As National Therapy Dog Day approaches, Central Oregon could use more therapy pups

When Clyde, a 10½-year-old Landseer Newfoundland, walks through the busy lobby at St. Charles Bend, the world seems to pause. Few can resist stopping mid-stride to crouch down and pet him.

Clyde is a therapy dog who joins his owner, volunteer Michael Eisenberg, 68, to go around St. Charles Bend and brighten up the day for patients, their families, hospital staff and anybody fortunate enough to cross his path. Read the article in the Bend Bulletin by Joe Siess.

Airport Dogs Share a “Pawsitive” Attitude

Flying can be stressful for many reasons. To help promote a “pawsitive” experience and elicit some smiles from travelers and staff, certified therapy dogs from the Compassionate Canines of Central Oregon have been roaming the terminals at the Redmond Airport since May 2022.

A team of handlers and their happy dogs visit the airport as part of a visitor-enhancement strategy initiated by Erinn Shaw, Redmond Municipal Airport office assistant. Read the article by Damien Fagen in the Source Weekly.

A Therapy Dog Delivers Joy to OHSU Hospital

Bento is an AAT (Animal-Assisted Therapy) dog at Oregon Health & Sciences University Hospital in Portland, Oregon. Mark and Bento are a volunteer animal therapy team, certified by Dove Lewis Animal Hospital’s PACTT (Portland Area Canine Therapy Team), whose purpose is to provide emotional support. Click here to read the article.

Pet Partners Team Evaluation

This evaluation is conducted by a licensed Pet Partners Team Evaluator who is also a volunteer. Your volunteer Team Evaluator will assign you an arrival time. If you are a new team, you must complete the Therapy Animal Handler Workshop or Online Course prior to attending a Team Evaluation.

Fee: No charge
Led by: Donna Jarboe, email:
Date: Feb. 4, 2023
Time: 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Specific evaluation time slots will be confirmed after you register.
Location: Humane Society of Central Oregon, Bend

The Rawley Project FIXBend “Plea for Packs” fundraiser

Announcing the FIXBend “Plea for Packs” fundraiser! Did you know that one surgical instrument pack is $325 and due to the incredible demand for the low cost services we provide to our community we need 30 packs in order to continue our work? Please check out our short video and share our need with anyone and everyone you know, businesses included! You can even donate a pack in honor of a beloved person or pet! Your donation is helping us serve the many animals of our community.

Donate Now

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