They come in all shapes and sizes, but the dogs who are part of our Pet Therapy program have a few things in common – they’re all calm, affectionate and love volunteering with the children and families who visit Give Kids The World Village.
Meet six of the four-legged friends bringing tail wags and smiles to wish families:
Clyde, an 18-month-old English Cream Retriever, is a gentle giant who loves to bring comfort to children at Give Kids The World every Wednesday morning. Children of all ages and abilities hug and pet him as he relaxes in the Towne Hall lobby.
“Dogs bring out a special side of people,” says Clyde’s owner Lynn. “They can sense something humans can’t.”
Little miss Daisy is a 4-year-old Maltese who visits Give Kids The World on Monday mornings. Whenever kids are excited to see her, her eyes light up and her white fluffy tail starts wagging. Daisy also visits Nemours hospital to bring comfort to the children there.
“She really just loves kids,” says her owner, Jeanine. “She really soaks up the affection from everyone.”
Annabel, the 6-year-old golden retriever, is devoted to bringing Pet Therapy to the princes and princesses of Give Kids The World. She also visits Florida hospitals and volunteers for the onePulse Foundation! She’s calm and laid back when she’s volunteering at the Village and still loves to play fetch and swim when she’s at home.
“She loves all the kids at the Village and gets so excited to visit,” said her owner Terrence.
Echo is a 12-year-old Belgian shepherd who has been volunteering at the Village on Thursdays for the last eight years. With a fluffy black coat and a love of the color pink, Echo has a calm and sweet disposition. She and her owner Brian also visit Nemours Children’s Hospital.
“One day we were at Nemours and there was a child who was waiting for surgery,” said Brian. “The doctors said they couldn’t operate because her blood pressure was too high. But, after the child spent five minutes petting Echo, we all watched her blood pressure drop.” She has this same calming effect on the wish families of Give Kids The World
When she’s not taking long walks or chasing squirrels, this 7-year-old husky spends time at Give Kids The World letting children and families pet her soft, fluffy coat. She’s even visited for events like our Challenge for Hope 5K!
“Koda loves it,” says her owner Theresa. “Every time we get in the car to come to the Village she gets so excited – she remembers the drive and knows exactly where we’re going.”
With a smile stretching from ear-to-ear, this 7-year-old English bulldog named Tinkerbell loves to greet anyone who comes through the Towne Hall lobby. She’s been volunteering with our Pet Therapy program for six years. When she’s not visiting the kids at the Village, Tinkerbell loves going to the dog park and playing fetch.