We are pleased to announce the addition of Maureen Kleckner and Jo Sorensen to the Helping Paws staff.

Maureen is joining us as a Service Dog Trainer and Instructor. In this position, Maureen will perform dog evaluations, work one on one with foster home trainers, assist during pre-matching and team training, instruct classes, assist with graduate follow up as needed and other duties.

Jo’s position is Programs Department Administrative Coordinator. Jo will be working in the Programs office helping us to make sure everything is running smoothly. Her duties will include processing applications for service dogs, developing administrative systems and managing many other activities in the Programs Department.

We are excited to have Maureen and Jo join our staff!

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The 2011 Wag Walk and Run will be held on Saturday, May 21 in Eden Prairie at the Purgatory Creek Recreation Area.  Bring your best friends, both canine and human and join us for this great event.  Check out the pictures from last years event and for more information go to the event page on the Helping Paws website.  Online registration is now open.  The first 200 to register will get a free Helping Paws water bottle.  You won’t want to miss this really fun day.

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The Big Dog class had a field trip at Ridgedale last week.

Here is a picture of three of the black Labs; Theo, Kaia and Libby.  Looks like Helping Paws Labs come in Large, medium and small.

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Next time you are in the Helping Paws offices take a look under the desks.  You will almost always find one or more of the office regulars working hard.

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These three Labs are littermates and have been in class together for two and a half years.  This week they had their last class together.  This is not only a parting of the way for these dogs but also for their foster homes, who have become good friends.  Pictured below are Mary and Kaia, Joan and Bud and Pamela and Theo.  Stay tuned for news on what the future holds for them.

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The Faith x Maverick and Cheers x Truman puppies turned one year old this past week.  The Thursday 12:30 Awesome Adolescents class celebrated their birthdays with games and food.

The party started with a game of “Don’t Drop The Marshmallow.”  Our service dogs-in-training showed off their loose leash walking skills while their foster homes carried a marshmallow on a spoon.

Then it was on to the obstacle course.  At each station the dogs were given a cue which they had to complete before moving on to the next station.  This was a great opportunity to review and show off all they have learned over the last year.

Get Dressed

Under

Over

Push

Tug

Go To Bed

Roll Over

Leave It

Shake

 

 

Then it was on to the game of “Quick Draw”.  The dogs sat in a circle and were given the “Drop” cue.

Addie was going for "style" points.

 

Tanna not only dropped, she also "Got Her Leash"

After the games it was time for food.

 

People food.

Frosty Paws for the pups.

A great time was had by all.  It is truly amazing how much these dogs have learned in just one year and how mature they are.  We wish them all a very Happy Birthday!

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It is finally beginning to feel like spring and spring at Helping Paws means puppies are on the way.  Three dogs in the Helping Paws breeding program were bred and we have two confirmed pregnancies and have our fingers crossed that we will be three for three.

 

Lola, a Golden Retriever, is expecting her first litter around April 16.

 

 

 

River, also a Golden Retriever, had an ultrasound last Friday which confirmed that she too is pregnant.  This is River’s first litter also and she is due around May 4.

And last but not least, Sheba was bred last Friday.  Sheba is a Labrador Retriever and if she is pregnant, this will be her third litter.  Two of the puppies from her first litter will be graduating this spring.  Let’s all keep our fingers crossed that this breeding takes and as some of her puppies graduate and move on, her new puppies will take their place in the service dog training program.

Can’t wait to have puppy pictures to share with everyone!

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The Lola x Maverick litter (better known as the potato patch) has been growing like weeds and are absolutely adorable.  Last week they added puppy food to their diet and this past weekend they ventured out into the world (or at least a small portion of the backyard and patio.)  Thank you to the Voellers for these great photos.

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The 2011 Wag Walk & Run took place last Saturday, May 21. The weather was a little iffy, but over 400 people turned out and helped us turn a gray day into a great event.  Many thanks to our sponsors, vendors and volunteers who helped us pull off another wonderful Wag Walk & Run.

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Please join us in celebrating the completion of the three-week Team Training course by six individuals and their service dogs.

Program followed by refreshments.

Date:  Friday, September 30, 2011       Time:  7:00 p.m

Location:  Hopkins High School Auditorium, 2400 Lindbergh Drive, Minnetonka

Graduates:

Lynne Dorr and Lulu–Foster home:  Joe Gadbois and Liz Roepke

Amy Hermanek and Dempsey–Foster Home: Paul Yamashita and Doreen Bell

Eileen Langeslag and Sawyer–Foster Home: The Drummond Family

Caroline Ostrom and Oliver–Foster Home: Dan Velasquez

Sam and Tracy Tabaka and Rocket–Foster Home: Carol and Tom Lamoureux