Therapy dog team visits hotshot crew after death of a member

A 27-year-old firefighter with the Craig Interagency Hotshot Crew died Wednesday, Aug. 10, after being struck by a tree while assigned to the Big Swamp Fire in Oregon.

On Friday Aug 12 a broadcast message was sent out by a CCoCO coordinator asking for a team to respond to a request from one of the firefighters, Joey Landers, for a therapy dog team to spend some time with the Craig Hotshot Crew, who were staying in Bend after one of their wildland firefighters, Collin Hagan, was tragically killed.

I was free, Coco was clean, so we jumped into the car and headed for Pine Nursery Park. We are very familiar with Pine Nursery Park because Coco and I go every Tuesday morning while it’s cool and play ball for a while.

When we arrived, I saw a group of people on one of the fields, talking quietly, playing frisbee, sitting, hanging out. We wandered over and found the Hotshot Crew. 

I introduced Coco, my therapy dog, but she was so focused on the field that we play on, she was just wondering where the ball was. I thought about taking a ball for a little game with the crew, but it was 90F with no shade, and I knew it wasn’t a good idea for her to run a lot. 

Most of the crew wandered over to meet Coco, giving her some friendly petting, asking questions about her. It took a little while for Coco to forget about the ball, and about that time most went for a rousing game of beach volleyball. We sat by the court and cheered them on. One at a time, a few wandered over to sit with us and talk about Coco, how old she is, how soft her coat is, or their dogs that they were missing, etc. Coco showed them her best tricks – spin, high five, roll over, sit pretty, say your prayers.

When it was time for them to return to the hotel and dinner, we said goodbye, and I let them know how much we appreciate them and what they do, no matter where they are.

They walked back to the Forest Service building, but I had the sense that we needed to go there also and visit one more time. When we arrived at the Forest Service building, they were all standing around waiting. Again we walked around, greeting everyone, but by then Coco understood, maybe better than I did, why she was there. She went up to each person to be petted, sat next to them on the benches, and snuggled with those who seemed to need her attention. One of them put his arm around her, petting her, quietly resting his head in her soft fur. They sat there for quite a while, heads together, connecting with each other. A moment of relief, of distraction, of peace on an otherwise sad day.

Anita and Coco

Pet Partners Team Training Workshop

Saturday, October 1, 2022, 9am-5pm
Humane Society of Central Oregon Classroom
Cost is $45 which includes the workbook

This class is teach the handler about safe, effective visits and is for the “human end of the leash”. The Handler Course is not an animal training course. Instead, you’ll learn your responsibilities and expectations for successfully volunteering as a Pet Partners handler in any facility you wish to visit.

The course can be taken either in person, if a volunteer instructor lives in your area, or online. The in-person course is a great opportunity to ask questions of an experienced Pet Partners volunteer and make connections in your local community.

It is important to read the information regarding becoming a registered Pet Partner Team volunteer on the Pet Partner’s website:  https://petpartners.org/volunteer/volunteer-with-pet-partners/

There is useful information regarding the requirements and the registration process. Registration for the class is required and can be completed through the Pet Partners website.

If you have any questions regarding the class and/or registration, please contact Selina Witt (pwittnberg@cs.com) or Donna Jarboe (djjarboe@bendbroadband.com).

Summer with the Library: Country Sunset Mobile Homes

We had so much fun at the event and they had a great turn out! It was really amazing to see this whole community I was unaware of that is less than a mile away from where I live. A small blind boy had a huge smile come across his face when he pet Marv a couple of times. It made my heart burst with happiness! We LOVE events like this.

Mary with Marv

Oh, fantastic! Thanks for sharing your experience, Mary. Deschutes Public Library appreciates what the two of you added to this event!

Julie Bowers, Community Librarian

Summer with the Library: Parrell Mobile Home Park

Isn’t this a cute picture from the Parrell Mobile Home Park event tonight?? There wasn’t a lot of families in attendance but the weather was great and these girls put on quite a show with their beautiful dances and costumes. 

Lily and I had a chair at the library tent and we gave out art supplies that the library staff brought. The kids could draw there, like they did during the Art With A Dog project, but all of them chose to take their art supplies home with them. The library gave free books away – from adult books, graphic novels for teens/tweens, children’s books and board books for babies. They also signed adults, teens, tweens, kids, toddlers and babies up for the summer reading program, and then held drawings at the end and gave away some nice prizes such as a crystal growing kit, $50 Amazon gift cards, and a Kindle Fire tablet. They also had a few games set up for the kids – a bean bag toss, ring toss, and badminton. Other community participants were From Seed to Table giving away lots of veggies, Parks and Rec, and several Latino programs from Deschutes County. 

 Jenny, the librarian in charge of the July 13th event, located at Juniper Hilltop Mobile Homes, asked Lily and I to attend that one since no one has signed up for it yet. They said that the pre-event held at that site a few weeks ago was well attended. The plan is for Lily and I to walk through the crowd there and pass out art supplies as more of an ice-breaker for families coming to the library set-up. 

So no need to bring any prizes or books – the library provided everything. And at this event, there was lots to do and no one was interested in sitting down and reading to Lily. The dancing and the games provided a lot of things to do. 

Heather

Art with a Dog at East Bend Library

The Art with a Dog event was well attended at the DPL Eastside.  11 children and 6 adults. Several others came in just to pet Jackson.  Josie did a great introduction to the book. She read a few paragraphs of the book where Edie first met the dog that would become an inspiration for her art.  I introduced Jackson.  The children were all excited to meet Jackson and were very polite with him.  He loved it.  There were lots of materials available to the children to make their art.  After the art creation, several shared their art with Jackson and me and spent time petting Jackson.

Donna with Jackson

OSU-Cascades Wags for Wellness

Compassionate Canines therapy dog teams comfort students at OSU-Cascades Wags for Wellness.

Left column
Handler Deb with Golden Retriever Ole
Handler Mary with Marvin
Handler Erin with Chihuahua Willie

Right column
Handler Steve with Golden Doodle Sky
Handler Michelle with Zoe
Handler Heather with Border Terrier Lily
Handler Donna with Golden Retriever Rylee

Art with a Dog at Sisters Library

It was a wonderful afternoon and the four kids had a wonderful time, and so did Poet. One of the kids thought that Poet also needed a name tag so we put one on his Compassionate Canines bandana that he was wearing.

A couple of the kids came and petted Poet, and some just watched him. He “had a ball” and enjoyed the attention. Relaxed and “non-pulsed” when the kids were talking and walking around.

Josie (from the library) had plenty of different art media for the kids to use and while it is difficult to see in the picture, one of the origami dogs that was made did have the typical “husky” mask.

What fun.

Selina Witt with Poet

Spring Pet-A-Pup at COCC

After the rave reviews on the Spring Pet-A-Pup events, Central Oregon Community College has again asked Compassionate Canines of Central Oregon to provide Therapy Dogs as part of their stress relief events during the students’ prep week before finals. To volunteer, contact Anita Read at anitaread99@gmail.com.

Bend

Wednesday, Jun 01, 2022
Jefferson Hall
1 hour shifts 4-5pm, 5-6pm and 6-7pm

Thursday, Jun 02, 2022
Barber Library
1 hour shifts 12-1pm, 1-2pm

Redmond

Tuesday, May 31, 2022
Technology Education Center
1 hour shifts 10-11am, 11-12pm

Wags For Wellness at OSU-Cascades

Need a pick me up!? Do you love adorable puppies!? Spend your lunch hour with the Compassionate Canine therapy dogs hosted by the Student Wellness Center. The purpose of the event is simply to offer a little bit of stress relief.

When: Every Friday at noon starting April 22
Where: Green lawn between Tykeson and Obsidian Hall