Service, Therapy, Companion and Donated Dogs
I decided to add this page to the website so you could have a better idea who we at Moss Creek Goldendoodles are and some of the things we have accomplished with our program over the last 12 years. The reason Moss Creek Goldendoodles breeding program was started was to share this amazing Dog. Well-bred Goldendoodles have the perfect temperament for therapy and service dogs.
Moss Creek Goldendoodles are detecting seizures, they are working as Diabetic Alert Dogs, Autism Dogs, Service Dogs, Companion dogs, etc. We are very proud of what we do here at Moss Creek and the reputation we have built. We are always learning and striving to do better.
Goldendoodles - the Perfect Service Dog
A therapy dog is a dog trained to provide affection and comfort to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, people with learning difficulties and stressful situations such as disaster areas. After raising most of our parent dogs from birth or 8 week old puppies, we started to see things in them that we had never seen in other dogs. Goldendoodles are intuitive, they have a sense about people and other animals, they seem to just know when something is off or not right with their people. If someone in the family is sick, they stick to them like glue. Well-socialized Goldendoodles love everyone they meet and the feeling is almost always mutual. If you watch people, the first thing they do when they see a Goldendoodle is smile. It's infectious and spreads.
It starts by having the right dogs
When we pick Parents for our Goldendoodles, it is with years of research and finding the lines that produce healthy therapy and service working dogs - consistently. We have learned the temperaments we don't want, the temperaments that produce too much energy, prey drive, etc. We have also learned the temperaments to breed together to produce the most amazing intuitive, sweet, smart, eager to please Goldendoodles. We are also very good at matching our families with the right puppy. We have chosen puppies for Animal Behaviorist, over 40 Veterinarians, Dog Trainers, etc. Like with anything you do for 12 years and are passionate about, you learn a lot and get really good at it. That is where we are at.
Increased Need for Service and Therapy Dogs
We get calls everyday and have seen a huge increase in the need for Seizure Alert Dogs, Diabetic Alert Dogs, Autism Dogs, Companion Dogs, Therapy Dogs and Service Dogs. More and more Physicians are recommending dogs and they are using Goldendoodles in their office to calm patients. This works really well with pediatric Dentist, Child Psychology, kids with Autism and Adolescents, etc. Our goal is to breed the temperaments needed for this kind of work also being able to be a loving cherished member of the family.
2 Years of Training
Breeding the perfect service dog temperament and donating English Golden Retrievers and Goldendoodles to organizations to train for Service and Therapy work has always been our passion here at Moss Creek Goldendoodles. Donating the puppy is just the beginning. The training that goes into a Service dog takes 2 years. Therapy work is a labor of love. It's a volunteer position but everyone of the families that do this work swear they're paid in ways some of us will never understand. Goldendoodles have a gift with people and they are perfect for this.
R.E.A.D. Program Service Dogs
Moss Creek Goldendoodles are part of the R.E.A.D. program all over the Country! Reading aloud to a therapy dog helps children improve reading skills. Our Goldendoodles can be found across the country participating in these programs. Here's a few of our favorites.
You may remember the movie Safe Harbor? It's based on a true story - Robbie & Doug's! Moss Creek had the amazing opportunity to meet Robbie and Doug from Safe Harbor in Jacksonville, Florida. They run an amazing program for boys. We were able to donate Sayler to Robbie and Safe Harbor and what happened was simply amazing. Sayler is a comfort to the boys and a reward when they get it right. She sleeps with all of them and has a great life where she is making a difference everyday. Below are some pictures of Sayler doing what she does best. We are so proud of her!
The Power of Pet Therapy
Pet therapy has proven to provide many benefits to patients including a decrease in anxiety and depression and an increase in energy, mental stimulation and optimism. A visit from a friendly pet can alleviate loneliness and isolation, reduce blood pressure and improve overall cardiovascular health. It can produce a soothing effect which helps to ease pain, reduce stress and improve one's overall outlook and emotional state.
Visiting Nurse and Hospice of Fairfield County recently launched its Pet Therapy program and volunteer, Harvey Kravetz, and his Certified Therapy Dog, Scooter, now bring cheer to patients in their homes, at nursing facilities and in the hospital. "The goal of the Pet Therapy program is to bring comfort to our patients and to lift their spirits," said Volunteer Coordinator, Laurie Petrasanta.
"Scooter gives me so much joy and I want to share that joy with others," said Harvey. "It's gratifying to see how wonderful Scooter is with patients and how they respond to him. He is very affectionate and a tremendous source of comfort. It's amazing to see how calming the presence of a dog can be for patients." It's not just patients who reap the rewards of pet therapy. Family members and friends say that they too feel better after having participated in a visit from a therapy dog. In addition to his specialized training in pet therapy, Scooter loves human contact and lots of petting. He is gentle, friendly and affectionate.
"Scooter makes everyone smile," said Harvey. "I'd feel selfish if I didn't let others enjoy him too." For more information about the Pet Therapy program, call Laurie Petrasanta at 203-762-8958, ext. 316.
Service Dogs comfort the sick and elderly
Kids and Canines in Tampa
Another program very close to Moss Creek's heart is Kids and Canines in Tampa. We have donated and bred many dogs for this program over the years. English Golden Retrievers and Goldendoodles depending on their need. At risk middle-school students are selected to participate in the Kids and Canines program located on the Dorothy Thomas campus. The puppies are trained for autistic children, assistant dogs, service dogs, etc. If you are in the Tampa area, check them out. They are always looking for volunteers!
Honey Bear - Seizure Detecting Goldendoodle
This is Jenny and her service dog Honey Bear. Honey is able to detect when Jenny is going to have a seizure. We are so proud of Honey and the many others doing this work! Honey Bear is from Lexie and Abraham. Jenny is now able to go to college because Honey Bear can alert her in time to tell someone. Jenny has more friends and some of her independence back. We donated every puppy in Lexie's last litter for Service work and some of the puppies are already showing signs that they too will be amazing Service Dogs.
PAWS for Love
Moss Creek donates puppies to several amazing organizations. We have had the pleasure of working with PAWS for Love. It is the brainchild of Jeannie Bates, founder of Southwest Florida Professional Dog Trainers Alliance. You can read more about this program and even help with sponsorship here - Southwest Florida PAWS for Love. We are so proud to be a part of this! - read article here!
I would need a whole page just for Rackley to tell you everything she has accomplished. Cathy has done an amazing job with her! Rackley is well known at all the Gainesville hospitals. This is why Moss Creek breeds Goldendoodles. The therapy dog program at Shands at UF gives patients the chance to enjoy a fuzzy comfort that is typically off-limits in the hospital. Rackley can also be found spreading the love at a local assisted living facility.
Delilah and Living With Lupus
I love this story about Delilah. I trained Delilah - she was so easy to train, the sweetest most intuitive Goldendoodle and I knew she was destined to do great things. When I spoke to Kathleen, it was clear exactly what that was. Letting Delilah go was really hard, but I knew she was going to change Kathleen's life - and that she did! Kathleen wrote the following article for the Goldendoodle.com website. Read the entire article here.
For the last 5 years, lupus has been a daily battle. The doctors have not found the right combination to get my immune system to settle down. While I have had good days, the tests always show the disease is active and I am at risk for damage to my organs and systems. Since having the furry stress reliever in my house, I noticed I am feeling better. It is hard not to with those doodle eyes and smiles. We walk most days at least a little.
When I went back to the doctor this week, he said my blood work showed I am in a medical remission. That is doctor-speak for "I have to take the medicine, but the illness is not destroying anything or giving me much trouble." It is the first time in 5 years. Thank God!
Anyway, this doctor is not the king of tact. He said it did not make sense because all the medicine is the same. He wanted to know what I was doing differently. I said I was not sure and he said "THINK". He asked a bunch of questions. None of it was what he was looking for. I randomly said that I got Delilah about the time the numbers started to improve. He asked a few more questions and said "Well, that is it. The dog put you into remission." He then shut his file and left.
After a few minutes, I opened the door to see if he was coming back. The nurse said she thought he was done. She opened the chart and started to laugh. I asked what was up and she turned it around for me to see. He had written "Dog works better than drugs. Keep dog and come back in 6 months."
Doodles are good medicine. Kelli, I want to thank you and your family for Delilah. She is by far one of the greatest blessings in my life. Thanks for reading my Moss Creek story,
Kathleen and Delilah
Clover - the Diabetic-Alert Dog
Read the amazing story of Clover posted on Orvis and written by Phil Monohan.
We have posted many times about how diabetic-alert dogs not only make life easier for those suffering from type 1 diabetes, but these animals can be life-savers. Clover joined the McKenzie family to watch over six-year-old, and just 8 days after she arrived, she made a fateful decision:
She left her spot next to River's bed about 20 minutes after he was tucked in, padded into Matt and Bethany's bedroom, and with a mighty SMACK of her paw on the ground, got their attention.
They got up and went in to check on River. A quick check of his blood sugar levels, and they had dropped, significantly.
"It had dropped from 118 to 40," said River's mom, Bethany. This is far below safe levels for a Type-1 diabetic. "He was in a pre-seizure state. He was shaky, and we couldn't get him to come to. He eyes were rolling back in his head and he was very sweaty. So we gave him some juice, but he was unable to get his lips around the straw."
Clover's quick action enabled River's parents to take action to stop the boy's blood sugar from dropping even further. Incredible stuff!Read the Entire Article: Clover the Diabetic-Alert Dog Proves Her Worth in 8 Days
This is a post from Linda - owner of Mandy - on the forum. Linda and Mandy make an amazing team!
Mandy is now 6 1/2 yrs old and I cannot believe she has been with us for so long as it seems like just yesterday. Mandy is a sweet and mellow dog. She is always aware of what's going on around her and wants to be in the center of the action even if it's just to check out the scene. Mandy has become the neighborhood dog as everyone loves her and thinks she is so sweet. We have 2 people who have been afraid of dogs since childhood but love our Mandy and will always stop by to pet her.
She is a certified Pet Therapy dog and made over 50 visits to a local children's hospital before it became too stressful for her. In the 3 years of visiting sick children she had some pretty awesome experiences that I was fortunate enough to share with her. One child about 6 years old hadn't walked in months and the hospital staff was trying to get her out of her bed just to stand. Her father spotted Mandy and I in the hallway and asked if we could come over to his daughter's room and wait outside the door. The little girl managed to not only get out of bed but with the help of her walker made it to the door so she could pet Mandy. The little girl cried all the way and kept asking for Mandy to come inside but with the help of her Nurse she made it. By the time the girl met us at the door we were all in tears.
On a separate occasion we entered a room where a Speech Therapist had arrived and was working with a child to try and get her to talk. As soon as Mandy walked into the room the little girl said "dog" and started to climb out of bed. The Therapist asked if we could join her on a little walk and while we were walking the child continued to talk to Mandy. Before I knew it we had two Doctors and several Nurses following us and listening to the child. True Miracles!
When we got Mandy I had never heard about Pet Therapy but after watching her with our Granddaughters and other children I knew Mandy was extra special.
Mambo - Our Oldest Service Dog
Our Oldest Moss Creek Goldendoodle Therapy dog is Mombo. She is 9! Mombo is owned by 2 very special people. Daniel wrote about Mambo for our forum and it pretty much tells her story. We've shown excerpts here. If you search the forum for "Mambo" there are some amazing stories there Daniel has posted over the years.
Mambo was actually purchased for my Wife, Terry. The idea with Mambo was Terry would take her to all her training classes, as that would have Mambo respond to Her commands. From the very beginning we had intended to have Terry be a Therapy Dog handler with Mambo. We let Kelli know this and it factored into her choosing Mambo for us. Mambo started training at only 12 weeks old, starting with basic puppy class. As you will read with all the doodles who start young, they stand out, head and shoulders above other breeds at puppy class, and at more advanced classes as well. Mambo had to take time off from about 8 months old to about a year and a half old because my Mom had moved in with us and was in dire need, not only for help, but to be watched over. Way before Mambo went to formal Therapy Dog classes, she was caring for my Mom.
There was one very touching moment, where it all seemed to 'click' for Mambo... My Mom was trying to get out of a chair. I would have of course helped her, but for as long as possible, she wanted to be in charge of her own mobility. I watched her try and get up about 5 times, once after another. Mambo less than a year old, sat in front of her and watched. After about the fifth try, my Mom was frustrated. She just held out both hands perpendicular to the floor, and shook them in front of Mambo, saying nothing. Within a moment Mambo put her head between the hands. My Mom latched on to her head and Mambo slowly backed up. My Mom was UP! Lots of 'Good Dog' from me (Mambo's Favorite treat) and Mambo pranced along side of my Mom to the bathroom. That one behavior was the start of it All. Mambo figured out at that Moment, her place in life. Soon she was helping my Mom get up every time, and not long thereafter Mom almost tumbled down during a walk, but reached for Mambo a little hard and I think hurt Mambo a little, but Mambo did not go down, and neither did my Mom. I guess out of a sense of self preservation, Mambo quit prancing and started paying attention. My Mom I suppose fortunately, if she is to fall, most frequently falls backward, and these days Mambo watches for that and uses her shoulder or side, to stop the fall before a fall to the ground is inevitable.
Mambo with Terry
Mambo returned to Class at about a year and a half. She was taught the 'normal' Therapy Dog things, such as be gentle, allow yourself to be stroked, don't bark unless requested to do so, and so on. All her classes were at Petco. Once she had mastered the basic stuff, the Therapy Dog trainer asked if since Mambo was a very large dog, as far as Therapy dogs go (the average weight is about 5 pounds) could Mambo be trained in special things like assisting those in wheelchairs and walkers. It was a challenge and one Terry was up for. So Mambo started training to walk along the side of folks in walkers, (which are noisy) without bumping them. She did the same for canes, and finally for wheelchairs. There was one person in a wheelchair for life, who was very tiny and had trouble with a manual wheel chair. The two of them became fast friends, and on their own, with time worked out a method there she would loop Mambo's leash around the front of the arm of the wheel chair, and would pull the woman around the store.
From early in her house training, if Mambo picked up something she should not have, we said 'thank you Mambo' and held out our hand, she would give us what she had in her mouth and we would replace it with either a toy or a treat. Mambo transferred this training to the wheel chair lady, and if in the store she would drop something to the floor, Mambo would retrieve it and put it in her lap for a treat. Mambo is not a big treat eater, so a perfectly acceptable treat is a Thank You Mambo, a smile and a pat on the head.
Most members of the organization have tiny or extremely passive dogs. Mambo (MOMBO in her professional name) is neither small or passive. Most of the handlers wanted to go to schools, or day care centers, or assisted living places. There was a HUGE need for dogs to go to depressing 'end of life' centers, or places where people go after amputations. There was a huge need for dogs to go to places where they could help with people sitting up, or stretching or moving in general, using the strength of the dog to help. This has become Mambo's specialty. Visiting such places is emotionally very hard on both the dog and the handler. A few Months ago Terry was seriously considering switching to Hospital duty, mostly involving cancer patients, many of whom are kids.
She missed a couple of weeks of visiting the 'end of life' center, which not only is end of life but also a Medicaid and Veterans facility. She got cards and calls from anguished folks 'Where is Mambo, most of which also inquired 'Is she OK, has she been hurt?' Terry went to meet with the administrators to talk about it. She was told what a huge difference she made, and even though she is not allowed to take any pictured in the facility, she was shown to a post board, which contained a clandestine acquired set of photos, of Mambo with her patients. Terry noted that even if they were in pain while stretching, or struggling to get up, if they were touching Mambo, they usually had some form of smile on their faces. Terry decided, no matter how hard the experience is on her and on Mambo, the good that comes from it, to truly desperate people, many of whom have no one else in the world, over weighs the difficulty of going there. She will miss a date, if she has to take her own Mom to a doctor's appointment, or if something else is wrong, but for the most part Wednesday's are dedicated to these most needy of needy folks, and Terry gets her warm feeling of helping, where her help is needed the most.