Doggone fun : Dogs bring smiles to final day of Tribune Home and Garden Show
March 5, 2017
Standing outside The Tribune Home & Garden Show on Sunday, Chesney the 8-year-old golden retriever seemed to smile as human after human bent down to pet him.
If it seemed like he was born for this, it's because he kind of was. Chesney's human, Helen Paul, is a first-grade teacher at Billie Martinez Elementary School.
For the first six years of Chesney's life, he and Paul visited Paul's dad at Kenton Manor nursing home each weekend.
"You can't just visit your loved one when you have a dog and you visit a nursing home," Paul said. "So my 15-minute visit with my father would turn into a two-hour visit with the Kenton community."
Those visits led to an invitation from North Colorado Medical Center for Chesney to be a therapy dog. After he earned his registration with the Alliance of Therapy Dogs, Chesney, named after the country music star Kenny Chesney, was in.
So what's Chesney's job?
"To bring love," Paul said. "To bring smiles. He reduces stress."
Chesney brought plenty of smiles on the final day of The Tribune Home & Garden show, which featured about 200 vendors offering myriad products and services. Paul said the goal in bringing him was to raise awareness about the therapy dog program. She said Chesney is one of a number of dogs who do similar work. And Chesney brings new meaning to the phrase, "Do what you love."
"I really enjoy watching him bring smiles to people," Paul said. "And he smiles. The tail never stops wagging. He'll smile, he'll pose for pictures — he just loves it."
Going to the dogs
Chesney wasn't the only four-legged star of the Tribune Home & Garden Show at Island Grove Events Center, 501 N. 14th Ave.
The Humane Society of Weld County was there doing its part to find its animals good homes.
Four pets were adopted Friday, and another four were adopted Saturday. The organization made inroads Sunday, as well, with the possibility of getting a two-for-one deal.
Volunteer Lorilee Scott made her way past the booths at the event, trailing behind Shiloh and Sammy. The female dogs, ages 2 and 8, respectively, were given up for adoption by a woman who had to move out of state for cancer treatment.
Shiloh and Sammy won't eat when they're separated, so the Humane Society of Weld County plans to adopt them out together as a "bonded pair."
Jenn Barday, with the organization, said people don't always think about adopting when it comes time to add a pet to the family. Whether it's Shiloh and Sammy, or any other dog, Barday hopes they will.
"It's really important for us," Barday said. "We're always trying to get (the animals) loving homes."
— Tyler Silvy covers city and county government for The Greeley Tribune. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Connect with him at Facebook.com/TylerSilvy or @TylerSilvy on Twitter.