Helping Others Pawsitively Everyday

Pawsitively Happenings
May 2022

“Life is better with a dog”
– Snoopy
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Founder's Note

The joy of summer is at our fingertips, full of exciting new adventures for you to join us in the next coming months.
Stay tuned for June 1st as we announce our first adventure for you to take part in with your pup!
As always Pawsitively,
Stephanie Gerken
New Fundraising Shirt Available Now!
Now Selling 
Available in Short/Long Sleeve in Grey or White 
April 1st through June 30th 

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"Assistance Dog Team" Spotlight

Having Harvest as an Assistance Dog has meant that I can live life as close to normal as possible. Harvest allows me to go into public without the crippling anxiety attacks I experience as well as not having to worry about a medical episode striking. The training through Michael Angel’s Paws has made all of this possible. They worked with Harvest and trained him how to cover me and create a personal space bubble when I am in public so people cannot walk right up to me. They showed me how to work with Harvest on scent training so that he alerts me when my blood sugar dips too low. Harvest also picked up on alerting me with another medical episode on his own and he will wake me up when I am having a nightmare. I am thankful that I have my best friend and Assistance Dog every day as he has given me a sense of freedom in life back. 
Summer Safety Tips

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April Spotlight

Hi, I’m Jake and I am a very happy dog!

I am a 3-year-old Mini Golden Doodle, born in Indiana.  My mother is an English Cream Golden Retriever and my father is a white Miniature Poodle. I get my white, very soft coat from my parents. 

Before “Mom” found me, she knew she wanted a smart, lovable, non-shedding, calm dog that could go on car trips with her and my dad.  I nailed the first three, but I had LOTS of work to do before anyone would call me “calm” as I loved to play all the time.  Thankfully, Mom found Michael’s Angel Paws and Steph.  After a lot of training at home and in classes, I finally got it.  It wasn’t easy - some days I just couldn’t sit still and Mom let me run around until I could pay attention in class again.  

The day I had my Therapy Dog Certificate Exam I was very anxious.  I was only 1 and still very much a puppy.  I had to pay close attention to Mom as we walked through a Farmers Market where EVERYONE wanted to touch me. I was so excited to get my certificate and Mom was so proud; she knew how hard I worked!

I couldn’t use my new skills for a while because everything was closed since people were sick with COVID.  As soon as she could, Mom contacted Sunrise Hospital and I started making kids, doctors, and nurses happy just by being with them.  Then, I started to visit people at Summerlin Hospital.  I met a special friend, a man who had been in the hospital with cancer for many weeks.  He didn’t have any visitors because his family lived somewhere else so the nurses asked Mom if we could visit him.  When he saw me, he cried & I thought I hurt him.  I was so worried, but he said they were happy tears because he missed his dogs so much.  We visited him every week for months and I couldn’t wait to see him, we had such a special bond!  Sometimes the nurses would stand in the hall just to watch us together.  He is better now and not in the hospital anymore and although I miss him, I’m so glad that I helped him.

My Mom loves me and the opportunity to volunteer in such a unique way.   We are so thankful that we found Steph and Michael’s Angel Paws!  
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.
How to get your Pup's Attention

The “Name Game” (Attention) probably the most important cue we can teach our four legged friends!

Teaching and keeping our pup’s attention during training is the foundation of all other work the two of you will do together. Once he/she has learned to pay attention, he or she will be able to learn very quickly.

Step 1 – Positively say your pup’s name (try and not repeat his/her name).  To create positive experience with your pup’s name, prepare some “high” value treats, something that he/she doesn’t normally get.
With your pup on a leash and looking at the treat in your hand, say your pup’s name in a happy, upbeat tone. As with all training, treat timing here is essential: say “GOOD” and offer the treat immediately once he/she looks up at you!  Continue this positive, training sessions for a few more repetitions. It’s important that you don’t allow your pup to become bored. When you see that he/she is bored, restless, try and end with a positive note or successful session. These sessions should only last about 10 to 15 minutes to start. 

Step 2 – Training DURATION “Name Game”
After successful repetitions with his/her name, your pup should look at you when you say his/her name.  With this cue in place, you’re ready to move on to one of the most important commands an owner can teach a dog.
“Name” game with duration -  you’ll hold a high-value treat next to your shoulder. Say, “name” and reward the dog immediately when his eyes meet yours start silently counting 1001, 1002, 1003 etc… if you get to “3” say GOOD and treat immediately. Over some sessions, you’ll gradually ask your pup to increase the time he/she’s expected to keep his/her eyes on you; eventually, he/she will stay in place even if you move about or turn your back.

Step 3: “Name Game!” On the Move
Once he’s solidly learned “Name Game” try practicing with your pup on the morning walk. As you near a spot that may cause a distraction say, “Name”. When he/she looks up at you, choosing your gaze over the distraction, say GOOD and give a treat immediately with praise!

Step 4: Overcoming Distraction
Over time, you’ll be able to expect your dog to look at you no matter what’s happening. So “Name Game” will be a cue that you’ll want to continue to work on in various situations.

Initially, you can have a friend or loved one toss a bouncy ball or squeaky toy past your dog. When he’s able to stay focused on you despite the enticing distraction, reward him/her a lot! Increase the distractions by working in the park, near a school playground etc.... Choose something that you are certain will make it challenging for him to keep his eyes on you, reward him with carefully-timed treats and praise, and remember to keep sessions short and upbeat.

Step 5: Always Praise you pup for doing things well!!!
One of the biggest aspects of training is we forget to reward when are pups are doing well. If you notice your pup looking up at you for no particular reason, tell her or him GOOD and treat! If you pup ignores another doggie that is walking by, say GOOD and treat! He/she is also more likely to keep checking in with you, which will in turn you’ll have his/her attention all the time. 

Sounds easy doesn’t it! It is and it’s fun! Call us we can help!

"Get to Know" 

Since I was little, I have always known that I wanted to work with animals, dogs in particular. The simple joy they can bring to brighten up one's day is second to none, and the ability to communicate with and earn a dog’s trust is something that I have always taken exceptional pride in, and continue to hone my skills at every day. Having moved to Las Vegas just under two years ago from the east coast, I am very fortunate to have made a connection with an organization such as Michael’s Angel Paws shares a similar passion and love for animals of all kinds. Each day is a new learning experience, as every dog and every situation is unique, and I appreciate the opportunity to get to know and work with every single one!

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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