After losing our sweet boy, the DH and I really wanted to do something to honor his memory that would help other people and animals... I think we may have found it! We are going to start volunteering for "Hand-in-Paw," a local organization that makes visits to hospitals, nursing homes, schools, etc. with therapy dogs. We are going to start training one of our rescue shelties, Picasso, to be a therapy dog starting this month. I am so excited, my heart just wants to burst! I am also really happy because the DH and I are going to train as a "team" so either of us can take Picasso for therapy visits. Before I committed to doing it, I shadowed a friend of mine who volunteers with Hand in Paw at the Children's Hospital, and it was one of the most moving experiences of my life. The kids were down in the lobby waiting for the animals... kids with IVs attached to their wheelchairs, children going through chemo, children who had just had brain surgery... all kinds. It was amazing how the animals brought such joy to them. They also go to schools for a "Sit, Stay, Read" program, where children who are struggling readers can read to the animals without fear of judgement. We won't be certified for a little while, but I wanted to share this with you as we embark on anther animal journey. I hope this would make my Sam proud. Here's more info about the organization. Wish us luck! http://www.handinpaw.org/abouthip.htm " Since 1996, Hand-In-Paw has provided registered Delta Society teams of handlers and pets to serve as therapeutic tools in medical, social service, and education settings for children, youth and older adults. Our volunteer teams have made over 100,000 beneficial contact visits through community events and in a number of participating facilities. We also serve as a resource for students and for therapists who want to utilize animals in their practice.