Benny Photos

A Great Love Must Continue

"I want Benny in my lap"

“I want Benny in my lap”

“Thursday we see Benny, right?” asks Julian several days before each Thursday. All week he talks about Benny and how they will work together and it helps the week go smoothly.  Every Thursday for two years Julian has met with his therapy dog Benny. Every Thursday for two years Julian has come to trust and love Benny.

This is about to change as the family moves to a new state. How to prepare Julian for such a major change in his life is critical. Julian is on the autism spectrum and each time we meet, it is a new adventure for child, dog, handler, therapist, mom.

But the one constant is the love boy and dog share for one another.

Benny is a fourteen pound poodle mix who was rescued after having four homes the first year of his life. He has some residual damage from a less than perfect start in life. Julian is a young man who shares some of Benny’s issues such as impatience, frustration and a low ability to concentrate.

But they found each other and together overcame so many obstacles.

"He's heavy!"

“He’s heavy!”

And they both have a huge capacity to love.

Each Thursday we come up with a new protocol and way in which to integrate the use of the dog in Julian’s therapies. This routine has become so important to both child and dog. Benny always knows when it is time to see Julian and his demeanor is different than any other place he works.

Since Julian has learned he will be moving, his level of comprehension is unclear. But this we do know. The dog senses a change in his friend and is especially loving and patient. He knows Julian is having trouble concentrating and looking at him. Burt that’s ok as long as they still enjoy the time together.

Today Julian wanted to pick up Benny and put him in his lap. Such a simple activity became more involved than before. Julian had difficulty focusing on what he had to do to lift the dog. But once he realized the steps involved, he got on with it. The dog was so gentle and still while the child maneuvered the lift.

Once Benny was in the Julian’s lap, he received such a sweet hug.

"I got him"

“I got him”

Our next challenge is finding ways to continue this relationship long distance. Julian has met twenty Love Dogs and one cat, and while Julian may become involved with other therapy dogs, there will always be just one Benny – the dog that unlocked the key to friendship.

So the journey will continue across the miles and Julian will take with him the many binders of photos and the worksheets he has created with the Love Dogs. And he will take the stories written about them and the Adventures they went on together.

Adventures into emotion and thought and kindness and patience and bravery.

Adventures into love.

Adventures into understanding.

Two boys so happy

Two boys so happy


This must continue.


VOTE – Las Vegas Animal Therapy Team, Finalists in Contest

Benny at Edith Garehime School

Benny at Edith Garehime School


I’ve had a couple of questions about public voting. The contest is promoted and run through Facebook only. However, you can also vote from


You may vote once per IP address per day through Sep. 25th.


We are proud to announce that the Las Vegas animal assisted therapy program, Love Dog Adventures, is a finalist in the first national Books & Barks contest sponsored by Pets Best insurance.

The contest is to raise awareness of the benefits of using therapy animals for educational purposes.

The Love Dog team submitted their work with the Edith Garehime Elementary School in Las Vegas. This program brings “everything dog” to first and second graders every other week. It introduces subjects such as how to care for your dog, how to choose the right dog for your family, what therapy dogs do, the importance of rescue and how to be kind to all living beings. Park of the year-long curriculum is the anti-bully initiative Be Cool, Not Cruel and at this young age, the children truly understand how to make friends and how to appreciate differences and the beauty of each individual. Each class has at least five Love Dogs in the room participating and we conclude each session with Reading Circles so the children can read to “their” dogs.

Hundreds of submissions have been narrowed down to eight finalists and voting is open to the public September 8 to September 25please vote for the Love Dogs so we can present this amazing award to our beloved adopted school, Edith Garehime Elementary.

To Vote go to Pets Best Facebook page:

Click on the photo of Benny as shown in this column.

Or this link:



Please help us celebrate Edith Garehime students and their Love Dogs in this special way.