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Helping Others Pawsitively Everyday

Pawsitively Happenings
June 2022

“Never forget to SMILE”
– Snoopy
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Founder's Note

First off, thank you for supporting our first-ever Michael’s Angel Paws Calendar!  It was a huge success and exceeded our expectations.  I’m excited to meet the winners as I saw a few familiar faces and new faces too.  We are grateful for our partnerships with Subaru of Las Vegas and Bark Gallery for making this vision a reality.  
 
On a side note, stay tuned for our announcement of the Save the Date as we celebrate 10 years of H.elping O.thers P.awsitively E.veryday!   Just as we’ve impacted other lives, everyone one of you has made an impression on my life to change, adapt, learn, grow, find joy, laugh, and to have fun!  Each dog that has become part of the family has also taught us so many lessons.
 
As always, thanks for letting us be a part of your pup’s journey.

 
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 
$30

 
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"Assistance Dog Team" Graduates

"Assistance Dog Team" Spotlight

If someone would have told me that I would be needing and have a service dog, I would have laughed.  

Harley is now the center of that laughter and joy.  She has given me so much not only by being a serving dog, but my constant companion and friend.

This year had been a learning curve for both of us and her ability to adjust to a newly diagnosed medical condition is nothing short of miraculous.  Not only did she pick up on the signs, but she also assisted and even learned to press the life alert device.  Amazing huh?

In conclusion, I really don’t know how I could have survived without her loyalty, intuition, and companionship. She is a blessing. Many thanks for connecting her to me and the work that your organization does.

Stacey and Harley

"Get Involved" Spotlight

Hi Everyone My name is Dreamer and I am quite the Diva!!

I am a 3 year old Yellow English Labrador Retriever. My dad is Fox Red and my mom is almost White, I am a mix of both colors but definitely on the darker side and have a super soft coat!

When my parents decided to get a lab they had a very clear picture of what they were looking for. The pup needed to be able to be trained to not only provide love but to work with some of the sickest kids in the hospital without any fear or apprehension. My mom reached out to a family in California that had a litter of puppies and explained what she was looking to do with the puppy and the qualities the puppy would need to have. A couple of days later she got a phone call from the family saying that they were originally going to keep me but I was everything that was described to them and that they would be honored to let me go to make a difference in the lives of sick kids.


I left my birth home at the age of 15 weeks and hit the ground running with my training. It became quite apparent very quickly that I was indeed born to make a difference. I was very willing to learn new things and took everything thrown my way in stride. I learned to work around tubes, ventilators, oxygen, and many other machines in the Pediatric units and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit of the hospital. I seemed to breeze through my lessons with flying colors and so it was onto demonstrating medical procedures like getting a CAT-SCAN, MRI, Breathing Treatment and having an IV started. Of Course I had to make sure to keep my parents on their toes and give them a hard time every once in a while when they asked me to lay down and wait!!


I have met and worked with many kids during the last year. Some of them I only see once or twice while others are fighting big battles like cancer and I build a special bond with them. I have built one of those bonds with my friend Jada, who I met while she was in the hospital for treatment for leukemia. Jada was very scared and nervous about her procedures but quickly learned that having me by her side made these visits easier and less scary. The bond that was created between us was so strong that she would affectionately refer to me as her HOSPITAL DOG. I would meet her at the hospital for her procedures and we had our own routine. While we waited to go downstairs Jada would walk me around the unit with my special leash and the doctor that was giving her sleepy medicine would examine Jada and then listen to my heart and lungs as well. When it was time I would jump on the bed with Jada and we would ride downstairs together to radiology. Recently Jada has been declared Disease FREE ( No More Treatment) and I had the honor of being with her as she celebrated her victory by ringing the bell! I will miss seeing my buddy but am so excited to see her outside of the hospital!!

I absolutely LOVE my job and my KIDS!! There is no greater joy than to make a difference in the lives of some very special warriors and to help and support them through their very personal journeys. My parents couldn't be prouder of me and are so very thankful for everything that Stephanie and Michael's Angel Paws have done to help them open the doors to the world of animal assisted interventions.
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
Administration 
Social Media
Events

If you would like to "Get Involved" let us know.
Positively “talking” or communicating to our Dogs!
Or in Trainer Terms, Positive Reinforcement!

 
Dogs and people for that matter will repeat things that they are rewarded for. For example, if your child does an extra good job on her science project you might want to treat her to a walk in the park or something that she might like to do. Likewise with our dogs, if our dogs do something we like we must be sure to let them know! With both of our examples, when we understand that something really good happens when we listen well or do a good job, we may get something we like AND we’ll want to repeat that action or do something else that might please my mom or dad. That’s why positive reinforcement training, or training with rewards, works so well. However, as with any skill, to be as successful as possible, positive reinforcement training takes practice and patience. Here are some tips that may help you.

Use treats OR other rewards that you know your dog Really likes!
You might assume your dog likes cheerios or kibble for a treat, but if your dog gets those treats all the time or finds them boring you won’t make any progress. When using treats to train be sure to use something they really like and DON’T get very often, something “special”. “Treats” or other rewards can be used also such as praise, a toy, or a chance to play a game — anything your dog loves makes a great reinforcement. 
Be sure to observe your dog and really understand what they truly like. If you reward them with things, they don’t really care for your only making it more of a challenge. Watch your dog, they’ll tell you what they like?
Perhaps you could make a list of all the things your dog likes, then rank the items from BEST to LEAST favorite. If your dog’s favorite thing is chasing a baseball, put that on top. If kibble is only exciting at mealtime, that goes at the bottom, and so on. Now you have your dog’s hierarchy of rewards. The tougher the training challenge, such as learning a new behavior or facing a distracting environment, the higher-ranked the reward should be. In other words, use the kibble when you can get away with it and save that baseball for the most difficult tasks. Better still, when your dog begins to learn “mix” the rewards and the treats up!

Rate of Reinforcement or “Treats”/Rewards
A new or strange environment can provide its own rewards like interesting smells, the sight of other dogs, or the chance to greet another person. That means the rewards you offer are always in competition with “rewards” out in the world. Until your dog masters working around distractions, your rate of reinforcement (how often you give rewards) should be often enough to keep you and the training session more exciting than the environment.
A common example is teaching your dog to “heel.” Sights, sounds, smells, and even garbage on the sidewalk can reinforce pulling at the end of the leash instead walking calmly by your side. You need to be sure you’re rewarding your dog often enough to compete with these distractions. In the beginning, one treat every 15 steps won’t make an impact, but one treat for every step should keep your dog interested in walking beside you.

Timing
How fast you are able to get the “treat” to your dog carries huge importance to your training. If you take too long to give the treat or praise, your dog can become confused about what exactly she’s being rewarded for. One common mistake is during potty training. Often we will treat the dog when she comes back in the house AFTER she has gone to the bathroom. So… how does the dog know the treat is for going to the bathroom outside or for walking in the back door? Please try a give a “treat” as quickly as possible after your dog has done the exercise or behavior you want.
Important addition – in the beginning, start with really short positive training periods or sessions (10 mins) And always try and end on a positive. 
With practice, using a “marker” — like the words “good” or “Yes” OR (a bit more difficult to master) a whistle or a clicker — will give you incredible accuracy and help you communicate to your dog what you want her to do. You can use your marker at the exact moment your dog is doing what you want to reinforce. Because every “Good or Yes followed by a reward, your dog will know exactly why she is being rewarded.

Placement of Rewards 
Likewise giving a reward too slowly can confuse your dog. In other words, what is your dog doing when you give her, her “treat”? If you’re training a stationary position like “sit,” your dog should get her reward while she is sitting. If she must get up and walk over to get his treat, how will she know if the "treat" is for sitting or for walking?
Working and teaching our dogs is super fun, using these positive techniques will build a greater bond between you and your dog. 
Questions

"Farewell" 

Kathleen joined the Michael's Angel Paw family just over four years ago and we are now saying farewell.  She’s onto another adventure with her two pups and hubby as they are moving closer to family in Tennessee.   Over these last four years, Kathleen brought so much joy, laughter, and her expertise to use for so many of you.  
 
Kathleen, you will be missed in Las Vegas but know you made such an impact on so many lives.  Enjoy the new home and lots of property!  Most of all, give the kids a big hug from all of us.


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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Mission
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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