Molly the Versatile Vizsla

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Chew My Antlers had the pleasure of meeting Connie and Molly at a Helping Paws Inc. Wag Walk & Run event. Molly has a wonderful, heart-warming story, and she loves antler chews to boot. Below is her story written by Connie Priesz:

My precious therapy partner is Molly. We have been a registered therapy team since August 2011. We began training, socializing, and having fun together since we met when she was just 3 months old. She has such a wonderful personality and really loves people. I was thrilled when we both successfully completed all the requirements to become a therapy team when she was only 19 months old. Since I love to read and she loves relaxing with children the R.E.A.D. program was a beautiful fit for us.

We began visiting the Carver County Libraries in Minnesota once a month. During the summer, she visits the libraries two times a month for the students to read to her on summer break. Last week, a boy in first grade came to read to Molly. His father whispered in my ear that his son was having trouble reading and that he did not like it too much. Then the boy proceeded to read three books to Molly! This boy was pleased with his reading and did not stumble on words as he read aloud. He was very proud of him. Molly laid her head on his lap as he petted her and read. The boy said he would practice so he can read to Molly again! This is just one of numerous examples of how children enjoy reading to Molly and why we find it so rewarding.

Molly worked her magic again at a recent R.E.A.D. event at a local elementary school. That very same night after the event the coordinator of the event received this note from a parent.

My daughter read with Molly tonight and we were amazed on how well she did! She is in kindergarten and has been struggling with reading but there was something different tonight. Molly definitely helped my daughter and it was neat to see! I'm just in awe of how well my daughter did and how proud of herself she was when she was all done! She is also going through speech therapy and is sometimes not confident on her capabilities. What a difference we saw tonight!!! What a great service you and the R.E.A.D. dogs offer!

In addition to R.E.A.D., each month Molly visits residents in a nearby senior housing facility. A sign with her picture on it advertises our visit to the residents. Sunday afternoons are often a time when residents may especially miss their families or feel lonely. Molly visits each person in the assembled circle of 6 to 13 residents that are there specifically to see her. She is petted, hugged, and listens to many stories. I answer all kinds of questions about Molly, such as how she is groomed, what she eats, and how she plays. It is a great way to spend an afternoon for both the residents and Molly and me.

Recently we started working in the Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury clinics at the local veterans’ hospital. We assist the patients to help meet their goals as designed by the hospital therapist. We had the joyful experience of hearing one particular veteran who had not spoken in quite some time say, “Hello Molly.” This was truly one of our most rewarding experiences to date.

We enjoy working in our community to enhance the animal-human bond with people of all ages. Molly so beautifully demonstrates her versatility helping both young children and older adults. It is very heartwarming and rewarding to meet new people and see my Molly also enjoy interacting with them. Molly and I are looking forward to many more years together volunteering and enjoying new experiences.

-Connie Priesz and Molly

To read more about Molly and to keep up with her activities, visit her Facebook page.

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