Willa and Handler Michele

Willa and Handler Michele

Regional Area: West

Breed: Golden Retriever

In the two years that Michele and her 6-year-old Golden Willa have been a therapy team, Michele’s favorite visit so far was to the Academy of Holy Names. Not only were there several other therapy dogs and handlers at the Academy that day, but so many girls to visit. And to say that Willa lapped up all of the attention and petting she received is putting it mildly!

While this dedicated team’s reach encompasses hospitals, medical centers, schools, churches and parks, Michele considers the children facilities the most fun because the children are always so excited to see the dogs. It’s a perfect fit since Willa also loves children and responds so well to them.

Then there’s the sillier side of Willa when she runs to Michele with her face scrunched up and does her trademark little growl. She also likes lying on her back and lifting her toy in the air with her paws, playing with her three siblings, playing games of fetch, and going everywhere the family goes. A fun fact about multi-talented Willa: she was in a local production of the play “Annie” at 7 months, and played the role of Sandy (the dog).

Now Michele is looking forward to taking the Empath Health class with Willa so that they’re able to participate in the Suncoast Hospice facility visits.

Basic Manners
Canine Good Citizen
Alliance of Therapy Dogs certification
AKC Therapy Dog Title
Hearts of Gold Therapy Team


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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