Volunteers' Voice News for and about the Visiting Pet Program
August 2011 Volume 11, Issue 1

I looked at the calendar this morning and got a real scare! The year is slipping by so very quickly. The summer is practically gone and school will start in just a few weeks. And...come September...it's time to start our regular monthly visits. Where does the time go?

Claire Sommers, Program Coordinator spent her time this summer contacting all our facilities and arranging our visiting schedule for the next 4 months. The schedule is available on line at http://www.visitingpetprogram.org/ in the members only section. Be sure to submit your schedule to Claire no later than August 15th.

A number of our volunteers beat the heat and spent their time at a very special visit at the LSU Camp Tiger. Barbara Hyland once again represented us and spent time at the LASPCA's Care Cadet Camp, even attending the graduation ceremony. Be sure to check out articles and photos on both events.

Continuing education classes were another way our volunteers spent their time. More than 40 attended the seizure/CPR class offered in July. A nutrition/behavior class will be offered in August. Details are below. This is a don't miss educational opportunity!

Speaking of time...be sure to enjoy your time on your visits. Make the most of each moment, each connection. You'll probably never know how you have touched someone's life. To quote Maya Angelou: "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

So true.

Have a wonderful year visiting!

With thanks for all you do,
Lee Gaffney

Quick Links
Visit Schedule for Fall 2011

To Claire to schedule your visits

To the web site
Visiting Pet Program web site

To our Facebook page

In This Issue
  • Canine Campers
  • VPP at Camp Tiger
  • Nutrition/Behavior Workshop

  • Canine Campers

    Volunteer Barbara Hyland and her Greyhound, Prince, participated in two of LA/SPCA's Care Cadet Camps. The VPP team gave an educational presentation to the sixth and seventh graders to explain to them exactly what therapy visits are all about and why they serve a very important purpose. Following their training and graduation, the Care Cadets will serve as volunteers at the shelter and several will participate at the VPP evaluations.

    VPP at Camp Tiger
    2011 LSU Camp

    An enthusiastic group of VPP volunteers braved the summer heat and attended the LSU Camp Tiger in late May on the campus of Jesuit High School. Camp Tiger was founded in 1985 by first-year students from the LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans. Its mission is to give disadvantaged and challenged children an enjoyable summer camp experience. For the campers, this may be their only chance during the summer to socialize with other children without being singled out for their disability.

    The volunteers received a wonderful thank you note from the coordinators of Camp Tiger. In their thank you the coordinators said "We would like to express our sincere appreciation for your contributions to Camp Tiger 2011. You played an integral part in the success of this year's camp. Your handlers were extremely accommodating and the campers thoroughly enjoyed the dogs during our carnival at Jesuit High School. Without the support of people like you in our community this free, week-long camp for over 130 students from across the area would not be possible. For 26 years Camp Tiger has given children who are mentally and physically challenged the opportunity to have an amazing summer camp experience and you are part of this legacy."

    Volunteers who attended 2011 LSU Camp Tiger were:
    Lynne Aranda
    Connie Back,
    Gina Guarino,
    Sonja Flick,
    Frances Hecker,
    Barbara Hyland,
    Bob Klare,
    Jennifer Mueller,
    Carolyn Saunders,
    Joy Sturtevant
    Linda Wegmann.

    Nutrition/Behavior Workshop

    As part of our summer continuing education series, VPP member Melissa Ellis will offer advise to our members about K9 nutrition and its effects on behavior. This valuable presentation will be held on Wednesday, August 17th from 6:30pm-8pm at the Harahan Senior Center, 100 Elodie St., Harahan, LA.

    In addition to her therapy work with Hooch, the Puggle, Melissa has thirteen years experience training dogs in obedience, behavioral modification, search and rescue work (SAR), detection, and flyball. Melissa has deployed with her dogs all over the world, including the Lower 9th Ward following Hurricane Katrina, Aruba and Iraq.She teaches "K9 Mind Your Manners" and "Doggie Biggest Looser" classes for the Louisiana SPCA.

    Melissa's presentation will include a discussion about the different quality of kibble foods and treats on the market and what to look out for on the labels. She will explain how to assess your own dog for proper weight, how to reduce weight and how behavior is influenced by the type of food the dog eats. There will be a few demonstrations and time for questions and answers.

    Mark your calendars now and plan to attend this informative opportunity. Our thanks to Melissa for sharing her time and talents with all of us.

    For questions, email Lee Gaffney at terriergroup@gmail.com


    A donation was received from
    Mina Lea Crais
    in memory of the
    Du Plessis Family's dog

    Donations were received from
    Claire Sommers and Kevin Hand
    in memory of
    Maggie and Sterling Millet's

    A donation was received from
    Fay and Bill Schultz
    in memory of their friend
    Margie Hoover

    A donation was received from
    Claire Sommers
    and Lee and Tom Gaffney
    in memory of the
    Brenda Chetta's dog

    A generous donation was received from
    Connie Back.

    Donations were received from
    Nina and Al Bourgeios,
    Noela Dahl,
    and Pamela Lansing

    in memory of
    Nina and Al Bourgeois'

    About the Visiting Pet Program

    The Visiting Pet Program is an all volunteer 501 (C)(3) non-profit animal assisted therapy organization serving Orleans, Jefferson and St. Tammany parishes.

    For the past 24 years, the volunteers of the VPP have lived up to their motto of "Bringing Love and Leaving Smiles" to the residents of nursing homes and hospitals.

    Our literacy project, Reading to Rover, offers young readers the opportunity to practice their reading aloud skills to the gentle therapy dogs.

    If you would like to make a donation to the Visiting Pet Program, please click on the button below or mail your check to 5831 S. Johnson Street, New Orleans, LA 70125. Please note if your donation is in memory of a person or a pet. We will be happy to send an acknowledgment of your donation to the family. Please include the name and address to send the acknowledgment. Because we are a 501(C)(3) organization, your donation is tax deductible. We are an all volunteer organization. Your donation goes directly to the support of our mission.
    Thank you

    Take Note!


    New Pet/Handler Evaluation

    Saturday, September 10th

    Harahan Senior Center
    100 Elodie
    Pre-registration required
    Contact Barbara Hyland to register

    Reading To Rover

    On the East Bank
    Held on the third Tuesday of each month
    at the East Bank Regional Library
    4747 W. Napoleon in Metairie

    On the West Bank
    Held on the second Sunday of each month
    2751 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey
    from 2:00pm-3:00pm

    Events are now being planned in conjunction with the STAIR program. Please contact Fay for upcoming times and locations

    Contact Fay Schultz
    to confirm your slot at any of these
    Reading To Rover


    The following VPP members recently retired their pets from several years of service to the community. Our sincere thanks goes to all of them:

    Harold Putfark retired Mikey. Mikey joined VPP in 2000 and was a regular visitor at East Jefferson General Hospital (EJGH).

    Meri Kreps retired Dasher. Dasher joined VPP in 2009 and was a regular visitor at Jo Ellen Smith.

    Ginger Morvant retired Woody. Woody joined VPP in 2001 and was a regular visitor at St. Magnolia School.


    to Maggie and Sterling Millet on the loss of their precious
    Tabasco joined the VPP in 2006 and was a regular visitor at St.Anna's. We are truly appreciative of all the joy Tabasco brought to the residents he visited.

    and to Brenda Chetta
    who lost her beloved, Maggie
    Maggie joined the VPP in 2001. She was a regular visitor at Chateau Living Center.

    Tabasco and Maggie were very special and will be missed by all who met them. Our deepest sympathies to Maggie and Sterling, and to Brenda for the loss of their special pets.

    If you have a Facebook account, please join Visiting Pet Progam on Facebook.

    Quick Links...

    Visiting Pet Program Web site

    Monthly Schedules for Fall 2011

    Visiting Pet Program Facebook Page

    Help VPP by shopping through IGive

    Shop for great therapy dog books at Dogwise

    phone: 504-432-8349 Fax: 504-324-0963