Helping Paws welcomes its latest litter of Golden Retriever puppies! Six males and two females were born July 10th to Elise. Sire is Lambeau.

This is our second Lambeau x Elise litter, and we are very grateful to Jessie Douglas for the donation of Lambeau as a sire once again. Caretaker home is Susan Martiny and family – this is Susan’s third Helping Paws litter w/Elise. Susan’s daughter Elizabeth is already socializing the pups.

Interested in being a foster home trainer for Helping Paws? we are planning one more litter this year. Contact Jo:

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The Ozzie x Izzy litter turned 2 years old on Saturday. Dog-in-training Ernie, w/foster home trainers Heather and Steve, hosted a grand party. The people hung out under tents, and the dogs could not get enough of the rain, the toys and the pool…@ least until the dog treats appeared.

Even w/out packs and gentle leaders, these dogs still knew their skills. Dogs will be dogs, tho’, and the humans had coats to bathe and brush last evening!

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Team Training Field Trip

Class field trips are an important part of team training. Several times over the 3-week course, the class and staff participate in sessions away from the training center. Since our graduates will be out in public w/their dogs for many activities, we choose a variety of locations around the metro. Field trips offer the opportunity for the recipients to practice handling of the dogs in environments w/many more distractions than the classroom!

Today’s field trip was to RidgeHaven Mall. The teams worked in a grocery store, a book store and a department store. The dogs were attentive to the recipients, and the individuals showed great skill and patience in new places.

The group gathered for coffee and conversation @ the end of the day. It was wonderful to see such relaxed teams!

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Summer Team Training!

Helping Paws’ mission is to further the independence of individuals w/physical disabilities through the use of service dogs. A few times a year, we have the honor of starting newly matched teams on that journey.

Last week was week 1 of our 3-week team training course for 4 new teams. Team training includes classroom time as well as training in public experiences. Building the bond between the individual and her/his dog is crucial. We have the individuals spend a part of each day grooming the dogs. As you can see in the photos, this really does facilitate bonding. Very best wishes to our 4 new teams…Richard and Watson, Donovan and Buffy, Will and Chuda, and Anna and Quincy!

As you can imagine, this is a bittersweet time for our foster home trainers. Our dogs-in-training spend 2 to 2 1/2 years w/them prior to graduating. We include a meet-and-greet for the recipients and the foster home trainers during team training. Props and warmest appreciation to Karen and Alan Hupp (Watson), Jeanne Jones and Larry Buckley (Buffy), Wendy and Peter Hitch (Chuda) and Kim and Ray Torell (Quincy). You have reached the goal. You indeed are the heart and soul of Helping Paws!

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T minus 1 and counting!

The Matthew x Turtle litter is nearly ready to go home with their foster home trainers! Puppy testing was done last Sunday. Kim Pape, volunteer caretaker home, has puppy bathers lined up for tomorrow.

In the meantime, the volunteer foster home trainers have already begun classes, learning about Helping Paws and its mission, as well as basic puppy care and training. A warm welcome to the foster home trainers for these puppies! Repeat foster home trainers: Louise and Jon Speck, and Mary Therese and Jon Luedke with sons Joseph and John Paul. New foster home trainers: Karen and Roger Gustafson, Laurie and Ed Harkness, Sam Owens, Chris Pederson, and Becky Ulstad and John Brahs. New caretaker home: Gloria and Dave Sather.

Eager for tomorrow and puppy send-off!

Photos courtesy of Rich Harmer.

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Tennis, anyone?

The Eden Prairie High School Boys Tennis Team has made some Helping Paws dogs
in training very happy. The team donated bags of tennis balls to Helping Paws last week. In addition to the dogs receiving these as gifts, we immediately began to use the tennis balls in training as distractions. As you can see in the photos, these Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers remained focused on their foster home trainers in spite of the temptation.

Thank you, Eagles!

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Big Dogs have a night out

The Wednesday Big Dogs class trained @ Centennial Lakes Park in Edina last week. What a beautiful evening!

This was a special night for four of the teams – their last field trip as Big Dogs. Chuda, Quincy, Buffy and Watson have been matched and begin team training next week! Warmest thanks to Wendy and Peter Hitch, Kim and Ray Torell, Jeanne Jones and Larry Buckley, and Karen and Alan Hupp for their dedication in training these dogs.

Photos courtesy of Judy Michurski and Robert Witke.

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