From the beginning, Dena, Teddy, and Kieda’s journey with Paws-to-Share has been a whirlwind. Less than a week after Dena met Jaime (President of Paws-to-Share) at the dog park, she Teddy and Kieda were already part of the Paws-to-Share team and making visits. Teddy is a Border Collie and Australian Shepherd mix, and has been an instant hit with his sweet and playful temperament. On the other hand, Dena was a little concerned about Kieda who is a tiny husky full of energy and jumps around like a baby horse. But even though Kieda is a bit of a diva and isn’t a perfect fit for the senior facilities, she’s right at home on college visits.
On their first visit ever, Teddy and Dena visited The Kensington Sierra Madre and began what would become part of their weekly routine. In one of the two group sessions, Teddy went right up to a woman who instantly started crying because she was so happy. The woman also insisted on getting on the floor to pet and play with Teddy, even though this was a physical feat for her. Now every time Teddy comes to play, the woman claps her hands and calls him to her.
Not only was this a thrill for the residents, it was also a deeply moving experience for Dena:
“I was ecstatic! I was really excited. If this would make them happy, or get them through, just a little bit of their day, my gosh! I cannot believe it. That’s special. That’s really special that no one else can do. It’s really only [Teddy] that can do that. So I’ve got to get him here. We’ve come every Sunday. This past Sunday he was barking at me, like let’s go. He was running down the walkway, and down the elevator to get to the door. He was leading the way! When I opened the door, I put the leash down because he knows where he wants to go and he’s really moving. And he’s not really a moving kind of guy. He was going with intent. He went and everyone was waiting for him to come and he went right up to this one lady. He’s been going up to her the past three weeks, and apparently she’s having some struggles with pain in her legs and feet. And he goes up to her and licks them. Little things. Sometimes it’s subtle.”
While Teddy makes his weekly visit to The Kensington, Dena’s father takes Kieda to the dog park. When Teddy finishes his rounds, he meets them at the dog park and it’s like they’ve been away from each other for years. They sprint towards one another and crash together at full speed. Teddy’s taken on the big brother role with Kieda, and keeps her in line while Kieda runs Marshall Law with Dena’s cats.
Teddy and Kieda made a visit together at Loyola Marymount Univeristy where Kieda really found her people. The event featured a DJ, lights, and a Pink’s Hot Dogs food truck. Because it was an evening visit, Dena put lights on their collars so she could spot them easily. They were so energized they began running around in circles so fast they became streaks of light. Besides that, they kept sneaking into the hot dog truck, attempting to pilfer a treat.
We are incredibly grateful that Teddy, Kieda, and Dena have joined the Paws-to-Share family, and we know they will continue to make everyone they reach happy. Now all we have to do is slip them some hot dogs every once in a while, and hope they stay with us for years to come!