It’s not what you think, my friends so elevate your minds to a higher level and read on. Judy and I met under a tent some years back. I had one book title to sell at this Apple festival in Warwick, she had Kizzy the wonder Bichon Frise a therapy dog. She also had at her side, the best supportive husband I’ve ever met, Bob. Judy also had a book about Kizzy on display. Friendship at first sight.
This is her story. Judy’s determination and willingness to follow a dream has just rewarded her with a medal. Yes, a medal from the United States Army for excellence as a Civilian Volunteer, one of the highest medals , a treasure for my friend , the director of Hudson Valley Paws for a Cause.
It all began with an email. A woman who had just returned from the Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C. and witnessed the therapy dogs comforting and bringing happiness to the wounded soldiers wondered why in the world didn’t such an organization be helping up at West Point where the wounded warriors were being housed. She dug in, did the Google search and found Judy through Therapy Dogs, Inc.
“It was a rough start.” said Judy. There were many rules at the Point why it never could happen but Judy and her stalwart pals did the impossible. No pets inside. Okay. They visited with the returned vets on the porch but this is New York, upstate where the weather gets a bit chilly. They had to find an inside venue to continue. Slowly, step by step, with Judy at the helm, she was able to connect with the Red Cross and doors opened little by little.
The program has grown to huge proportions. Every week, special needs kids as part of the curiculum,and the therapy dogs get together for reading. The dogs encourage the kids to read by listening and showing their canine love. Almost every day of the week, the team of Hudson Valley Paws for a Cause take time to visit various homes for the aged, Meals on Wheels, and so much more. Picture them loading up their cars with their magnificent trained and certified dogs to bring joy to people all over in Rockland County, Orange County, and Connecticut.
While we’re snug in our homes during snow, rain and all kinds of bad weather, I just had to tell you about this fine group of volunteers. If you ever think of giving a donation to some cause, consider Hudson Valley Paws for a Cause and the wonderful work they accomplish every week.