Nothing fills me with more hope and happiness than sipping champagne and petting therapy dogs, and that’s just what I got to do at Creature Comfort’s 4th Annual Champagne Brunch. Accompanied by my father, we walked forward through the front door to greet Molly and Gracie, pet therapy dogs who were ‘hired’ to lick the faces of every guest. Our next stop was to purchase raffle tickets from the volunteers at the table. Up for grabs were tickets to a few purses, Giants game, a bicycle, and various spa gift cards. After getting rid of every little green Admit One ticket, we proceeded to our seats.
As we sat down, our Table 5 partner introduced herself as Jean Baile and all three of us immediately broke into conversation. She shared miraculous stories about her tiny Jack Russel Terrier who had been a therapy dog for a few years now. She traveled with him to schools, hospitals and even nursing homes. The best part of her stories was hearing not only the joy from the clients, but the joy brought to her and her puppy.
Our next conversation was with the lady on the opposite side of us. Her miniature Dachshund, Lilly, had been in one of our commercials and the story she told us was truly a miracle. Jan Kulick had heard of a young girl who was suffering from a constant seizure lasting 36 hours. When Jan and Lilly arrived at the hospital, the young girl’s mother thought to bring Lilly to meet her daughter. In an instant, the seizures subsided; just by a simple pet of Lilly’s head. She then explained to us that miracles like these are only possibly with the help of Creature Comfort who provide the therapy dogs and their owners with so many choices on where to visit and how to get involved.
After the side conversations faded, the owners, Annie Murphy and Joan Beth Baer, began talking about how they got started with the company. They began working for St Hubert’s Hospital with therapy animals. After witnessing just how many people were impacted in a single hospital, they got together with the idea of beginning their own business where they could provide pet therapy for people at many different places ranging from children’s hospitals to elder care facilities. In November 2011, that idea became reality and the non-profit organization spent the next few years providing people who were in need of comfort or therapy with a dependable, expansive network of caring volunteers devoted to sharing their pet’s love. Today, they have a total of more than 160 pet therapy teams which even include several unusual animals. So if you don’t want a dog, see if their certified cat, rabbit, potbelly pig, or even miniature horse is available!
After hearing the history of the company and how it came to be, they invited a hospital worker and another therapy dog owner on to the stage. Both of their stories were what anyone would consider, absolute miracles. A completely unresponsive woman in hospice care, woken up by the simple pet of a dog’s head. A young cancer patient whose day was made by a kiss from a puppy. By the end, everyone in the crowd had watery eyes and tears streaked faces that could only be the product of the inspiring tales told. After a fifteen minute applause, they began calling out the raffle ticket winners. And guess who won the green Vera Bradley purse? Me!
If you are interested in the organization or want to see more, please visit their website http://www.ccpettherapy.org/.
P.S. I’ve already signed my puppy up to be a therapy dog, and you should too!
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