Therapy Animals of Utah


Wags and Kisses Picnic – June 6, 2015
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Therapy mini-horse Daisy greeted picnic-goers and made new friends.

This year’s picnic promised to be bigger and better than last year’s and it was! Approximately 200 people attended and more than 80 donated silent auction items were available.

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The picnic was even bigger and better this year! – Photo courtesy of Cliff Gull from 2 Point 8 Studios.

Thanks to our donors, volunteers, and sponsors – LANDesk; Fly Fox Farm;  Elaina ReNae Photography; Pepsi; Whiskey,Bravo!; Millcreek Cacao; Calling All Dogs; and Mountain View Animal Hospital – the total funds raised by the picnic nearly doubled the amount raised at our 2014 picnic. Equally exciting, the grand finale included a hail storm!

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Children had the opportunity to interact with friendly dogs. Ginger, shown here, belongs to TAU board member Dr. Anne. – Photo courtesy of Cliff Gull from 2 Point 8 Studios.

Fantastic support and teamwork were demonstrated all the way from the event planning by TAU volunteer and board member Maureen, to the setup of the picnic until the teardown. Several TAU volunteers and board members even volunteered to work at their own appreciation picnic so their peers could relax and enjoy it. Some of our powerful friends literally held up the tent when the winds, rain and hail beat down while silent auction purchases were finalized.

 

Cappy & Boy

Therapy dog Cappy didn’t take the night off. – Photo courtesy of TAU friends

While the picnic was an evening of fun, appreciation and fundraising, it turned out to be much more. A 9-year-old boy who was bitten by two dogs a few years ago needed help healing from that trauma. His parents requested to come meet the therapy dogs; one in particular named Captain Cowpants (aka “Cappy”). Cappy volunteers regularly with children and sensed immediately that this boy needed the kind of love that only a dog can provide – giving him doggie kisses and even sitting his 70+ pound frame on the boy’s lap, which resulted in giggles. It evoked a great lesson that Cappy lovingly demonstrated that all dogs are individuals.

“It was absolutely fantastic to see the smile on his face instead of the fear,” remarked the boy’s mother. “He now has a fondness for pit bulls instead of an aversion to them. I think in the days since meeting Cappy, he’s processed what happened to him more than he has with his therapist in all those years.”

How did the young man feel about it? After an understandably big day for him, he fell asleep during the ride home, but not before saying, “Cappy was a fun dog and so were all of the other ones.”

Thank you, Cappy, for showing what the work of therapy animals is all about – helping others heal.

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There was no scolding for sharing your meal with your dog! Therapy dog McCloud and his handler Tom are shown here enjoying a delicious meal by Moon Dog’s Cafe & BBQ. – Photo courtesy of Cliff Gull from 2 Point 8 Studios.

Again, THANK YOU to all of our wonderful volunteers and to everyone who helped support our picnic! See you next year!

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It’s difficult to tell who enjoyed this relaxed interaction more, therapy dog Mercy or the young lady. – Photo courtesy of Cliff Gull from 2 Point 8 Studios.

 

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Calling All Dogs returned again this year and provided fun games for dogs and their handlers. – Photo courtesy of Cliff Gull from 2 Point 8 Studios.

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The Silent Auction was a popular attraction with more than 80 items available.

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Door prizes were a popular new addition to this year’s picnic! – Photo courtesy of Cliff Gull from 2 Point 8 Studios.

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The dogs didn’t quite know what to make of the mini-horses but seemed to enjoy them overall.  Therapy dog Meadow is shown here in the center.

 

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