Having created and managed Corporate Volunteer Programs for The Estēe Lauder Companies Inc. for 24 years as Vice President of Community Outreach, Sue is devoting her time in “retirement” to developing unique programs utilizing the human-animal bond.
Sue’s commitment to animal-assisted therapy started with one fluffy white poodle named Coco the Love Dog. An insulin-dependent diabetic who spent many years blind and deaf, Coco set the standard for animal-assisted therapy dogs and lived a life of courage, love and inspiration. She lived fifteen years giving to others and when Kirby joined their family in 2009, it was complete. Kirby worked for four years before succumbing to cancer in 2013. Now Benny and Petey carry on The Love Dog legacy with Sue and their team of therapy animals in the Love Dog Adventures program, a Pet Partners Community Partner Affiliate. Love Dog Adventures is a nonprofit serving the Las Vegas community.
Sue has participated in several national therapy programs, including Angel on a Leash, Bideawee, Delta Pet Partners and ASPCA. Sue is a Licensed Pet Partners Instructor and Evaluator for Animal Assisted Therapy and Activities and can test dogs and cats. She currently fields her own teams of therapy partners for the Las Vegas area, Love Dog Adventures.
Now a full-time dog trainer in Las Vegas, Sue is a licensed AKC trainer and is a member of the National Association of Professional Dog Trainers. Sue writes a Pet Column for Examiner.com and her articles can be found at http://wwww.examiner.com/x-9149-Las-Vegas-Therapy-Dogs-Examiner.
Coco the Love Dog came into Sue’s life when she herself was recovering from a life-threatening illness. Benny, Kirby and Petey were adopted in Las Vegas and their message is one of acceptance, working through adversity, finding the life-work balance that fulfills your purpose and the celebration of the healing power of pets.
Since relocating to Las Vegas, Sue has focused on creating unique animal-assisted therapy programs serving the community. Here is a quick video about Sue and her dogs:
Update August 2010: Coco the Love Dog lost her battle with brain disease and has entrusted the Love Dog programs to her brothers, Kirby and Benny. Her spirit lives on in each and every animal trained by Sue, Kirby and Benny.
Update Spring 2013: Kirby survived eleven surgeries and procedures in the four years he lived with Sue and then succumbed to cancer in 2013. He sent tiny four pound Petey to carry on his work and Petey has become a beloved member of the Love Dog team as well.