visitors as well as visiting others. Her number one pastime is playing with her good friend Colleen, a Goldendoodle who outweighs her by 40 pounds. They love to wrestle and “chew” on each other. Daisey also loves car rides, walks, boat rides and her job – pet therapy. Daisey has provided comfort in several schools, a host of senior living facilities, colleges during final exam week, hospitals, libraries, prison and in many community events. Daisey seems to be able to relate to many different ages, from the very young to the elderly.
Daisey received her Canine Good Citizen certificate in March, 2010, was registered with Pet Partners in October, 2010, R.E.A.D. registered in December, 2010. She is currently registered with Intermountain Therapy Animals.
Daisey is enjoying her career in Pet Therapy and the R.E.A.D. program so she can give back to the community that helped to save her. Daisey has been providing pet therapy for seven years now and the current plan is that she will retire in December, 2018. Joining B.A.R.C.C. and training Daisey has led to many new friendships and a way to help citizens of all ages in our own small communities.
Diane and Camper
Camper is a sweet and gentle 16-year old Black Lab who lives with owners Art and Diane Kitchen. When owner Diane became a member of the local support group, Badgerland Animal Reading and Comfort Companions (B.A.R.C.C.), Camper became a registered pet therapy animal through Intermountain Therapy Animals in December of 2013. In April of 2014, she was registered through the Read Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.). Camper recently retired from active pet therapy.
Darlene and BaileyRose
BaileyRose passed over the Rainbow Bridge on Friday, March 25th, 2016. She was a shining example of what a wonderful therapy dog should be. She is greatly missed by all of the members (human and animal) of B.A.R.C.C., Inc.