Imagine this: your poodle, the therapy dog hero. Such is the case for two mixed breed poodles from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Each week the poodles work as therapy dogs, comforting students of University. of Pittsburgh during stressful times. Margo, a poodle-bichon mix, and Maui, a poodle-Havanese mix, are among 20 therapy dogs who rise to the occasion each week. What makes this story even more amazing is that both Margo and Maui were both homeless dogs until they were adopted by Marsha Robbins, who teaches the therapy dog classes for the Humane Society in Pittsburgh. Here is their story, written by Linda Wilson Fuoco of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Your Poodle,the Therapy Dog Hero
Twenty therapy dogs took over a stretch of lawn outside the Cathedral of Learning on Tuesday night, and dozens of University of Pittsburgh students couldn’t have been happier to see them. The dogs wagged tails and some rolled on their backs, inviting belly rubs. Young men and women unabashedly hugged the dogs, who reciprocated with traditional canine shows of affection — licking the faces of their fans and putting paws in the hands of students who asked them to “shake!”work as
Therapy dogs have been making weekly visits to the landmark building for eight years, and the major part of their mission has been to provide study breaks and stress relief for students. That mission has shifted in recent weeks as students, faculty and staff deal with the unimaginable stress and disruption caused by dozens of bomb threats that come at all hours of the day and night at many buildings throughout the Oakland campus, including the Cathedral of Learning…
Many of the cathedral regulars, including Margo, Maui and Bell, were homeless dogs adopted from the North Side shelter.
Margo, a poodle-bichon mix, and Maui, a poodle-Havanese mix, are owned by Marsha Robbins, who teaches the therapy dog classes at the Humane Society. They sat on steps that Ms. Robbins called “the peanut gallery” because many of the small dogs congregated there, including another shelter alumnus — 8-pound Bell. Owner Carol Culp of Esplen describes her as “a Cha-weenie” — a Chihuahua-dachshund mix.
Some of Ms. Robbins’ students also visit the nearby Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. They have continued to visit patients and staff since the March 8 shooting rampage there that injured five employees and killed one.
Nothing will stop these loyal friends. Be it bad weather, bomb threat or bad day, how amazing to know that your poodle, the therapy dog hero, along with all the other therapy dogs will be there for you in your time of need(if only it were up to them). Always remember to show them the love right back because they very much see you as their hero too!