What a celebration!

Blessed. Diversity. Partnerships. Joy.

These words come to mind as one browses the slide show of photos from Helping Paws Graduation last Friday. Twelve assistance dog teams were honored as the Helping Paws Class of 2014. Their pictures lined the hallway to the auditorium, welcoming attendees to the program. Best wishes to Jan and Willa, Chuck and Aida, Ahnna and Quincy, Donovan and Buffy, Will and Chuda, Melissa and Winnie, Angela and Baylor, Beth and Mika, Andrea and Tate, Vanessa and Abraham, Richard and Watson, and Lizzie and Boone.

It was exciting to see so many current graduate teams in the audience. We also appreciate the foster home trainers who brought dogs-in-training to the event, including the youngest group, the Blue Litter.

The Class of 2014 includes service dogs for individuals with physical disabilities, service dogs for veterans with PTSD, and a skilled companion dog. For five of the teams, the dogs are successor dogs. Three of the new teams are young people partnered with their first service dog.

Helping Paws could not accomplish our mission without the generous support of our financial donors, the breeders who donate sires to our program, and the foster home trainers, caretaker homes and others who volunteer their time and talents. Thank you!

Photos courtesy of Judy Michurski.

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Wait a minute!

Hey! My name is Foster, and I was in the dog exchange too! Here I am with my temporary foster home trainer Hannah. This was especially fun for me since I don’t live w/kids or dogs, and Hannah has 4 siblings plus a Lab named Rhoda!

Hannah and Foster

Hannah and Foster

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Awesome Adolescents Applaud Autumn

The Briggs x Hope dogs-in-training turned a year old on October 1, and celebrated by participating in a dog exchange. Periodically during training, the dogs spend a week with another foster home trainer. This exposes them to different environments, people and pets, and hones their skills. Service dogs need to be flexible, and these photos demonstrate that in spades!

The foster home trainers did an excellent job of discovering unique places to train, and had fun doing it! All photos are courtesy of the fosters.

Helping Paws is in need of foster home trainers! Contact Jo @ jsorensen@helpingpaws.org for more info!

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Happy Birthday to the Eragon x Sheba Litter!

Here is an early tbt from June 2010.

Eragon x Sheba Litter

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Perfect Puppies’ First Class Field Trip!

The 8-month-old Goldens and 7-month-old Labs participated in their first field trip as a class recently. Destination PetCo, with all of its sights and scents in full glory. The dogs paraded their skills in front of birds, fish, ferrets and humans. Props to foster home trainers Kim and Ray Torell (Brodie), Katy Shannon (Mare), Michelle Sandquist (Opal), Mark Hortman (Minnie), Sarah Kipp and Jan Leaf (Fraser), Linda and Dale Thuftedal (Pippa), and Julie Shortridge (Jenga) for a great job keeping the dogs on-task in this environment.

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Puppy Love

The Lambeau x Elise puppies, born July 10th, have now moved into their foster homes. Helping Paws’ dedicated volunteer foster home trainers raise and train the dogs for the 2 to 2 1/2 years it takes for these cute puppies to become service dogs. One can feel the love radiating from the photos.

The litter is known as the Blue, or “B,” litter. We proudly introduce Briar (Karen and Alan Hupp), Brooks (Ranae and Chuck Noble), Brogan (Jeanne Jones and Larry Buckley), Brick (Douglas Dart family), Beckett (Carol and Tom Lamoureux), Boulder (Erin Hamman), Bala (Monica Vogel), and Byrdie (Kathy Freeland).

Special thanks to the Susan and Mike Martiny family, caretaker home for Elise. They have done an outstanding job of raising and socializing these puppies. We send much appreciation to Jessie Douglas for her donation of Lambeau’s services to produce the litter. Helping Paws could not sustain our breeding program without our caretaker homes and sire donors.

Photos courtesy of Judy Michurski.

Helping Paws will be placing more puppies with foster home trainers later this year! Contact Jo, jsorensen@helpingpaws.org, for info on how you can be a part of this life-changing experience.

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Sending Warm Birthday Wishes to the Albert x River Litter

Happy Birthday to the Albert x River litter! They are a big two years old today.

What a gift to see how far they’ve come!


Many thanks to their loving and committed Foster Home Trainers: Jeanna & Ben (Hazel), Barbara (Nata), Amber (Olive), LeAnn (Kira), Jane (Terra), David (Fran), and Lynne (Bogey).


Albert x River Litter's 2nd Birthday

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