Tedrow calls the narrated fashion show the “Fun Bunch,” but the Pet-A-Pal dogs have other jobs, too. Sometimes they’ll spend a day visiting with folks at a nursing home. Other times, they visit day cares or elementary schools to teach pet safety.
Right now, the “Fun Bunch” includes a diverse group of dogs. Tedrow’s dachshund/Jack Russell named Peanut and her terrier mix named Khristy are part of the crew. Frank brings her two 70-pound Labradors. There’s also a chocolate poodle named Kitty, and a Bichon Frise called Dasher.
The group has had as many as 15 dogs, and they come in all shapes and sizes, from 4 pounds to 140.
“We’ve had as large as a Newfoundland – that is a very big dog – all the way down to Chihuahua. We go from one extreme to another,” said Tedrow.
Dogs must be up-to-date on their shots. Tedrow evaluates the dogs to make sure they can handle the job. She noted that the hand dexterity of some of the residents may cause them to grab onto the dog’s fur and not let go easily.
“We don’t want the dogs to snap at them,” said Tedrow. She said dogs must also be comfortable around all the appliances like wheelchairs and walkers. Another prerequisite is an owner who can be consistent about showing up for visits or shows.
Tedrow said that the late Jo Rehm founded Pet-A-Pal with her Akita, named Koz, more than two decades ago when Rehm’s own mother was in a nursing home.
”She saw a need. People in nursing homes or assisted living — they need to have some sort of pet contact,” said Tedrow. She has been involved in Pet-A-Pal for 17 years.
“We volunteer for this because we love doing it,” said Tedrow. “We’d love to have some more people.”
“We would love to have anybody interested get in touch and let us meet your dog,” said Rattler. Give them a call at 621-5975.
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