Saturday, August 23, 2008

Paws & Effect Hosted the AVA Dog Days of Summer Walk

The AVA (American Volkssport Association) started its August walk in Beaverdale (pocket community of Des Moines) Iowa. It was the Dog Days of Summer by name but the weather blew the curve on the heat, kicking out a mere 70ยบ. It was a spectacular morning for a walk and that is just what 57 individuals and 13 Canine Walkers did, they went for a walk. The walk went through the neighbor hood down to the Drake University area and included a cemetery, a courthouse, and a couple more items that can be counted towards specific achievements by the Volksporters. This event was hosted by Paws & Effect to promote the human animal bond and also to tie into the AVA's Greater Des Moines Chapter Canine Walker program that will be promoted by the national organization next year. Another great event for Paws & Effect.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Heart Connection of Iowa

The Heart Connection of Iowa reached out to Paws & Effect to provide a welcome distraction for the kids and their families. We had the opportunity to spread a little more love and joy with our furry friends. Paws & Effect had 7 Pet Partner volunteers doing the honors at West Des Moines Learning Resource Center. We were also able to provide a check for $200 to their cause as an extension of donated time by associates from The Integer Group. The kids and their families appreciated the time to bond with the dogs.

For more information on The Heart Connection of Iowa Click here.

TAG - He's it.

We picked up service dog #2. His name: Partager (which means "to share" in French.) He prefers to be called TAG. This little yellow lab loves his kennel, preferring it for sleeping and toy chewing. He slept in it all night without a peep. Literally. In fact, we drove all the way home and he didn't make a sound in an hour and a half. We are elated that we have such a great start.

After his first vets visit he checks out with flying colors. He is one of the happiest dogs I have seen. His tail incessantly whacked the side of the kennel all the way home out of sheer joy. He is a happy boy and will make someone a very nice service animal.

Remember: we have a puppy shower for Tag this Saturday at 6:00 at 2815 44th Street in Des Moines. Please join us and bring a new dog/puppy toy!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Breaking News: Great success in Cedar Rapids

The much anticipated Pet Partner evaluation weekend ended with so much success we are overjoyed by the outcome. We started early Saturday morning and wrapped up by 3:30 Sunday afternoon with the majority of teams passing the evaluation are "Ready". Those teams that weren't quite ready still showed that they had most of the skills and aptitude drilled in and with a spot of polishing will be ready to go. We want to encourage both sides of the fence as we see great things coming from this group and with the St. Lukes Pet Pals program. Several hoo-rahs go out to Chris Montross for pulling the community together in support of Delta Society's Pet Partner program and unifying what could have been a divisive group. To see the 14 members that passes this weekend thrills us all to know that we can continue to change lives through the human-animal bond. Another hoo-rah to the St. Lukes foundation for supporting this brilliant effort of loving and caring. We couldn't do this without all of them.

Another story to address would be that Greyhounds really can sit even after adverse electro-shocking to keep them from sitting at the start line at the race track. Two hoo-rays go out to Kathy and Rick for stepping up and really cranking out some positive reinforcement with their Greyhound Reba. It prooves that Greyhounds really can sit and they will do it on their own. More hooooo-rays go out to the whole Cedar Rapids animal community that wants to see this succeed.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Seneca Update

Seneca has turned four month of age and need I mention that he is showing his abilities beyond his age. He made his first trip / s into public last week and we captured some of the event in pictures. This has been a grand entrance into being able to offer so much more to those who have the need.

Seneca Update

Seneca has turned four month of age and need I mention that he is showing his abilities beyond his age. He made his first trip / s into public last week and we captured some of the event in pictures. This has been a grand entrance into being able to offer so much more to those who have the need.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

That hard work is paying off!

We are happy to share the photos of the children who were able to run in today's Paws & Effect Summer Sizzler NADAC dog agility trial! These children have worked hard and overcome some very significant obstacles.

For many of the children who participated today, just being in public is an achievement on its own.

You'll see from the pictures some genuine smiles coming from children who are often at odds with the world. For those of us who volunteer with Paws & Effect, capturing the children at their very best is rewarding in incomprehensible ways.

We know with assurance that two of the children have significantly shortened lifespans; several others have made such dramatic improvement it is hard to recall the difficulty with which they started their journey with us.

For just a few minutes today, we lived in the present and had the joy of experiencing the very best life has to offer. 

While those minutes are fleeting, the memories will last forever for both the children, their families and the dog handlers.

If ever we lived up to our motto, today we really did take a moment and make a difference!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Summer Sizzler is this weekend!

Paws & Effect Summer Sizzler Agility Trial
August 9 - 10, 2008
Download the Premium

Raccoon River Park
West Des Moines, IA
PDF of Directions

Judge - Matt McCarter Overland Park, KS

ENTRIES OPEN June 16, 2008
ENTRIES CLOSE 8:00 AM, August 9, 2008

Summer Fun Run

You know that being outside is a refreshing change to those indoor facilities. We had a crowd of on lookers develop that were just passing by on the Raccoon River Park trail system. We even had a few new handlers give agility a go and had great success. Congratulations to all that gave it a shot. We are finding that the dogs are getting better at handling the great outdoors and all it has to offer. 

Part of the overall experience is getting to know what it takes to up on a fun run. One of those items is the joyous times we have picking up and returning the rental truck that carries the tons of sandbags and equipment from our storage facility to the park. We have gotten to know the rental system all together too well. We have learned that you can't rent a truck for more then a day on the first and last weekend of the month and when ever else they decide that the need more trucks for all the reservations they have. Quite the system that they have. We have learned that you must make light of the stagnantly long lines and horrible waits while the staff checks in the vehicles at the same time they are trying to prep and check out the same vehicles. At the same time they are juggling the million questions on the million phone calls that they get by those who don't know the system. We could be a support base but don't really want to provide that kind of social work to the community.

It was a good show and great times.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Pet Partner Training Course - St. Lukes Part Two

Our biggest Pet Partner class to date. It shows that Delta's Pet Partner program is catching on and people are showing interest in the common goal of making people's lives better whether it be just a smile or giving them the motive to take that first step in recovery and applying guidelines of common practice in the process. The group had
plenty of experience with AAA and AAT at St. Lukes hospital. Some have been visiting for several years to those who are just getting into it. This helped us keep the two day training course rich with personal and practical experiences. This class of St. Lukes volunteers was paid for through an endowment at the hospital. We all thank them for providing us the facility, breakfast, lunches and the opportunity to get to know one another. Helk, I even met a former Rocket, a clown and so many others that all bring interesting backgrounds and reason for wanting to provide therapeutic animal sessions. Not often do you see so many people want, and I mean really want, to share themselves and their dogs to brighten the day for others.

Let it be clear that some went into the weekend with reservations about the Pet Partner Program and clearly we all hit it out of the ball park. Great networking and resources were tapped and smiles of the non-dog related therapeutic sort were provided by many. Animal training tips and handling skills were reviewed which will all make us better at what we share in common.

Chris Montross kicked off the house keeping on Saturday morning that set the stage for the next fourteen and a half hours of learning. As with many seminars you tend to get started a few minutes late as people trickle in for whatever reason. Let it be known that all the attendees were on time if not 30 minutes early. This speaks tons for the eagerness of the group to get to know more about the human-animal bond. If there is any question out there as to filling a two day training course, this group showed us that not only will they participate but they would recommend that others do as well. We wrapped up the weekends events with some clicker training and service dog techniques show and tell by none other then our Catahula Leapord, Cadence. In the process of getting her to do one thing she nailed a skill that we most likely couldn't have captured without her offering it up to us. It was rewarded and has now become part of her skills repertoire. This skill was accomplished in less then 10 mintues!

As everyone learned, you can teach any dog new tricks!

Thanks for the great weekend and positive feedback. Looking forward to a long and successful future with this group.

A painting on "American Gothic" on the side of the barn just outside of Cedar Rapids.