Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A January Puppy

We all know that a January puppy is not a thrill for us. It's cold for them and us.

Welcome Fiyero. The latest addition to our arsenal for service.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Dan Backer

If the measure of a man is based upon what he leaves behind, then Dan Backer was truly a great man. Dan shared so much of himself while he was with us, that many more stories exist than I can possible share here. Our community was a far better place because Dan lived in it.

Dan was surely surprised to stumble upon Paws & Effect, learning about us through a trainer at Rover’s Ranch. He wasn’t sure what it entailed or even whether he wanted to be involved, but in true Dan character, he figured it wouldn’t hurt to try becoming a Pet Partner. Jesse had never trained for dog agility, but she proved to be a natural, working with Dan for more than two years at ChildServe. Over the course of the last few years, Dan became a ribbon-winning dog handler, a confident trainer and more capable than even he thought he could become.

At one of the seminars he attended with us, Dan was pretty convinced that everything Kathy Sdao discussed was beyond his capacity to apply – and nobody was more surprised to learn that he could successfully change a cue for a dog’s behavior. Hence, “jump” became “cow” so that Jesse could be the “cow that jumped over the moon.” The ability to change a cue for a behavior became integral at ChildServe, especially when a particular child couldn’t say a certain thing or move a certain way. Dan could modify the cue to something the child could perform and then encourage a child to continue to work with Jesse. I clearly recall a little boy who lost both of his parents in a car accident and the injuries he suffered in the same incident. How hard that little boy worked to hold a treat and give it to Jesse. And the smile that followed was unusual which made us cherish it all the more. Dan managed to turn the speech/physical/occupational therapy sessions that we fondly call “agility” into a spectator sport for that little boy. His grandfather brought him in every week to watch Dan work with the child to whom he was assigned.

Not many volunteers will hear that it is more fun to spend time with them and their dog doing agility than it is to go to Disneyworld (take that Make-A-Wish!) So popular was Jesse that she had the honor of taking professional photographs for senior photos with the young lady she worked for weekly at ChildServe. Dan was not immune from the things we witness at ChildServe and he often commented on how difficult it was to watch another person’s condition deteriorate. He cherished the fun they had together each Thursday, driving 45 minutes each way to participate at ChildServe.

Dan brought a nice perspective to our cause and even some tools. Our second Pet Partner evaluation was held one fateful Saturday morning during torrential rains and deafening claps thunder of a storm that refused to move on through. The lights went out and the evaluations were in jeopardy. Individuals had driven from Burlington, Iowa City and Cedar Rapids as far as four hours of white knuckle driving. Dan ran home, grabbed his generator, extension cords and enough fuel to get us through the day. Dan lit the place up. Without Dan and his mechanical know how saved the day.

We are so fortunate to have many photos of Dan and Jesse together. For the second time in just a few months we are grieving the loss of a friend. While we couldn’t be more fortunate to have such wonderful people in our lives, we wish that we were given more time to enjoy their friendship.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

After retrieving the phone...

I wanted to settle into the evening but needed some assistance removing my jacket.

It took 15 incredibly short seconds to teach our Service Dog Tag this new skill.

Monday, December 7, 2009


Where in the world did the service dog go?!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Joy and ah!

Our canine companions are so caring and sharing that they give us photo opportunities like this one.

It truly is one of those precious times that make us love our family, family and most of all, our canine buddies.

They bring us great joy and ah!

(the bed is being shared with our Service Puppy 'Keeper')

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Huntin' Turkey?

Nah, not really. More like lookin' for sticks, runnin' in the leaves and frolicking in the creek in an effort to bring back the big one.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Using Building Blocks for Success.

Ignoring the building blocks around the house is not something a puppy does without some behavioral shaping. This exercise/experiment shows that in a few seconds you can get the behavior you want with a few simple clicks.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


The Story county extension office reached out to put together a workshop for a group of 4H-er's and Paws & Effect obliged. We tailored the material to be more kid centric while still providing the content within Delta standards. Knowing that my attention span is very short early on Saturday mornings we infused lots of experiences and stories. We also gave away dog toys, pupcicle lollipops and candy. Who wouldn't want to participate in a program like that. Might I say we didn' t need the the incentives for this group of kids and parents. They were all willing to participate and provide their insights. Now I can't speak for other groups but it seems to me that others are going to have to come up to the bar to meet the enthusiasm that our Saturday morning group had. We are looking forward to the successful evaluations (the ball is in their court now to pull off the "ready" score). A great big Thank you to Adriana for putting together a great group and keeping it completely organized and you really can't beat the 4H facility on the campus of ISU! Wow. Looking forward to seeing your group grow and share in our passion for making a difference.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The cast of R.E.N.T. enjoyed meeting Tag.

And we've got the photo to prove it! The entire cast autographed a dog bowl for our upcoming One Heart, Four Paws auction.

A huge THANKS goes out for their support.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Iowa Public Radio - Therapy Dogs

Nicole jumped at the opportunity to be heard on Iowa's Public Radio.

Ben Kieffer of The Exchange interviewed David Wroblewsky the author of a New York Times best seller.

The last half hour of the program was devoted to a conversation on Therapy dogs and literacy programs in the Iowa region. Enjoy the interview.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I make my bed ...

and I can sleep in it too. I am Kurth the star of this video and I am a hoot. Know that I had a blast this lovely Saturday afternoon. It all started in the morning when I had stacked 5 or 6 sticks in my kennel along with a bone and a couple of my toys. Barely room for me to sleep. By the afternoon I had removed all the sticks, all the toys, all the stuffing from my BRAND NEW bed and drug the bed into the sun! Ah, what could be more refreshing then a nap in the sun on a deck on a mild fall day.

That's where the video picks up....and tells the rest of my story. Enjoy.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Appreciation to all!

We wanted to foward on ChildServe's volunteer appreciation video.

Our partnership with ChildServe has provided us all an open door of wonderful experiences.

We really do make a difference for the kid's and everyone we visit.

Each one of us who volunteer with Paws & Effect can gloat about the work that you are doing.

Oh, and our Pet Partners are having fun too!

It's feeling a lot like ...

It's feeling a lot like Halloween.

To the Living History Farm's
we head out with great speed
on this chilled and crisp October eve.

Tag the service dog was about to experience
a beggar's night treat
of which no one would believe
that he is a service dog only 15 months of age.

However, it was at the 'waving inflatable Pizza slice'
to which he caused a ruckus
we all shrugged and moved him along
down the creeky wooden planked path
you could tell that he appreciated the reprieve.

Oh, look there is a horse drawn hay rack,
we know he would enjoy.

We loaded up the pup with his service vest adorned
the wagon was off with a slight lurch forward
as we swayed back and then forth
this all happened by the voice of the driver
saying a little "giddy up".

The draft horses were really of no intrigue,
to Tag that is
look at all the flickering lights over here
and those falling and fluttering leaves over there
blazing brilliant colors orange, yellows and red.

Those are the things for which Tag couldn't get enough,
but he whispered nothing,
not even a whoof!
So, that was Tag's time at the farm.
On one thing we agree,
Living History Farm's
is a lot to take in
but it is all in an effort to set someone free,

Yes, service dog in training
in culture he does not wain.

Tag earns his keep
only then does his vest unbuckle
which makes for one super happy puppy
when the metaphorical 5' oclock bell goes beep.

Jumping for joy
and spinning with glee.
three circles to the left
and one or two to the right.
"What a fantastic time I had
what a fantastic time I had
what a fantastic time I had

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Therefore and hence forth ...

Is it possible to teach a service puppy to be an attorney?! If you are waiting for the lawyer joke punch line .... well you will be saddened to know that it's no joke. Gabor made an appearance at Drake's law school today. By the expression on his face, he is scared to death of law or bored to tears by the lecture.

Yay, Gabor for showing them how it's done.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pardon me, excuse me...

Pardon me, excuse me, pardon me, excuse .... Oh, my .... Excuse me ma'am but what kind of service is your dog providing?
Well, if you must ask, it's propping up the chairs in the row in front while warming the concrete to rest our wearly soles.

Actually, Seneca is old hat at the public access but Keeper got his debut public appearance at the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines applause series today.

Applause to Keeper for being being a great dog.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Tag Sale!?

We found great humor in this sign posted next to the road on our way home from the vet!

His name, after all, is TAG!

Tag = Scratch and Dent

In an act of play, Tag tore the callous on his upper pad. It was sore and causing him unrest. So much so that he asked to be held all night long to make it feel better. When morning came, he did not hesitate to ask to go to the vet. He got a bandage pad and vets wrap that was aqua blue and had dark blue bones. Doesn't get any better than that.

It's all in a days work for a service dog.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"House of Yes"

Tag's adventure opened the door for a journey into the underground tunnels and Studio 51. He got to see the on stage production of "House of Yes". He watched the show intently through a hurricane, screams and gun shots. Never did he utter a word. While intrigued by the action on stage he managed himself better than most in the theatre. We applaud Tag for a commendable performance. You can see for yourself, he is interested enough in theatre to read the play bill from the next show.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Definition of a Companion Animal

After seeing this Point of Sale (POS) display it became clear to me the difference between a "Companion animal" and a "Service dog".

Do you know the difference?

Is it ironic that it sets on the "Top Shelf" above the Flying Dog Ales?

Service Dog in a China Shop?

As the old saying goes "Don't take a bull into a china shop".

Now we can say "Take a Service Dog into the glass shop to avoid catastrophe".

Well, if it weren't for the leash I may have gone astray. Thanks Tag for holding your tail very, very still!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fall Festival

Its that time of year when you think everything should be made of pumpkin spice. That maybe true but its also that time of year to get out to Paws & Effects NADAC sactioned Dog Agility competition. Get the premium and send it in today.

Click here for the premium.

If you want something to remember it with check out our merchandise on Paws & Effects Cafe Press.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Introducing Kurth!

In the way that only he would want to be announced.

Friday, September 4, 2009

In Honor of Karla Kurth 1969-2009

It has long been the tradition to carefully consider the name one gives to a service dog, often recognizing a particular trait or meaningful circumstance. To honor somebody whose contributions changed a community for the better is common practice.

In this circumstance, though, there was nothing common about Karla Kurth. Her infectious laughter, her love of life, her unwavering dedication to a cause are just a few of the valuable qualities she shared. Her early passing was also uncommon and unanticipated, leaving many friends stunned and deeply saddened.

In naming a dog to honor Karla, we will be forced to say her name, even when our throats constrict with sadness and tears fill our eyes. We will have to acknowledge her absence, but more importantly, value her presence. We will sort through our memories, painful as they may
be, in the hopes that we will one day think of her and smile. The year of "firsts without Karla" will include the first PetExpo, the first Pet Partner training course, the first R.E.A.D. event at the Civic Center. And through this all will be a dog to walk quietly by our sides, as Karla did so many times. Ultimately, we will celebrate Karla's life by placing a service dog in her memory, sharing the joy that she shared with so many of us.

Please welcome Service Dog Kurth to Paws & Effect.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Melchior Gabor, move over!

There is a new Gabor in town! This Gabor is a quintessential example of both the companion and the lover. He is here to please. He is here to serve.

OK, he is going through a tough teenage period right now and the rebel in him is overriding his handsome, kind, caring, loving side.

Watch the video and see the fantastic work Haley has put into him. He has truly come a long way in his training and obedience.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tag goes to law school!

Every once in a while, you fight the good fight and you win (or at least you are ignored.)

One would think that a law school would provide access to a service dog in-training, but you'd be wrong. In fact, access was denied to service dogs in-training at the law school at Drake University in Spring 2007. However, the following photograph demonstrates that their "pet" policy is not currently being enforced. Kudos to to the law school at Drake University for, if nothing else, abiding by the laws in Iowa.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A day at the Iowa State Fair!

Paws & Effect was given the opportunity to partner with Iowa State's veterinary school at the Iowa State Fair's Vet Camp. The camp gets kids to participate in clinics at several learning stations throughout the fairgrounds. We teamed up with students from Iowa State University Veterinary School who showed the kids what their vets are looking for when they are doing an overall exam. The whole experience was fun and it promoted animal wellness.

The vet camp kids got to put on the stethoscope and see (hear actually) if they could find the heart beat.

They also searched to find an artery to feel the dogs pulse beating.

Why dogs need to brush their teeth was demonstrated by the good side/bad side demonstration.

Several Paws & Effect dogs got to participate throughout the week. When the students were done with the exam they turned it over to Paws & Effect to talk about therapy and service dogs.

Kids always amaze us with their questions: Why does this dog have different colored toe nails? Why do we put the flea and tick medicine up higher on our cats neck (after demonstrating where we would apply it to a dog)? Why do some dogs have more grey hair than others? Aren't some dogs always skinnier than others? Why do some dogs get tan spots in their eyes? What are these red spots (referring to the cut away of a clean ear and a infected ear, the answer wasn't obvious to us)? Does she (Cadence) feel safer up here on the ledge than down on the ground (Cadence was perched on the edge of the patio peering out to all the activity)?

It was a great Iowa State Fair experience!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Rain, rain, get out of here!

All was going well until the thunder and rain settled in on Raccoon River Park. The "Settled in" was a short lived event. With only one Hoopers course remaining to end the day we waited it out for 45 minutes. That's 315 dog minutes (5.25 dog hours) which seamed like a lifetime for the dogs. Before we got the trial back on track we congratulated Leath McLaughlin and Blast. They got their Versatility NACH. For those that don't know NADAC, that's a big deal. Congratulations Leath and Blast and sorry we made you (Leath) wear the silly little crown.

Monday, August 10, 2009

August Evaluations

Nothing could be any more fickle then the weather this summer in Iowa. We have had a little bit of this and a lot of that tossed our way. Overall it has been incredibly mild summer of course, until this Saturday! Saturday was our August Pet Partner Evaluations in Iowa City. The temperatures reached 95ยบ and the humidity was right up there. What's not to like about heat and humidity, not to mention the dogs were right there with us on that observation.

In fact it was so moist that as soon as we stepped out of the car and our glasses immediately fogged over.

Never the less we had a successful weekend of Pet Partner evaluations. Now we can look forward to the sweltering heat of our next NADAC agility trail next weekend in Raccoon River Park. Please, oh please let it be cooler and dryer.

Congratulations to our new Pet Partner teams.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Flying the Friendly Skies

Nicole and Cadence are flying the friendly skies! Thank you United. They are on their way to Washington DC (Tysons Corner actually) for a Crisis Response workshop being taught by the FBI and hosted by AACR. Cadence's favorite thing to do is read Hemishpheres while waiting for her connection in Chicago.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch,

a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

-Leo Buscaglia

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Thank you Integer Denver!

By Nancy Svoboda on Monday, 06 July 2009
As an agency, we have agreed to support a non
-profit organization called Paws & Effect™. One
of the most important segments of this business
is the raising, training, and placement of service
dogs locally. Service dogs need real-world
experience to learn to help those with special
needs. This is where we have agreed to help out.

Beginning the week of July 6, Steve Hirsch will be bringing
a service dog to the agency for training 2 or 3 times per week.
The yellow lab will be wearing a vest indicating not to pet him
because he is working. He will be at Steve’s side wherever
he goes.

Obviously, this is a new experience for the agency, and we
hope it will be successful. However, we recognize that some
employees may be allergic to dogs. If you have any questions,
concerns, etc., please contact Nancy Svoboda so we can
work together to make this a great experience for everyone.

From Paws and Effect:

We're excited to introduce you to "Tag," whose full name,
Partager, means "to share" in French. Tag, a yellow lab,
will be a year old on July 1. In the true spirit of the word,
we appreciate your willingness to share in the experience
of training a service dog. Tag has learned to open
handicapped accessible doors by touching the associated
pressure plate; open and close interior doors by tugging
on the handle (when a tugging object is available) or by
pushing it shut with his nose; retrieve large and small items
and placing them back in a person's hand. Consistent
with the minimum standards of Assistance Dogs International,
Tag has learned at least three tasks to offset the limitations
a person may experience if they were mobility impaired.

You'll find that Tag is very quiet and gentle as well as
hardworking and diligent. For now, he has demonstrated some
fabulous work in public, although he still has some resistance
to going up and down stairs. With that, there may be times
when you see Steve actually training Tag and we hope that you'll
acknowledge them with a quick greeting and continue on. Of
course, every once in a while, Tag's age will shine through and
he'll demonstrate that he can be a silly, adolescent dog. We
are seeing that less and less, but know that there will be times
that it is just too plain hard to work, and an effort to engage
others to play will be offered. Again, ignoring the
behavior when it happens will provide Steve the opportunity to
redirect Tag into more appropriate public behavior.

We know it is challenging to resist petting a dog while it is
working, but refraining from doing so allows the dog to keep
his focus on the person for whom it is working. This dog has
been trained to avert eye contact with other humans as well
as making the effort to keep the tail wagging to a minimum.
In doing so, the dog discourages further interactions because
he appears aloof. Mistakes happen, sometimes it is just too
much to ask and we end up speaking with the dog or reaching
for them. Recognize this is a good training opportunity for the
dog, no apologies are required. However, we hope to see
spontaneous interactions decrease as people get used to seeing
Steve with Tag.

Once things settle in, we'll try to set up an opportunity where
people can play with Tag when his vest is off. Tag enjoys water,
retrieving, tugging, general fun and games and, of course,
being a lab, food.

Know how much your efforts are appreciated and how valuable
this experience is for Tag. He will be placed shortly after his stay
with Steve and we'll be happy to share all the details of his
placement as they become available

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Books have gone to the dogs at Norwalk Public Library

We're happy to share that our newest literacy program has started! Read more about it:

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Whats could be better than getting a new puppy?

See the answer for yourself.

Easy Come, Not-So-Easy Go....

It is a big week in the Angel's home with Seneca preparing for placement and Keeper just starting his puppy-raising adventures. It won't be often that the service dogs cross paths, but look at what happens when they do!

A big welcome to Keeper and huge thanks to Seneca for making his transition a little bit easier.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Theater Lovin' Dog.

Back no more then a week in Des Moines and Tag had a hankerin' for the theater. So, we took him to the Des Moines Social Club's performance of The Twelfth Labor at the Side Show Lounge!

Tag, with his regular theater behavior of "I'm-not-so-sure-this-could-be-coconuts," got a bit animated - if only a moment - when the mother of this turn of century household was takin' care of the cat! Yes, the cat killed one of the chickens and had to be takin' care of (the cat in this part was a stuffed toy animal that looked like a cat). Tag perked up during this scene but quickly recovered and went back to his "Don't Pet Me - Sleepin' " position.

Tag really does enjoy the theater shows. If you don't believe, just ask him.

Mssr. ParTAGer

Tag has gotten many more miles and lot of experiences under his collar. The dog swap happened in Louisville, Kentucky. A beautiful town on the Ohio river basin and home to the start of Lewis and Clark's cross country expedition. When we left he was just a puppy; now he's grown into a young adult. He gained a ton of skills while on the road. He can open and close doors! He can fetch/retrieve the phone (things change when it rings!). He can pick objects off the floor and hand them back to the handler. He can chase the tennis ball till your arm falls off from chucking it into the fields. A HUGE thanks to the Reed-Ceveris family for all the time, effort, energy, training and love they've invested in Tag.

Tag got to go swimming in the Louisville City Park fountain. Apparently this spot is a heavenly treat for dogs and kids! Shortly after the swim, Tag got to visit a really cool veterinarian (Downtown Animal Hospital) so he could get looked at and get some more of that heart and tick stuff. Nobody likes the creepy crawlies!

Tag is already preparing for his next adventure. He will be traveling to Denver, Colorado! We are all jealous and living vicariously through Tag's Excellent Adventures.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Thank you Heidi and Meredith Corporation!

Volunteer Heidi Parcel has gone far beyond volunteering in the agility program at ChildServe.  Through her employer, Meredith Corporation, she was able to secure funding to offset some of the expenses related to the programs we offer.  Thanks, again, for supporting us with both your time, commitment and energy.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bow WOWing in Missouri

Heddie Leger is a Paws & Effect volunteer in Missouri who participates in a R.E.A.D. program with her two dogs.  Heddie has graciously shared photos from their end of the school year celebration in which each child received a medal for their efforts and improvement.  Paws & Effect was able to provide a free book for each of the 30 children involved in this year's program.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Behind the Agility Curtain ...

What does it take to host an Agility trial? Let's find out....

It is a ton (if you include loading and unloading all the equipment, tunnel bags, setting up the fence, cranking up the software, and organizing the volunteers, its probably more then a ton) of work to make this show happen without a hitch. 

Of course, there will always be the hiccups along the road but we applaud everyone that puts so much into hosting these trials so EVERYONE can just have FUN! 

Congratulations Cheryl & Kylie on your NATCH! and to Bob & Potter for your 1000 lifetime points award.

See you in August. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tag is OK for Service!

Tag had is eyes examined today in Boston and was given a clean bill of health.  He also got to travel to Ikea, CVS and the pet store.  Sounds like things are going well out east.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

OK for Service!

We're happy to share that Seneca got the "OK for Service" acknowledgment yesterday!  

Cadence and Butley had unremarkable examinations; Roggen had a unique aberration in both eyes that were mirror images of each other, but her vision is unaffected.  Great news for the Pet Partners.

Now we're waiting to hear about Tag's exam :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Eye Exam

Through a Delta Society relationship, Seneca and our Pet Partners got FREE eye exams at the Lloyd Veterinarian Medical Center on the campus of Iowa State University. Seneca (Service Dog), Roggen, Cadence, and Butley (Pet Partners) all got a joy ride to the University where they hob-knobbed with the best-of-best vet students in the country. We will let you know what we find out after we get the results.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Service with a smile! 

GABOR is our next service puppy and when I say puppy....I mean all puppy. 

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Spring Fling!

Does it get any better? Warmer weather. A brisk breeze. Sunshine. 

Nothing could be better then getting out and enjoying the great outdoors with our dogs at Paws & Effects Spring Fling NADAC agility trial. 

Who? You! or anyone who likes the joy and fun of dog agility.

When? May 2 - 3, 2009

Where? Raccoon River Park, West Des Moines, Iowa. (PDF of directions)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Book Signing at Beaverdale Books

We were honored to attend a book signing last evening at Beaverdale Books. 

Veterinarian Jeff Wells told stories from his new book "All My Patients Have Tales: Favorite Stories from a Vet’s Practice." Everyone found the event to be quite entertaining.

Several animals attended as well as humans. Seneca and his handler were also both well behaved. Seneca is one of our first service puppies.

Beaverdale Books is donating some of the proceeds from the sale of the book to support Paws & Effect's R.E.A.D. program at the book store. 

Thank you for all that attended this wonderful event. We had a good time asking questions and hearing some of Jeff's most interesting tales!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

See Tag Open Doors

Several months have gone by since we last showed the powers of a dogs imagination. Tag talked Todd into watching him while he learned how to open doors. If you watch closely you will see Tag send a subtle cue to Todd to get out of the chair and close the door.

This session took only a few minutes to accomplish the opening of a door. Neat stuff.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Meet Gabor

I can't speak from personal experience but Gabor looks to have passed the first test. What test? His full blown temperament test with pro-tester Mateo at the helm. See for yourself.

Mateo rates on cuteness, and likability. He also puts the pups through a rigorous testing session.

The only way to really know is to "Be One" with the animals you are testing. If you become "One" with a pup or even make believe you are a pup, you will have a better understanding of who they really are and their ability to learn and adapt.

We always like to add in an Orange toy or two. If they don't take to Orange they are going to have a difficult time passing the "True Service Dog Test" thats applied when Eric gets involved.

We always like to see a playfulness with toys that aren't Orange and respect for those that are. By all means tear it up. I understand. Its not Orange!

Tagging means this pup made the initial cut and I am so please to see that orange is of value in the temperament testing.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Seneca got his first trip to Culver's. A favorite spot for frozen custard (far better then ice cream) with all the mixin's and known for the Butter Burger. How could you go wrong with that combination? He couldn't. Actually, Seneca did far better then I did. Shortly after sitting down with our drinks I promptly reached across and knocked over a large Root Beer (another one of the reasons to like Culver's). Seneca took the water fall of soda pop right on the nose and didn't bat an eye even while I was frantically tossing all the napkins on top of the ever cascading fluid and ice mixture. All's well that ends well. And his / our experience ended on the high note.

We had just finished up a presentation to a group of 4-H kids, their parents, ISU students and a few members of the community. The events turnout was far more then we expected and a tip of the hat to Adrianna of the extension office up in Ames for putting together all the marketing and rounding up a great group. The facility was far more tech savvy I am used to. There were drop down microphones, two giant projection screens, computer, video conferencing and the works. What a cool place to show the Delta and Paws & Effect show.

We spoke about who we were, our history and what Paws & Effect is doing for the community. Nicole also drove home the need for some puppy raisers. Of course there was a slide show our our programs, video of Delta society and a open forum for questions and answers. 

The kids were great. They were focused and spot on with their line of questioning. It show a real commitment and understanding that they will need to put in the time to get to a good spot. There was a lot of potential in the youth that were in the room last evening. Not to mention the adults that stepped forward to challenge themselves to the joy Animal Assisted Therapy.

Shoot after all of that why wouldn't you want to celebrate the accomplishments. 

We did and Seneca topped off the evening with a spectacular public performance.

Yeah to Paws & Effect. Yeah, to the 4-H'ers. Yeah to the parents. Yeah to the ISU students and to everyone else that believes this does put a smile on some ones face. Yeah!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Learn something every day.

Some days you learn more then others but this past weekend we hosted another Pet Partner workshop here in Des Moines I learned that we volunteer for all the right reasons.

Once again the quality versus quantity ratio was sustained for another round. What do I mean by quality versus quantity? I can define it in part by saying that getting to know the attendance of this weekends workshop are all top notch. Each time we teach we are perplexed by the numbers that aren't coming out of the wood work but we are also so pleased with those few that do. To everyone that spent the weekend with us, our hats are tipped to you in appreciation. Not many would have given up March Madness for nearly 70 slides in PowerPoint. To that, again, we appreciate your initial commitment.

If anyone else takes one of our workshops you will be asked one question. "What one thing or two could you tell us about yourself that most people don't know?" We never know what to expect of the answers we get but we learn so much from every ones honesty and without a doubt, we realize why these individuals are the cream of the crop and why they are offering themselves and their animals up for the wonderful world of volunteering.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

I'll sign autographs.

Have no issue putting pen to paper and signing autographs. What? You haven't seen this months Childserve Interactions? Paws & Effect is highlighted in their pet therapy programs article.

Yes, that is a picture of Roggen and me on the cover and Nicole and Cadence on the inside spread. Neat article and we Thank Childserve for having us involved with their organization and getting the opportunity to work with such great children.

Our work as volunteers is greeted by smiles from the kids nearly every time visit. Taking a moment and making a difference is what it is all about.

We will post the full article when it is posted online or first get written permision.