Colby and Handler Mary

Colby and Handler Mary

Regional Area: East

Breed: Golden Retriever

This committed team is certainly busy! Colby and his mom visit assisted living/memory care facilities, participate in school kids’ reading to dogs’ programs and provide college finals stress relief. They also visit various Amazon facilities, widows’ camps, juvenile arthritis camps, and take part in Honor Flight programs. What make each visit so enjoyable? There’s always someone who falls in love with Colby, and Colby responds with a lean or a back flop for a belly rub!

Once, when the team was at a widow’s camp in Tampa, one young widow sat in the middle of the floor with Colby and cried and cried. Colby snuggled up to her and seemed to absorb her grief. Not only was Mary touched that this woman had chosen Colby; she was proud of Colby for being there for her. They were at the event all day, and whenever there was a break, that same young woman came back to spend time with Colby.

In her free time, Colby LOVES playing with Frisbees and catching tennis balls. She brings the Frisbees to her parents several times a day, even in the blistering heat or during thunderstorms. She’s also a champion swimmer in the pool and at catching big waves in the ocean.

Colby has never met a person she didn’t like, saying hello to everyone on her walks. She especially loves some of the neighborhood children and literally throws herself at them. She “talks” to them, and the only time she might bark is when she’s excited to see one of them.

One particularly memorable visit for this team was at a nursing home. They entered a room where a gentleman was sitting forlornly in his chair. His small suitcase was off to the side, and he said that he was supposed to go home but didn’t know what had happened. Whether or not this was the case, Colby leaned against him, and he petted and talked to her, telling her his troubles. They had such a connection that Mary hated to leave.

Because Mary feels so honored to share her precious Colby’s gift, this team plans to continue bringing smiles, joy and comfort to as many people as possible in the future.

Watch our Hearts of Gold Therapy Teams in action:  Hearts of Gold YouTube channel

To learn more about how your dog can be part of the Hearts of Gold Therapy Team go to our Volunteer section of this webpage.


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