Lovey – Project PUP (handler Pat Herrington)
“Having loved dogs all my life and seeing what joy they bring to other people, I wanted to visit nursing homes and hospitals to make a difference to those living there in memory of my Mom, but never had the right dog. In 2003 we adopted 5 year old Lovey and she turned out to be amazing, a real natural who touched many lives over the 10 years we had her. We attended classes at Best Paw Forward in Sanford where she passed her CGC. After building her confidence level, Lovey was screened through Orlando SPCA to become a therapy canine. While Lovey was being screened at Florida Hospital in Orlando for their therapy program, she stopped in front of a child in the busy waiting room and sat down and rested her head on her lap much to the little girl’s delight. That was her trademark…she would walk up, sit down, and rest her head in a lap or on a bed gazing adoringly up to whoever she was visiting. Lovey visited the Neuro unit weekly and would have the doctors and nurses on the floor rubbing her tummy…a real stress reliever. Patients and their families welcomed her with open arms and shed tears while they hugged her tight and stroked her soft head while expressing how much they missed their own pets and how happy Lovey made them with her visit that day. Language was no barrier as demonstrated by a Spanish speaking patient shouting and raising her arms for Lovey to visit and then carrying on a long conversation that only Lovey understood.”
Lovey and her handler, Pat, were part of the first team to begin a children’s reading program at a nearby library in the Largo area. “It was fun and very rewarding to see how much the kids’ reading skills improved over the years and Lovey soaked up all the loving attention and gave it right back,” reports Pat. Their favorite time was visiting with the GRRMF “Golden Gang” having a whole lot of goldens working their magic with their wagging tails and snuggling ways.
Lovey passed over the Rainbow Bridge in 2013 and through the love of her handler brought joy to all she met.