Helping Others Pawsitively Everyday

Pawsitively Happenings
August 2022

“Happiness if a pile of leaves.” 
– Snoopy
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Founder's Note

It’s been ten years - ten years! Where did the time go? What would Michael’s impact have been?  The lyric from Seasons of Love goes through my mind – “…of so many minutes, so many moments, how do you measure the impact?”.
You measure it in the friendships, lives changed, milestones, laughter, tears, fears conquered, and joy.
We’ve had the privilege to graduate 140 Assistance Dog teams, 390 Therapy Dog teams, 10 Facility Dog teams, and 400 Canine Good Citizen graduates, and have saved thousands of dogs from our local animal shelter. Our Therapy Dog teams have donated over 100,00 hours of bringing smiles through waggin’ tails to so many in our community near and far.
We are so thankful to all of you for your support and this couldn’t have been done without our guardian angel Michael.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

As always Pawsitively,
Stephanie Gerken
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"Assistance Dog Team" Spotlight

Dear Overton, 

I remember driving home with you in my lap. I was so nervous about being your mom. You were just a tiny little fluff yet confident and full of wonder but when you looked up at me, a big smile on your furry face, I instantly knew, in my heart, you were my best little buddy and all my fears went away. 

It's amazing how time has flown. Seems like just yesterday I was teaching you your first "sit" and how to give kisses. Training every day with yummy treats and seeing what new tricks we could try.. I think it's one of my favorite things. I love seeing how happy we both are when we know you nailed it. You're so smart and I'm so proud of everything you've accomplished in your service dog program. 

You, my little bear, are the best decision I've ever made. Thank you for bringing so many laughs. Thank you for sleepytime snuggles. Thank you for always looking out for me and for always being by my side. You have saved me more than you'll ever know. I love you so much. 

Sincerely with love fur-ever,

"Assistance Dog Team"
"Home Helpmate"

"Volunteer" Spotlight

Hi, my name is Duke. I’m a 2-year-old Australian Shepherd. I first met my human, Rod, when I was 8 weeks old. He was really, really big and didn’t look like my mom at all! Still, he was nice and I liked him a lot so I decided to go home with him. Boy am I glad I did. We play ball or frisbee every day, go hiking in the mountains, and even go to agility classes. Frisbee is my favorite playtime and everyone says I’m really good at it. My favorite place to go is our cabin in Colorado. I run and play all day in the river and the mountains.

I really like humans so this year Rod and I trained to become a therapy team with Michael's Angel Paws. Wow, is that rewarding! We visit hospitals, schools, and senior facilities to visit with all sorts of different people. My favorite part is when I go say hi to someone and they hug me and don’t want to let go. It makes me feel warm and happy inside knowing I’m making humans feel good. Since I’m only 2, Rod and I plan to help Michael Angel Paws for a long time. Let me know if you want us to come and visit you!

Your friend,

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.
Canine Coach Farewell
Fare Thee Well and not “Goodbye”
It gives me great pride and sadness to announce that our beloved Canine Coach Ms. Melissa Parker has decided to move way from Michael’s Angel Paws and pursue her passion of dog training and welfare to another level!
We met Melissa back in 2021 and she gave us a quirky but extremely confident interview. She took on her responsibilities with gusto and maintained a very high level of professionalism that’s hard to find. She continued her passion for dog training by continuing her education in our industry and became Certified Pet Dog Trainer -KA. While working for us, studying dog training and helping other dog organizations she took care of several dogs in her home further following her heart on helping dogs of all types throughout the Las Vegas Valley. She’s a champion of our industry!
As a Canine Coach for Michael’s Angel Paws she was always there to lend a helping hand if another coach needed her support for a class and or advise. Her contributions to Michael’s Angel Paws culture and sharing her knowledge and love for dogs with the other Coaches was a huge asset and will be sorely missed.
So it is with great honor that we bid our dear Melissa Fair Thee Well and Best of Luck!
Thank you Melissa!
A positive way to look at “Discipline” or making boundaries!
Sometimes it is not so easy living with our pups!
Often it’s VERY difficult to correct poor or unwanted behaviors. Trying to remain calm and patient are the cornerstones of a good doggy parent. Letting your pup know when they’ve done something correctly is always important, don’t take your doggy for granted. We sometimes forget when they may have done something you didn’t like and we correct them, we forget to reward them for doing what we wanted!
Here are some more tips and simple reminders on ways we can better communicate with our pups! 
Redirecting or “Re-booting”
Number one – if you notice your pup is misbehaving and or is not correcting the unwanted behavior that he/she is doing at any given moment i.e. if he/she starts barking or getting anxious around strange people; you can give him/her a command to sit, look at you or watch you. In other words, you need to replace poor behavior with correct behavior. Practicing basic obedience commands with your dog can be really helpful for many situations. Don’t forget to praise and treat (Reward) your pup!
Good timing when we are trying to correct unwanted behavior is paramount! You need to praise your doggie and/or give him/her a treat or a pet very quickly at the moment the pup does what you want! Those corrections may be very subtle at first but they need to be addressed to help your pup learn. You need to constantly monitor the behavior of your pup, especially if we have a very young doggy or a pup that has been neglected for some time. It won’t help the training process if you reward your dog for something that he/she did a 5 minutes prior. He/she is not likely to understand why exactly you are praising him/her and will not associate the reward with the cue or behavior you are looking for. 
Knowing how to encourage and reward in a timely fashion good behavior in a doggy’s life will save you a lot of trouble in the long run. Most importantly, have fun and if something you’re trying doesn’t work take breather and RE- BOOT!
Patience, Consistency and Practice
These three words are the foundation for a proper training program and succeeding in communicating the most effective way to “discipline your doggy”. Do not get discouraged if you face difficulties during the training process and you will. Simply take a deep breath and start over OR take a break. 
Be consistent in what you are trying to convey to your dog. Once you understand what approaches work for your dog, what treats or toys he/she likes, what cue words lead to the completed cue or behavior, please remain on task. Give it some time before taking a new direction. 
Once your pup obtains the skills and manages to perform given cues or behaviors, do not take this for granted. You MUST keep practicing these so that your dog continues behaving well and stays physically and mentally fit.
Sounds easy doesn’t it! Well, it is and we can help! 

Help Please

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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