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THE GOLDEN NEWS The official newsletter for Birmingham’s nonprofit organization motivating people towards brighter days

A SUMMER OF CHANGED LIVES Written by Therapy Team Charlotte Wilson and Ruby

As a new team member of Hand in Paw this year, I really had no idea what to expect when Ruby and I joined a Pawsitive Living group for the summer. I knew three other team members, and was excited to meet the rest of the group on our first night. The first night turned out to be more than I had ever imagined it to be. First, I must start by saying that Natalie, our facilitator was awesome. She was so welcoming and kept the visit interesting and fun. Natalie was so well prepared and full of vital information for us. Some of the information we desperately needed before meeting the girls. The entire team seemed to have jelled within the first few minutes of our meeting. When the girls first entered the room, one came and sat down next to me immediately and started talking about how excited she was to be a part of the group. And then, she stopped and said, “You know why I came and sat by you? You remind me of my mom.” She then went on to tell me about her mom, how much she loved her and missed her. It was a moment I will never forget. For it was at that moment, the reality of what we, as Therapy Teams through Pawsitive Living, could do… help change lives. We were informed that one of the girls who was to join us, had issues with dogs. The first night I found it interesting that she came into the room, but never joined us. I sat and wondered what she could be thinking. A couple of weeks later, she came back and sat on the sofa where I was sitting. But she sat as far away on the sofa as possible. She never took her eyes off Ruby. I guess she felt that Ruby was the less threatening of all the pets. My little Ruby is a 3.5 lb. very quiet and calm Maltese, and a rescue dog. As time went on that night, she started smiling at Ruby and even reached over to touch her. And then she asked if Ruby could sit in her lap. It was almost as if time stood still for all of us in the room. We all were aware...

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Meet Hand in Paw’s New Executive Director, Laura Cardwell!

SAVE THE DATE 04.26.14

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Say “Hello” to our 17 new Therapy Teams and TVAs! Page 7

ADVISORY COUNCIL Chairperson Jennifer Buettner Members Alvin Atlas, DVM Timothy L. Colbert, DVM Elizabeth Harbert Cornay James Cunningham, CPA Beth A. Franklin Cindy Grant, DVM Ken Jackson Susanne Jones Sheryl Kimerling James C. Lasker, MD Beth Leonard Sandy Logan Phyllis McCombs Judy Merritt, PhD Allen Montgomery Jeff Morrison Susan Nelms, DVM Kate Nicholson Joy O’Neal Claire Peel, PT, PhD Joan Cain Pizitz, MD Douglas Rohm Lisa Thompson Smith Joan Stelling Carol H. Stewart Ava D. Story, DSJ Pete Van Pelt Jerome B. Williams, DVM

Letter from Hand in Paw’s New Executive Director

BOARD OF DIRECTORS President Scott Grover Vice President Lisa Thompson Treasurer Debra Linton, CPA Secretary Sheree York, PT, MS, PCS Members T.C. Branch, DVM Melinda Carter C. Merrimon Epps III Idie Hastings Stephanie Hightower, MD Denise Hoyle Joshua Klapow, PhD Matt Lackey Cassie Moore John D. Saxon Hon. Sandra H. Storm Beverly Virciglio, CPA Tina Willard


Hello! I’m so excited to be writing you for the first time as the new Executive Director of Hand in Paw. Like most of you, I have had a lifelong passion for animals, especially dogs. My friends and family will tell you what a perfect fit this position is for me. I will say that it is a complete blessing. I became involved with Hand in Paw this March as a Therapy Team with my dog, Jed. He was found abandoned on a country road in Cullman three years ago. This summer we participated in Laura and her two dogs, our Pawsitive LivJed and Murry ing program, a 12-week curriculum designed to inspire and encourage at-risk teens through animal-assisted therapy. It’s hard to adequately describe the impact it had on me. Like the teens we visited, Jed too had been through rough times. Sharing time and the love of Jed with those who needed love took me beyond ‘goose bumps’! It hit me deep in my heart. After starting my position on August 1st as the ‘new girl on the block’, the staff welcomed me and guided Thr first day Jed met Laura me through my first two months. It is without a doubt that the ongoing success of this wonderful organization is a result of our dedicated, compassionate staff. I am so privileged to join them in the process of moving forward. It is so important to me that all of our volunteers feel our appreciation for their dedication. Starting January 2014, thanks to Cindy Bowman and Tina Currie, we will have quarterly volunteer meetings that will provide a setting for interaction of ideas, continuing education and a sense of closeness. Please stay on the lookout for the schedule. Let me extend my heartfelt gratitude for the warmth and welcome. I plan to work very hard to continue the good work that is well under way by all of you who love Hand in Paw. Warmest regards,

Jed on his first day at Hand in Paw

Laura Cardwell Executive Director


TEAMWORK: Highlighting a special Therapy Team

meet carol and hannah

1) Tell us about you and Hannah. Hannah has been a wonderful part of my family for 14 years now. After spending many years working in the medical field, which I continue to do currently, and researching what Hand in Paw does and supporting them and what they do, I finally decided that Hannah and I might be a good fit for the program. I have years of medical training and experience and know how to speak and relate to patients in general and Hannah has such a calm demeanor, and I was encouraged by all of this to join the program. Hannah has two “sisters” at home, a lab mix named Zoey and a terrier mix named Lulu, plus a cat that thinks she is a dog, Oscar. So Hannah is very much at home with other animals in general. Hannah’s nickname at home is Hannah Banana. We started calling her that when she was very young and it stuck. Everyone calls her this, from our friends to our vet. Sometimes it is even shortened to just Banana. She answers to both. And she smiles all the time. She is one of those unique dogs where you can actually see the smile forming on her face, and I have noticed that the smile is always at its largest when she is being petted and loved on by children. She has the most loving, respectful, sweet, calm demeanor that I have ever been around, and I believe that is why we have been successful with our HIP visits. It is just really hard not to be in a good mood around her and you instantly feel calmer just being near her. 2) Where/why did you get Hannah? We got Hannah at the shelter when she was 3 months old. The only thing I know about her is that she was one of a litter of pups and she was the only one not adopted and then she was dumped at the shelter. This is so hard for me to imagine. The thought of anyone not falling in love with Hannah immediately is just almost impossible to believe. Hannah is an excellent example of why everyone should consider adopting a shelter dog. We adopted Hannah because we were immediately attracted to her smarts, her blue eye and brown eye, and her “chill” attitude, even as a puppy. 3) How long have you been a HIP volunteer? We have been volunteering with HIP for almost two years now and we have both loved every minute of it. The lives we have touched while visiting, the smiles we have brought to the many faces we have seen, and also the friendships we have formed along the way, both with the patients in the nursing homes, the children and parents at places such as Ronald McDonald House, and the fellow Therapy Teams and staff at HIP. You really develop strong bonds with many that you come into contact with through this amazing program. 4) Which community partners do you serve? Hannah and I currently serve as a Therapy Team at Ronald McDonald House, where I also act as the Team Leader for our particular HIP group, on the third Wednesday of each month. And Hannah and I also serve with the Pawsitive Living program at a Glenwood boys home. We have done two prior sessions for Pawsitive Living, and we are looking forward to serving in a third session starting in September 2013. 5) Tell us about being Team Leader at Ronald McDonald House? Being a Team Leader for our Ronald McDonald House visits each month is extremely rewarding for me. I organize getting everyone together within our group and making sure that everyone has the appropriate information to start each visit, and making sure everyone arrives on the right day and at the right time. Keeping track of 12 Therapy Teams (including Hannah and myself) and one TVA is some months not an easy task, but I feel that we have the best, brightest and most responsive group out there. I am very proud of my team and they are all wonderful representatives of HIP! 6) Why did you think Hannah would be a good therapy dog? I always knew that Hannah would be an excellent therapy dog. Her calm and loving attitude, and the way she just sits and observes everyone and everything and rarely gets upset or excited, were all clear indications to me that she would be a wonderful “working” dog in that way. The biggest challenge was finding time in MY schedule to start volunteering with HIP. I never doubted Hannah for one second. My only regret is that we did not start the program sooner, but once we did, we have never looked back and I am so grateful and feel so blessed to be a part of something so much bigger than us. I would highly recommend HIP to anyone that wishes to give back to the community in some way. 7) When Hannah isn’t being a therapy dog, what’s her favorite thing to do? She enjoys chilling out at home, on the couch, watching TV, or if it is warm outside, she enjoys laying on the nearest air vent on the floor. She loves squeaky dog toys and can often be found walking around the house with one in her mouth and playing with it because she loves the sound. She also enjoys playing peek a boo under a sheet or a blanket. She has quite a distinct personality. She is a dog that knows what she wants and what she likes. She is also very food motivated and will do just about anything for a treat. 8) Have you had a visit that has been particularly memorable for you, tell us about it! The most memorable visit with HIP visit that I can remember was our last night of our very first Pawsitive Living session, “graduation night.” Hannah and myself had become quite close with several of the boys there, but very close with one boy in particular. On that last night, he took off the bracelet that he was wearing and gave it to Hannah and myself. He had made it himself and had his name on it. He wore it every week previously, and I never saw him take it off. But that night he came up to Hannah and myself and told us how much he enjoyed being with us every week and how much he loved Hannah and how much he was going to miss us, then he took the bracelet off and told me he wanted us to have it. I was overcome with emotion and suddenly realized what the program had meant and what an impact it had had, not only on him, but for us as well. I will never forget it. I keep his bracelet in my HIP backpack that I carry with us everywhere we go. And whenever I go into my backpack and catch sight of that bracelet, I am constantly reminded that the work we are doing means so much to so many. And how lucky we are to get to participate in HIP.


PICASSO PETS: BIG CHANGES, BIG YEAR! Hand in Paw held our 13th annual fundraising event, Picasso Pets, on Saturday, August 17, 2013 at Old Car Heaven. The evening began with an opportunity to browse the Picasso Pets silent auction accompanied by heavy hors d’oeuvres catered by Shindigs. Cahaba Brewing Company donated all the beer for the evening with a signature brew named HIP HOPS, and Cathead Vodka donated all the vodka for the specialty drink, Paws on the Beach. The room was a beautiful sight, covered with burlap, bunting, and colorful flower centerpieces donated by NDI. Presentations were made by those whose lives have greatly been enhanced by the positive effects of Hand in Paw’s Animal-Assisted Therapy Teams. The night’s main event took place with the live auction, including one-of-a-kind pet paintings. “The night was a huge success. Not only did we raise much needed funds, but now even more people in the Birmingham community know about Hand in Paw and the important work we do. It is my hope that people walked away inspired and captivated by what our volunteers provide to those who are in need of our services,” said Scott Grover, President of Hand in Paw’s Board of Directors. Many thanks to those who presented at this year’s event with their pets: Martha & Paul Bryant and Kelly A. Keener, Kim & Ken Dowdy, Debby Holden, Terri & Bill Jones, Shannon Lewis & Ryan Hodapp, and Charlotte Wilson. “I had a wonderful time at Picasso Pets! We were at a great new venue that felt so festive. It was such an honor for me to be able to meet so many of our generous supporters as I begin my journey with Hand in Paw. A very special thanks to Denise Hoyle and Tina Willard, the 2013 Picasso Pets Event Chairs; Honorary Chairs, Martha and Paul Bryant; Sponsorship Chair, Idie Hastings, and Silent Auction Chairs, Bob Stafford and Ruth Locklin,” said Laura Cardwell, the new Executive Director of Hand in Paw.

2013 PICASSO PETS SPONSORS Van Dog- $5,000

George W. Barber, Jr. Foundation The Birmingham News Martha & Paul Bryant: Autism Awareness Cahaba Brewing Co. The CW 21/my 68 Flemming Transfer FlexDigital Framin’ Shoppe Gale Force Production John 3:16 Dr. Jim & Katie Lasker Alice M. Lloyd NDI Veterinary Eye Care Warren Averett, LLC Wells Fargo Advisors XCEL HR

Red Diamond, Inc. Riverview Animal Clinic Joan Stelling The Thompson Foundation Lisa Thompson Pete & Sherri Van Pelt Walter Energy

Dog Vinci- $3,000

Alabama Power Burr & Forman LLP Idie & Chris Hastings Zeekee Interactive

Dogas- $1,500

Judy & Hal Abroms Balch & Bingham LLP The Caring Foundation of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama Children’s of Alabama Jessica & Scott Grover Sheryl & Jon Kimerling Lolly Lee Liz Young, Dog Photographer Phyllis McCombs

Picatso- $500

Baptist Health System Big Dog Ranch Boutwell Studios Brasfield & Gorrie Britt Animal Hospital Janice & Jim Clifford Merrimon & Camille Epps First Commercial Bank Mark Duren Greg & Rosemary Greaves John W. Haley


John D. Johns Anne LaRussa Lynn & Benny LaRussa Mayer Electric Supply Co Jeff Morrison Georgie Moseley & Henry Phillips Regions John & Betsy Saxon St. Martin’s In The Pines Sterne Agee Southern Living Summit Media Corp Lucy Thompson Pam & Ed Varner Dr. & Mrs. Peter Weinheimer The Westervelt Company

Meet Emily Cheatwood!

Emily Cheatwood started at Hand in Paw in May of 2013 as an intern. Recently, she has joined the team as Project Coordinator. She is from Pinson, Alabama and she graduated from the University of Montevallo with a B.S. in Family and Consumer Science with a concentration in Child and Family Studies. She is excited about this new opportunity to work for Hand in Paw, because it involves both of her passions, animals and helping people. Emily enjoys spending her spare time playing with her new orange tabby kitten, Curtis.

Many Thanks to Our Recent Grantors and Giving Programs! Without the support of our generous grantors and giving programs, Hand in Paw would not be able to serve the community like we do. Thank you to these groups for making our mission possible.

Hill Crest Foundation “I knew from the first week of my internship, that I was going to love being at Hand in Paw. I was amazed to find out that there was a way to help people through the use of animals. I have always wanted a job where I could help people, but I was not sure exactly how I wanted to help them. Throughout the course of my internship at Hand in Paw, I was constantly reminded through attending site visits and working with various volunteers that this was where I wanted to be. One visit that I will never forget, took place at CampUs at Samford University. CampUs is a summer camp for children who are not able to go to many typical activities due to medical conditions but are able to go to a camp held on the campus of Samford University and staffed by nursing school students. At this camp, the children are involved in many activities that typical children get to experience at summer camp. Hand in Paw was invited to attend a portion of 4 out of 5 days of the camp. At CampUs, there was a camper who was using a walker to walk and staff members were lifting his feet to keep them from dragging on the ground. This young boy was hesitant the first couple of days to attend the Hand in Paw portion of camp. On the last day I attended, I was fortunate enough to witness him lifting his feet on his own and rolling his walker to get closer to one of the dogs so that he could pet it. As he was moving towards one of the dogs, I felt something I had never felt before, and it was then that I knew that I had found the way I wanted to help people, and that was through Hand in Paw. There were many wonderful visits and experiences throughout my time as an intern and I know that I could have not found a better fit for me. My love and appreciation for Hand in Paw grows each and every day. I could not be more excited about joining the Hand in Paw team and I look forward to hearing more stories about how animals can heal, encourage and motivate people.� - Emily Cheatwood Project Coordinator


Daniel Foundation of Alabama


Fo u n d a t i o n

Remy Fund for Pets & Animal Services Harry B. and Jane H. Brock Foundation Nelson and Charleen Kemp Foundation


In 2010 I was a happy 8 year old Shih Tzu, who had it pretty good with no reason to change a thing! But my ‘Mom’ (Janice) had just retired had other plans and signed us up for Hand in Paw. I was not happy at first, with all the training, practicing, and ‘work’. This was NOT on my wish list!! One day we went for what Mom called ‘evaluation’ and I had to do lots of different things, but it was nice getting hugs, being petted and getting treats!! At the end everyone seemed so happy that I had ‘passed’. I soon learned that meant that my Mom and I could start visiting people who seemed very happy to see me coming!! We tried some different places and situations, but soon I let my Mom know I really liked visiting the boys and girls at the Comprehensive Cancer Center, the folks at the UAB Palliative Care Unit and sometimes the older people either at Kirkwood or the ACE Unit at UAB Highlands. While it is sad to see girls and boys going through radiation for cancer, it is inspiring to see their smiles and the kindness of the staff. My tail sure wags when they wake up after treatment and ask for ME!! It is also sad to visit people who are dying, but our visits seem to offer a moment of relief, if not joy. One of the visits in Palliative Care was with a young woman who was not responding much at all. After a sheet had been placed on the bed, Mom put me in bed with the patient and before I knew what was happening, she rose up slightly and cupped me in her hands and lay back down. Her Mom, who was by the bed, began to cry and tell my Mom she did not think she would ever she her daughter respond again. And there have been other patients who have had strokes or were in comas, who, when I got in their bed, tried to pet me or respond in some way, to the amazement of family and staff!! In 2011 I had to go on medical leave because of hip and knee surgery, then a broken leg, and one more surgery. Before becoming a Hand in Paw Therapy Dog, I might have just laid around and given up. But I wanted to get better so I could get back to visiting and helping other people. I could not wait for ‘Mom’ to say those magic words, ‘Dusty, you want to go to work?’ In 2012 my ‘Dad’ (Jim) retired and Mom and I both wanted him to get involved with Hand in Paw, but he seemed hesitant. We both assured him that even though he was ‘retired’ we thought he could learn a new trick or two!! I was very excited when he enrolled in the program and began to be ‘trained’. When evaluation day arrived, since I had been through this before, I was not worried, but he sure seemed anxious!! I was proud when he got his yellow HIP shirt and I got another kerchief. I was also proud to be the first HIP therapy animal to be evaluated and approved to be transported in a pet stroller. Boy, do I think I am something when I go visiting in my stroller. Not only do I feel safer, but folks can see me better. It sure makes my tail wag a lot to see all the smiles I bring to people’s faces – patients, families, and especially the staff. My Mom, Dad, and I hear that we bring joy and comfort to many; we always come away having received more than we gave. Thank you, HIP, for allowing me and my ‘Parents’ to be Therapy Teams. -Dusty Clifford Hand in Paw Therapy Dog

Thank you for being a part of Hand in Paw. Thank you to the following teams for being so dedicated to our organization. Losing a pet, moving away, or having to retire a pet from the field is always difficult. We thank you so much for serving our community with your furry friend. Each of these dedicated individuals and pets made such a difference in the lives of those they served. Retired Stacy Campbell with Ellie Alex Greenbaum with Ellie

Moved Patty Berkow with Boomer and Foster Roger Berkow with Boomer and Foster Anette Weisbarth with Jackie


Passed Away Cathy Cross’s Gypsy

WELCOME OUR NEW THERAPY TEAMS AND TVAs! Penny Anthony Linda Bedwell Carolyn Bowman Tanner Bowman Ed Day & Ruben MJ Dobbins & Tucker

Janice Drake & Cara Debbie Fulton & Bristol Georgie Moseley Renea Motte & Star Rene Richardson Holly Skelly & Farley

Boyce Turner Banks Walston & Lucky Jeannie Walston & Lucky Lauren Walston & Lucky Emma Zaiontz

Sit, Stay, Read! at Hall-Kent Elementary I have been a volunteer with Hand in Paw for four years with my Sheltie, Cooper. One of the programs that we are involved with is the Sit, Stay, Read! program at Hall-Kent Elementary School in Homewood. We have visited there for the past three years. We work directly with the school Librarian, Ms. Emily Strickland, who chooses four students who have reading, or social interaction needs. These students meet individually with myself and Cooper to read on a weekly basis. Cooper has a very good temperament for this type of program and sits quietly on his blanket as the children read. Quite often he gets his neck and ears massaged while the child is reading. At the first visit of this school year, I was greeted by Ms. Strickland with a special request. The parents of two of the children who participated in the program last year had called the school and asked if their child could be involved in reading with the dog again this year. They said they had not seen improvements in their child’s reading skills like they did last year when they read with the dog. Ms. Strickland has been very supportive of the program, noting comments from various teachers that the program has had positive effects on the students who have participated. She has also been instrumental is generating interest among her colleagues at other elementary schools in starting similar programs. I feel that the most productive aspect of this program is the child’s opportunity to read at their level without being subjected to negative or corrective judgment from anyone. Cooper thinks they are all wonderful. - Lee Strickland Hand in Paw Therapy Team


Mutt Strut

Dog-Friendly 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run

SAVE THE DATE 04.2 6.14

Become a Sponsor and Get Great Publicity! Title Sponsor- $5,000

Hand in Paw’s Junior Board will again organize the 5th Annual Mutt Strut: Dog-Friendly 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run. We are so lucky that year after year, the race is growing larger and larger! The 2014 Mutt Strut will be held on Saturday, April 26th at the Green of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The day will be packed with fun not only for the avid runner and dog-lover, but for the whole family. From running the 5K, walking the 1 mile, listening to live music, visiting local vendors, to watching agility dogs, you will not only have a great day, but you will also support Hand in Paw! To register to run/walk visit

• The event will be recognized as Mutt Strut, presented by “Your company” for all promotional materials and on the front of the event t-shirt • Banner at the start/finish line • 2 race teams of 5 participants • Recognition on event website with a direct link to your company’s website • Recognition in e-blasts and all forms of social media • Recognition in our semi-annual newsletter that reaches approximately 10,000+ households • One coupon/promo item in the race goodie bag • VIP placement with one table and tent in the Mutt Strut Village

Gold Sponsor- $2,500

To be a sponsor please mail us the following information along with a check for the appropriate amount: name, address, email, company name, and phone number. Also, if applicable, email your company’s logo and facebook/twitter page names to Paige at

• Name on the back of event t-shirt • Prominent signage at event (mile markers, water stations, etc.) • Race team of 5 participants • Recognition on event website • Recognition in e-blasts and all forms of social media • Recognition in our semi-annual newsletter that reaches approximately 10,000+ households • One coupon/promo item in the race goodie bag • One table and tent in the Mutt Strut Village

Silver Sponsor- $1,000

• Name on the back of event t-shirt • Race team of 5 participants • Recognition on event website and all forms of social media • One coupon/promo item in the race goodie bag • One table in the Mutt Strut Village

Bronze Sponsor- $500

• Recognition on event website and all forms of social media • One coupon/promo item in the race goodie bag • One table in the Mutt Strut Village

Mutt Strut Vendor- $100


• One table in the Mutt Strut Village

Get to know Terri Jones! Terri Jones has been a part of Hand in Paw for six years. She currently serves as a Therapy Team with her two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (Abby and Katie). In addition, she has volunteered to help facilitate training sessions, evaluations, and organize painting sessions for Hand in Paw’s annual fundraiser, Picasso Pets. Recently, Terri has joined the staff as full time Volunteer Coordinator. “Early in my service with Hand in Paw, it became clear firsthand the impact therapy animals have on the people we serve. At the end of a visit at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, Abby (the most important part of the team) and I were approached by a patient. She had just completed her last treatment and wanted to meet Abby. She went on to tell me about the day of her first treatment. She was all alone because her family was unable to accompany her. She sat in the lobby, observing Abby working her magic with several children. I realized as she shared her story, she had started and completed her treatment without me having even met her! My heart sank knowing that in all that time, we had not talked to her. I told her how sorry I was that we were just now meeting. At this she smiled as she was petting Abby and said that thinking of her interactions with the children helped to calm her during her first treatment. This is why for the past five and a half years, I continue to get up at the crack of dawn so that Abby (or Katie, my newest therapy partner) and I can be at the UAB CCC by 7:00 AM. You never know just how many lives you will touch, whether through direct or indirect contact.” -Terri Jones Hand in Paw’s Volunteer Coordinator

Do you know a merchant that wants to support Hand in Paw?

Something to Bark About: Remy’s Dog Park!

Hollywood Feed on Highway 280 is involved in a program called DonateWiseNow. At checkout, their customers can choose to donate $1, $3, or $5 to Hand in Paw. Thank you to Hollywood Feed and its customers, who have donated more than $4,000 this year!

Ken Jackson, one of Hand in Paw’s Advisory Council Members and long time supporters has started a new venture, Remy’s Dog Park. Named after Jackson’s late Jack Russell – Shih Tzu mix, Remy, the park will be located in Red Mountain Park and span more than six acres. Remy’s Dog Park will feature three designated areas to accommodate large dogs, small dogs and special needs dogs, including those who are elderly, shy, injured or recovering. Drinking water, hoses for on-site baths, lots of open space for running and shaded space for resting will be ready to welcome canines and their owners by the end of this year! Thank you Ken, not only for everything you do for Hand in Paw, but for all of our furry friends in Alabama!

If you know a merchant that would like to incorporate this program into their credit card checkout process, please contact our Director of Marketing and Community Relations, Paige Staylor at and she will help them get set up!


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...of her background and found it hard to believe she was holding a dog. Later that evening, she wrote in her journal that Ruby was part of her healing and a positive part of her life. A couple of weeks later, I noticed one of the girls holding her paper very close to her face to read. She looked like me reading. We were informed that she was legally blind. So the next week, I told her I too was legally blind. And again, there was a moment of bonding. We knew, felt, and shared things that no one else in the room could imagine. That was the night I went home and cried. As the summer continued, we all had watershed moments. I saw some of the girls face their biggest fears head on. They opened their wounds and yet, talked with great hope of the future. They did this honestly and with sheer will. And I know it was the power of the pets that brought this all about. We were told about George, one of the therapy dogs on our team and how he had been dumped on the side of the road. He waited for weeks for the one who dumped him to return. We all learned so much from George’s story. I witnessed fellow team members open up in ways they probably never imagined. There were tears shed, times of great laughter, and on occasion, sighs of relief. By the end of the summer, I had come to love these girls and fellow Therapy Teams. And most of all, I thanked God for bringing little Ruby into my life. For without her, I would have never had this true Pawsitive Living experience. It is that special unconditional love and loyalty that pets possess that teach us all so many lessons. -Charlotte Wilson Hand in Paw Therapy Team


Every year at Picasso Pets, this beautiful bronze statuette, crafted by sculptor Brad Morton, is presented to an organization that partners with Hand in Paw to serve the community with excellence. This year’s Tweety Lasker Award recipient was the UAB Center for Palliative and Supportive Care. The Center for Palliative and Supportive Care and Hand in Paw have partnered since 2006, when Therapy Team Claire Peel and her cocker spaniel Moses made their first visit to the CPSC . Hand in Paw’s Petscription program is a perfect fit for delivering comfort and positive distrac- One of Hand in Paw’s early visits to Palliative Care in 2007 tions for patients and their family members. This honor given in memory of Tweety, Katie & Jim Lasker’s beloved greyhound, will ensure that Hand in Paw can serve people through our programs in the years to come. We are very grateful to the Laskers for their dedication to Hand in Paw’s mission.

Your Dog Could be Famous! Want your pet to be on Hand in Paw’s 2013 holiday card for all your friends and family to see? Well here’s your chance! Liz Young, Dog Photographer will host a holiday themed studio session with your furry friend for Hand in Paw to use on the cover of the 2013 holiday card. Bids will be accepted until October 26th so check back and bid often! For more information about Liz Young, visit her website at Interested in ordering your holiday cards from Hand in Paw? Email for more information. TO BID, VISIT:


Hand in Paw Contributions May 16th through September 30th In Honor Campbell, Mike and Wanda for Ellie Campbell Encore for Janice Clifford and Dusty Franklin, Beth for Paul & Martha Bryant, Jim & Katie Lasker, and HIP Staff LaGrone, Charles and Leah for Marriage of Sid and Chris Browning Smith, Jerry and Jane for Oliver Champaign Williams, Kaitlyn for Joann Williams Wood, Carolyn for Barbara Lee and Kay Knowlton

In Memory Bevis, Carol Lynne for Jean Gay Johnson Brookwood Medical Center Auxiliary for Gypsy Rose Cross Brown, Glenna for Sophie Graves Chazal, Edward and Susan for Eli and Sophie Cross, Kathy for Tupelo Honey Wall Eubank, Bill and Janice for Dylan Brogan Finch, Lane and Lisa for Patton and Camille Foster, Jo L. for Gypsy Rose Cross Franklin, Beth for Drumm Boswell Fulton, Ricky and Debbie for Meaghan Fulton and Fearless Shay Geiger, Carole for Zoe Farmer Gresham, William and Elizabeth for Dylan David Hadfield, Janet for Midnight Johnson, Phillip and Mandy for Cassie Connor LaGrone, Charles and Leah for Judy Darlen Gulledge Mohler Laird, Melanie T. for William H. “Speck� Hewlett Lassen, Hal and Wesley for Mazie Powell Layne, Jeff and Melannie for Copper McCutcheon and Drumm Boswell Logsdon, Kevin and Sharri for Larry Culver Lunsford, Ben & Christi for Jackson Bloodworth Major, Fred and Jennifer Dollar for Dustin Manley, Larry for Gloria Diamond Andrews Brown McClusky, Patrick and Susan for Gypsy Cross

Negrotto, Darlene for Pearl Croley Neville, John and Cindy for Eugenia Neville Nicholson, Kenneth and Mary Margaret for Jeanne Sue Thomas Harrelson Parsons, RG and Mary for Annabelle Bridges Petrofsky, Mark and Maureen for Austin Hayes Piassick, Karen & Joel for Daisy Kimerling Piola, Mariela for Barbara Mote and Tess Weinhold Rogers, Kim & Bruce for Daisy Kimerling Rothrock, Angela for Gracie Dodd Sevier, Lanny and Paula for Jackson McLeod Shay, Harold and Vicki for Fearless Shay Shook, Grady and Shelly for Java, Tupelo, Aussie, and Bryan Carr Slappey, Donald and Patti for Gunner Williams Speed, Jerry and Carol for Ben McDaniel, Mrs. Brecken ridge, Fearless Shay, and Paul Atkinson Stahlhut, Keith and Patti for Box Smith and Gypsy Cross Talley, Peppi for Daisy Kimerling Thompson, Jerry and Linda for Dodger Thompson and Willie Blankenship UAB Cardiovascular Perfusion for Gloria Andrews Brown Wall, Betty Sue for Gypsy Rose Cross Walton, Louise B. for Dylan David Weinberg, Harry and Rhonda for Clare Weinburg, Rhonda for Austin Hayes Williams, Linda W. for Nancy Treadwell Baggett Wilmoth, Lynn for Sweet P Rogers Wilson, Charlotte A. for Gypsy Rose Cross Wolford, Ed and Marianne for Barbara Mote Standifer Animal Clinic for Ruby Seigelman, Lizzy Sen sabaugh, Duke Barineau, Taffy Razek, Tyler Hill, Casey Young, Howard Rich, Daisy Wideman, Jojo McComb, Milo Murphy, Maggie Down ard, Bawney Conley, Lilly Kearse, Hovey Marbury, Doc Barber, Chase Caine, Chilli Kirschberg, Angel Matthews, Cricket Baughman, Sister Myer, Midnight Eckert, Lucy Carraway, Prissy Bratton, Frisky Kawell, Sam McCain, Lucy Lassiter, Fraulein Wall, Casey Phillips, Ben Joyce, Scarlett Cipollone, Maggie Crook, Brin Senner, Drez Montgomery, Suzy Skinner, and Spencer Mizerany

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Fall 2013  

Hand in Paw Newsletter