Who doesn’t love wagging tails, soft fur and cuddles from a pet therapy dog?
That’s what the Columbia River Pet Partners bring to Stephen’s Place. Inspired by watching other service animals in action, Steve Howard and his wife, Debbie, decided that they were going to work in pet therapy. Not long afterward, they brought the Golden Retrievers Addy and Bo home to start training them as therapy animals. As of now, they are both certified as therapy teams and Addy is certified as an Animal Assisted Crisis Response Team, with Steven, through HOPE AACR.
“[That] was our goal from the start,” Steven said. “I believe the calming effect
an animal (mostly dogs) can have on a person no matter the situation or the stress they are under. Works for me.”
Steven saw Stephen’s Place listed on the Columbia River Pet Partners’ website and new it was the place he wanted to take Addy. He loves seeing people relax and love on Addy, and he said that the residences love her.
“Well I have heard everything from how soft her fur is to how clean her teeth are,” Steven said. “Also she will just randomly give you her paw and people love that.”
Heather Stenberg, Executive Director of Stephen’s Place, said that Steve and Addy are a huge part of the Stephen’s Place community.
“[They] have been consistent, thoughtful volunteers that our residents (and team) look forward to seeing!”
Steven hopes to continue volunteering with Addy for a long time and, for now, you can find her sharing her awesomeness every Tuesday at Stephen’s Place. For more information about visits from our furry friends at the Columbia River Pet Partners, visit their website at www.columbiariverpetpartners.org or check www.stephensplace.org/events.