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Pawsitive Perspectives Assistance Dogs (PawPADs)
September 5, 2013

PawPADs is a small organization, making a big, positive impact on the lives of many.

One of the differences that sets PawPADs apart from other service dog organizations are the programs we offer. One of my favorites is a Social Integration Therapy (SIT) program where we have been working with an elementary school for the past two years. I worked with special education students and with students who did some on-on-one reading with dogs. The dogs helped to motivate students to work on tasks that might otherwise feel daunting: such as the child that had many tantrums when it was time to work on range of motion tasks from his wheelchair, but would happily push a block off his tray in exchange for a dog kiss from Recon after he retrieved the block and brought it back to the tray and the student who was not confident reading aloud and who, by mid-year was reading loudly and with great expression to Hero, Ranger, Iko and others. The student’s faces would light up when they saw the dogs and actually, so did the faces of the staff members! There were times when teachers would stop by just to get their “puppy fix” and they commented that, “they really needed that,” and that it would help them get through the rest of the day. The dogs are positively impacting many lives before they are even placed with their partners.

I feel very lucky to be part of the PawPADs family, to be able to work with the dogs – and reap the benefits of the human-canine bond and to be a part of a wonderful organization that enriches the lives of many people.

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Pawsitive Perspectives Assistance Dogs (PawPADs)
July 1, 2012

PawPADs, not only enriches the lives of those with whom the dogs are placed. The benefits of the canine-human bond extend to everyone who participates in the programs offered, as well as to those of us who volunteer.

Volunteering at PawPADs has been very therapeutic to me; I enjoy working with the dogs, the directors and the other volunteers.

When I first started at PawPADs, my shifts were two days a week for about a couple of hours each. Working with Linda and Randy and seeing their devotion to the dogs and their mission to not only train and place service dogs but also to develop programs that enable others in the community to work with the dogs and reap the associated rewards, has inspired me to come to the training center more and more and it has become a place I want and need to be. I see and feel the passion and it is contagious.

When I initially inquired about volunteering, one of my first questions was whether or not there would be other volunteers on my shift because I had just come from a situation where I was volunteering alone and it was an uncomfortable experience. Linda responded that I would definitely not be alone and that some of the other volunteers even stuck around after their shift to visit and enjoy coffee. It’s true, some of the other volunteers and I have become friends, and we socialize after getting our work done and even when we’re not at the training center. I have come to think of PawPADs as a second family.

Going to the training center, training the dogs on my own and working with students in the school programs has been very rewarding. I cannot help but get excited when the dogs respond to a command and seeing a student light up when the dog works for them feels even better. I am extremely fortunate to be a part of this organization and the great things we do!


The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the recovery from a bout of severe depression and maintaining balance in my mental health.

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Very Well

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I have grown up with dogs as companions; however, I learned how to work with dogs in a way that I had not completely experienced before. Training the dogs via strictly positive reinforcement has been a positive experience. It is rewarding to work with the dogs and see them respond when given a command has been very powerful.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

I feel empowered, that I make a difference and that I have a purpose and a passion. I feel more fulfilled than I did in my career of 12 years. I felt lost and now I feel like I have something to give and to people and and organization where it is appreciated.

Volunteer & I've done almost everything from "soup to nuts." I wake the dogs up in the morning, clean them up (and after them!) feed them, I've put them to bed, assist with training, public events, programs, fundraising.