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judges 2011


Entry Category Therapy Dogs
Charity Partner Hand in Paw
Location Seattle, Washington


AKC ACE AWARD - Category: Therapy Dog
Portuguese Water Dog
Ch. Stargazer’s Gatinha Do Algarve, RN, ThD
Pet Partner (Retired)
Therapy Dogs International, Inc. (Retired)
Project Canine Connecting Canines Therapy Dog (Founding/Semi-Retired)

“Kitty” was born on April Fool’s Day, 1999. From the day she came home at eight weeks, Kitty showed uncommon kindness in a young puppy, and she began her training and visiting as a therapy dog in myriad facilities throughout Seattle. In the 14 years since, Kitty has proven herself up to the challenge, as well as finishing her championship by age three and raising four litters of puppies, many of them now working therapy dogs like their mother.

Throughout her therapy career - which is winding down to retirement - Kitty has averaged 20 hours or more per week visiting and working with:
• 12+ years visiting at-risk high school students twice weekly
This program has trained at-risk students to work with therapy dogs, and
to present them quarterly to elementary school students
• 5+ years visiting at Swedish Hospital
Units regularly visited included Rehabilitation, Antepartum, and other units
• 11+ years visiting Gero-Psychiatric patients weekly at Northwest Hospital
These visits focus on memory work and orientation to surroundings
• 11+ years visiting weekly at Fircrest Residential Habilitation Center, home to medically fragile persons with profound developmental disabilities
These visits work with non-verbal individuals, providing sensory stimulation
• 14 years visiting nursing homes, assisted living or retirement facilities weekly
• 6+ years visiting Maximum Security prison inmates weekly (empathy program)
• 8+ years visiting domestic violence safe houses whenever needed
• 13+ Years as mentor dog for therapy dog classes and workshops of Pet Partners and Project Canine, and being Neutral Dog for hundreds of therapy dog examinations
• Founding Reading With Rover dog
• Spokesdog promoting animal assisted therapy throughout Washington

Kitty has logged just over 18,700 hours in her almost 14 years of Therapy work. She has inspired countless people to volunteer with their dogs. Though deafness and aging issues have all but retired Kitty from visiting, she still makes special appearances throughout the region.

Ch. Stargazer’s Gatinha Do Algarve, RN, TD aka “Kitty”
Nominated for: ACE AWARD = Therapy Dog Nominee (Portuguese Water Dog)
Laurie Hardman, Owner; Do Gato PWDs, AKC Breeder of Merit

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