Helping Others Pawsitively Everyday

Pawsitively Happenings
April 2022

“Dogs are not our whole life, but they to make our life whole”
– Snoopy
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Founder's Note

We had so much fun this month seeing so many old and new friends at various community events.  
Our return to Woofstock in Anthem was amazing after a two-year hiatus.  We said hello to so many friends that knew us from the beginning and also met a bunch of new friends.
A couple of weeks ago, we had the chance to bring smiles through waggin’ tails to our officers at Las Vegas Metro.  The pups pranced around bringing smiles, laughter, and love to our everyday heroes.
Keep watch for upcoming announcements as we have a ton of new and fun events to take part in within the next few months.
We are so grateful for your friendship and support.

As always Pawsitively,
Stephanie Gerken
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Available in Short/Long Sleeve in Grey or White 
April 1st through June 30th 

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"Assistance Dog Team" Spotlight

Great Day!  My name is ODIN KANE BOLTON, born on January 6, 2019, being puppy #8 born of a total pack of 10 puppies.  The home I was born into has had dogs since 1995. Theresa + Rick are great ‘Bipeds’ to my mom (XENA ALANA CANENS) and dad (MOCHA AIDAN FLINT), providing a loving home. I was stillborn and “Mother “Theresa was able to revive me. Because I was stillborn I was named ODIN after the Norse God. As a puppy, I was a true challenge. I was a problem puppy in the pack, waking up all the others, and I would sing (howl) whenever I wanted something, especially when I was hungry.
We have a special home here. I am so much like my mom, never being away from the pack for very long. Along with mom + dad, I started life with two uncles – Ace + Chance.  Chance was the best and was extremely laid back.  I could run and steal anything he had from treats to toys. Chance always had the best stuff!  The only two traits I got from my dad are barking and being afraid of water.  Everybody else in the Clan are swimming fools.
Because of me being so ‘special’ and all of my canine talents, I was marked to be Rick’s Service Dog. At first, I was not thrilled with having to be a Service Dog. A Service Dog has to listen and execute commands. Many people thought I was a union worker.  Why you ask?  I would work for 40 minutes and then take a break and stop working. We worked through that Union challenge and we continued my training.  Because of COVID, it took longer than usual to get trained. Rick goes to a lot of different locations – some even take care of Dogs such as Walgreens and Starbucks. Currently, I help Rick with Diabetes detection (both high + low), calming Rick with his PTSD (both when awake and when he is having bad dreams), provide him assistance with getting up after a fall, perform ‘cover’ when we are out in public and can help him to find a place to sit down, open ‘Handicapped’ doors by pressing the large buttons, act as an automatic ‘icebreaker’ in difficult situations, bring items to Rick that he has dropped such as his phone or medications, and just being his companion. Of course, I know how to pick out and carry my own treats to the checkout counter.

"Get Involved"
April Spotlight

As a young pup, I never imagined the impact that I could make on humans.

I was just 10 months old when my “pawrents” took me with them to visit a friend who was in a large building that had lots of injured humans who were working hard to get better – I think they called it rehabilitating.

As I walked down the hallways, I saw many sad humans in wheelchairs but then I noticed that most of those sad faces turned to smiles as we made eye contact. Many called me over to them and ask my “pawrents” if they could pet me. It made me so happy that they liked me and I could sense a change in their mood. Over and over again, I heard these humans tell my “pawrents” “You made my day” – now I don’t know how I made their day, but, if I made it a little better, I knew that was good.  They were happy, I was happy, and I could see that it made my “pawrents” happy – and that is my goal – I am a Good Boy!

About a year later my “pawrents” and I went to Woofstock in Sun City Anthem. As I led my family to the booths I wanted to visit, I found Michael’s Angel Paws and met someone who would change my life: Stephanie Gerken. Steph told my “pawrents” that if I was a Good Boy, I could become a THERAPY DOG and make people smile and be happy.  I thought “Oh Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy! That’s what I want to do – Please, Please, Please”. So, my “pawrents” signed me up with Michael’s Angel Paws, I passed the test (I’m a Good Boy), and now I am a certified Therapy Dog.  I have enjoyed visiting schools, working conventions at hotels, and comforting humans attending solemn ceremonies related to OneOctober, Covid, and a memorial service at Nellis Air Force Base. 

My “pawrents” and I are now scheduled to work weekly at St. Rose Hospital and Sunrise Children’s Hospital. Week after week I gain new experiences meeting a variety of humans. I have learned that the humans in bed who are attached to machines with wires and tubes are very sick. Many times, there are other humans (caregivers) in the room who are OK physically but are very stressed or upset. Then there are the humans in uniforms-I did not understand why they always wanted to touch me. They usually had smelly hands (sanitizer) or rubber gloves which I didn’t like, but my “pawrents” always stopped at the Nurse’s Stations and for Doctors and staff in the hallways encouraging me to acknowledge them. Finally, I realized that the uniformed humans are like my veterinarian – they help the sick humans get better. They say that I also help them get better. And I help the stressed humans and the uniforms also. I like helping humans be happy and to forget their troubles for a little bit. I am happy when I hear “You made my day.”  My “pawrents” are incredibly happy that I am a Michael’s Angel Paws THERAPY DOG.

I love to make my “pawrents” happy!    I am a Good Boy!
Volunteer Opportunities Include
Assistance Dog Program
Puppy Raisers
Date Entry

Therapy Dog Program
Therapy Dog Team Members
Therapy Dog Team Assistant

Community Dog Training Program
Social Media

If you would like to "Get Involved" let us know.
Helpful Hints for walking your pup on a loose leash
One of the hardest cues or behavior to teach is having your pup walking calmly by your side. It takes lots of patience and consistency. Here are some helpful hints to get you on your way!
Things you might need:
A collar or harness:  buckle collar, Martingale, head halter (like the Gentle Leader or Halti), or front-clip harness (Easy-Walk or Freedom No-pull)
A lead:  4-foot or 6-foot length (not a retractable leash)
And we feel – Treats!
To start:
  1. Fill your pocket or treat pouch with treats.
  2. Decide what side you’d like the pup to walk on, and hold a few treats on that side of your body. For example, if you’d like your pup to walk on the left side, hold treats in your left hand.
  3. Hold your leash in the hand opposite the pup. For example, if your pup is on your left, hold the end of the leash in your right hand.  Let the rest of it hang loosely in a “J”.
  4. Take a step, then stop.  It’s okay if the pup doesn’t stay in the “heel” position. Feed the dog some treats from your hand, in line with the seam of your pants.  This will help you position the pup.
  5. Repeat. Take a step, stop, feed a treat at your side, along the seam of your pants. 
  6. When the pup is looking eagerly up at you for more treats, take two steps instead of one before stopping and feeding the pup.
  7. If the pup pulls ahead, stop walking immediately.  Call your pup back to you, or use the treats in your hand to lure the pup back to your side, but don't treat yet: take two to three steps forward before feeding.  This is to prevent teaching a sequence like: “I pull ahead, I come back, I eat.” We want them to learn that walking alongside you on a loose leash makes treats happen, not pulling.
  8. Gradually take more steps between each treat. You can talk to your pup to help keep her attention on you.
Sounds easy, doesn’t it! It is and we can help! Call Michael’s Angel Paws and let’s get your pup into a class! See you soon!

"Canine Coach" Spotlight

Janet was born and raised in Central California and as a young adult, she moved to Las Vegas. She grew up riding and competing with horses and her competitions took her throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Her competing days with horses came to an abrupt end when she was diagnosed with MS in 1997. Not letting her diagnosis define her, she discovered a new life of learning how to thrive with this disease while helping others. She wasn’t sure where this was going to take her until she received the gift of independence through a four-legged friend.

Janet received her first service dog in 2005 and enjoyed the freedom the dog was able to give her as the dog was trained to help open doors and pick up items for her, by her constant companion. While receiving this gift, inspired her to learn everything about Assistance Dogs to help others receive the same sense of freedom. She has been training dogs and Assistance Dogs since 2005!

“Changing lives one dog a time”

Assistance Dog Program


Our Assistance program trains and provides dogs for people with disabilities - sometimes visible and sometimes invisible.

"Get Involved"
Therapy Dog Program

Our "Get Involved" provided opportunities through which you can support Michael's Angel Paws, give back to the community, and be an advocate for everything Dogs.

Community Dog Training Program

Our programs offer our very best in dog training to the Las Vegas community. We train Basic Obedience to Advanced Obedience, AKC Certified Canine Good Citizenship (AKC/CGC), and train teams to join our Therapy Dog Program.
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To inspire timeless and trusted relationships through a common passion for canines, their companions, and helping our communities.
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COVID-19 Statement

To protect the safety of you, others, and your animals, Michael’s Angel Paws insists that you review the Center for Disease Control & Prevention COVID-19 guidelines and policies from time to time and diligently adhere to them.  More generally, Michael’s Angel Paws encourages our volunteers to be vaccinated, always wear your mask, socially distance, wash your hands and/or use sanitizers frequently.  In addition, many of Michael’s Angel Paws community partners (e.g., hospitals and clinics) may require visitors to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative test result. We will use our best efforts to keep you informed of those partners’ requirements, but it is ultimately your responsibility to know them and provide appropriate documentation if required and Michael's Angel Paws will not be held liable for any failure to follow these guidelines.

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