The evening celebrated the 20th Anniversary of Helping Paws. Jenny Peterson was the keynote speaker. The theme for the night was how Helping Paws dogs touch the lives of others; from the volunteers and foster homes to the graduates who receive them - and as one slide so aptly put, "and everyone in between".
Jenny is in a unique position to tell the story of Helping Paws. Her service resume includes:
- First Executive Director of Helping Paws
- Co-developer along with Eileen Bohn of the training manual used by all foster homes
- Former Board member
Her warm, touching, and sometimes emotional speech told the story of this incredible dog. As Jenny noted, the hardest part of having a service dog is that they don't live as long as their human partners. Yet Alpha left a legacy of service that continues to touch each and every person with the privilege of witnessing or working with a Helping Paws service dog. Alpha taught Eileen and Jenny how to train the fosters who would work with the service dogs to come. A born ham, his demonstration skills made public outreach a breeze. He, with Jenny and Eileen alongside, paved the way for those who would follow.
Last night, his followers enjoyed a full house, a full stomach, a full heart, and an empty wallet. Like any true Alpha, he's still leading us well on the golden path he first walked.
*Alpha - photo courtesy Jenny Peterson