Hearts of Gold Coordinator, Ginger, adopted 4-year-old Madison from GRRMF early in 2019, and by May she was following in the paw steps of her 5-year-old brother Rocky who has been doing therapy work since 2017.
The ambitious team quickly filled in their own therapy calendar with the following facilities: Moffitt Cancer Centers (Tampa); The Blackberry Center; Bethesda Memory Care Center; The Town Center; Fountains of Melbourne; No Limits Academy; Ability Plus Therapy; Village Veranda Memory Care Center; Enterprise Elementary School, and University campus – Florida Tech, Valencia East, Barry University Law School. They also act as ambassadors at many of the events we ourselves host.
Madison has a special ability to sense when someone is having a difficult day and will place her head on their knee or linger for a longer period of time until she feels that they’re relaxed. Without moving her body, she’ll give me a glance as if to say we may be here a bit, please be patient.
“She gets very excited when I remove the tags from her everyday collar and switch them to one of her other collars because that means we’re going on a therapy visit,” Ginger says. “The teal collar matches her Hearts of Gold vest and the red collar matches her Moffitt Cancer Center vest. She’ll sit in the kitchen waiting patiently to have her teeth brushed, her coat groomed and her ears and bum checked. If I start the collar exchange too early, I am constantly tripping over her – it’s quite a funny process.”
As for this new team’s future plans, Ginger intends to continue supporting the GRRMF Hearts of Gold program’s efforts to be recognized as a certifying therapy organization and to gain access to facilities that currently only accept nationally certified TDI and ATD dog/handler teams.
Canine Good Citizen
Project PUP certified
Moffitt Cancer Center therapy certified
Hearts of Gold Therapy Team