Pet Therapy and Gabriel’s Angels
As a long time supporter of a local charity called Gabriel’s Angels and a new Board member, I was LONG overdue to go on a pet therapy team visit to view first hand the good work Gabriel’s Angels is doing for our at-risk children in our communities. Last night I met Therapy Team Connie and her big lovable Rottie Sam, who was more than ready to get his pets and hugs, at a local girls teen center that houses gals who do not have a home to go to for various reasons and who desperately need help getting on their feet and learning how to pick and trust good people in their lives. This is where Connie and Sam, and many other teams, come into play. Connie and Sam visit the center twice a month and based on the screams for Sam as we walked into the center, the girls know they are coming and look forward to their visit! Sam connects with these girls on an emotional, caring and loving level that only animals can. I watched them hug him, pet him, and most importantly talk to him and bond with their roommates over him. Gals that were sitting in the corner by themselves got up to join the “Sam circle” and began interacting with the others. As a teen who struggled with where I fit in and who was bullied and a bit shy, it moved me to tears to see this as it took me back to being their age and looking forward to getting home to my lab mix, Brandy, who I knew would have wags and kisses for me to make me feel better. Brandy gave me unconditional love without any judgement on days where I felt hopeless and alone and that is what Sam gives these girls. It is a true gift.
During our visit, Connie asked me to speak about being a working artist and we had the gals doodle on a purple poster board together encouraging them to draw or write things that are meaningful to them. The creativity came out in a big way and the conversations were wonderful. There was even singing! These gals have talents and insights that run deep and if they make good choices they have a fighting chance for a good life. The therapy team visits not only show them unconditional love but open the doors to conversations about life and decisions that they will face all while encouraging them to continue down the right path. Powerful, isn’t it?
The doodles and writing the girls did will be used as a back drop for a project I am currently working on for Gabriel’s Angels. Their faces lit up with excitement and pride when we told them they were an integral part of something special. The reality is, THEY are all something special and unique.
If you would like to find out more about Gabriel’s Angels you can read about us on the website at http://www.gabrielsangels.org. Whether you want to become a therapy team, volunteer your service or even donate money, helping serve the at-risk children in our communities is a gift you can feel good giving!
Thank you Connie and Sam for a life changing moment and including me in your visit. I can’t wait to go back!
OUR FINALISTS WERE CHOSEN!
Make sure to go vote for your favorite Fur DAILY & OFTEN on our contest page at: http://www.howlandstudios.com/contest!
Voting closes Wednesday, November 13th at Midnight and the winners will be announced Thursday, November 14th on Facebook, Twitter and right here on our website!
THANK YOU to all our contestants who entered this year and GOOD LUCK to our Finalists!!
We are proud to announce Andy Biggs as our third and final judge!
Howland Studios is excited to introduce another one of our Celebrity Judges!
Jill is a stand-up comedian who, on any given night, would rather be cuddling at home with her two kids and the family cockapoo, Jessie.
“My childhood dog was 18 when he passed away, and I vowed I would never go through the pain of losing another animal. I waited 20 years before allowing another dog to steal my heart, and she did it big.”
The Bryan family found the furry black sweetheart at a local shelter in 2010 and knew she was the missing piece to their family.
Jill says, “The first joke I ever wrote was called, ‘Dog Freak’ about a woman I worked with who was an absolute lunatic about her dogs. Now I am that woman, and you know what? I’m okay with that.”
You can catch Jill doing her stand-up comedy at the Tempe Improv and Stand-Up Live, as well as many other respected venues across the country.
Go to www.jillbryancomedy.com for dates and information.
HOWLAND STUDIOS is so grateful to Kristy Siefkin for becoming one of our celebrity judges for the Cats Drool & Dogs Rule Photo Contest! Kristy is an anchor and reporter for Fox 10 and shares her passion for dogs in her weekly segment “Kristy’s Creature Feature” which we were lucky to be on last year! She has raised guide dog puppies for the blind, trained wilderness search and rescue dogs, competed in local and national dog shows including the Westminster Kennel Club, and qualified dogs for animal therapy work. Kristy is the proud owner of an 8 lb, spit-fire Pomeranian named “Gunner”. We love you and thank you again Kristy!
We are over the top excited to introduce our Celebrity Judges this year!
They will be picking our finalists in a few weeks!