Helping Others Pawsitively Everyday

Pawsitively Happenings January/February 2022

Welcome to 2022!  January flew by and here we are in February looking forward to spring weather in our beautiful desert.  
March Class Schedule
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Founder's Note

Hoping everyone’s 2022 is going as smoothly as you hoped.  We are planning lots of new things in the coming months.  We had our first ever Fido and Friend walk with our Therapy Dogs at Cornerstone Park.  It was a huge success and thank you to Kathleen and Sherri for putting it all together.
I do apologize for the late newsletter due to family sickness and recovery.  We are all healthy now and thank you to everyone who reached out.  Now that I’m back to my normal speed, there is lots more to come in the coming months!
You’ve asked for Michael’s Angel Paws swag! Guess what - we have it and it helps raise crucial funds for us. Buy one or buy two and give to a friend.
As always, thank you for your continued support.  We couldn’t be here without you.
As always Pawsitively,
Stephanie Gerken
Michael's Angel Paws Swag is now Available!
Come and get our first Michael's Angel Paws T-shirt!  
Available in Grey or White

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"Assistance Dog Team" Spotlight

During my time in college, I developed a disability that drastically impacted my life. I was in and out of the hospital and as a result, I was taking online classes at UNLV to continue working towards my degree.  I developed a real fear that I would not be able to continue college due to the limitations of my disability as my doctor did not want me to go anywhere alone. I also faced many barriers of perceptions that I was no longer college material, even though I was still on the Dean’s List and excelling in my classes. That is when I reached out to Michael’s Angel Paws to get information on training a service dog to assist me. I got my golden doodle puppy named Stitch after the Disney character Lilo and Stitch since he is my animal sidekick. With help from Michael’s Angel Paws trainers, Stitch was doing amazing in the program and the more he learned the more empowered I felt. His medical alerts, give me and my family peace of mind and allow me to go places by myself knowing he is looking out for me. Stitch brings me my phone and stays with me during the flare-ups of my disability. Stitch and I have an inseparable bond and having him by my side is very grounding. When he is off duty his playful and goofball personality fills me with joy.  Because of Stitch I was able to go back to campus and take classes in person. Without my service dog I would not have been able to finish college. Throughout college Stitch came with me to my sorority events and work where I help manage casino recycling programs. Before Stitch I could not even walk to my mailbox alone and now, I have even been able to fly by myself. I am proud to stay that I graduated Magna Cum Laude and as one of UNLV’s Outstanding Graduates. I have my Bachelor of Science in Hospitality with a Minor in Anthropology and in the Honors College. I was thrilled that Stitch was by my side at graduation because he has been there with me every step of the way. I just started my master’s degree in sustainability at Harvard University and Stitch is still helping me reach for my educational dreams. Because of him I have helped educate students about service dogs and change perceptions that people with disabilities should not be discounted in in higher education. Everyone has something to offer when you give them the space to shine. 

Katie and Stitch

January and February Assistance Dog Graduates

Assistance Dog “Fun Fact”  -  Assistance dogs are not pets.

Common examples of assistance dogs include:

  • Guide dogs assist the blind and the visually impaired.
  • Hearing dogs, or signal dogs, help the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Mobility assistance dogs
  • Medical alert dogs
  • Psychiatric service dogs
  • Autism Assistance dogs

"Get Involved"
January Spotlight

I spent my career working in the Education and Social Services fields, mostly with individuals who had Intellectual or Emotional Disabilities. 

Through my last job, I learned of Michael’s Angel Paws as one of the families we served wanted an Assistance/ Service Dog for their son who was diagnosed with Autism.  I was familiar with these working dogs as I had requested visits from a similar type of dog called a Therapy Dog for my mother when she was living in a nursing home in Ohio. I was able to appreciate the value and the comfort that Assistance Dogs and Therapy Dogs could provide to people and continue to gain an appreciation for the power of these types of programs.
It so happened that a new puppy became a member of our family during the early part of the pandemic and I realized that I needed help as it had been a long time since I raised a puppy.  I was incredibly desperate by the time I called Stephanie and she had a trainer out to my house the next day.  I was so grateful for the help and was able to get a better handle on training our new pup.  We then enrolled her in Michael’s Angel Paws Basic Obedience Class.
I retired from my job and was needing something to do with so much newfound spare time.  I received Michael’s Angel Paws newsletters and noticed they needed a Volunteer for Administrative work.  I sent in my resume and an application for the position and I was granted an interview with Stephanie and her Director of Development and Outreach, Jim Hudson.  
I have now been volunteering with the organization since April 2021 and I have really enjoyed my experience.  Unfortunately, I don’t think my puppy will ever be a Therapy Dog anytime soon (she is a Basset Hound and still a bit nutty) but I want to continue to volunteer with an organization that I believe in.  

"Get Involved"
February Spotlight

Hi Friends!

My name is Springer Clans Mon Amie Ruby Red Surprise! That is a big name for a” tiny-little” 50lb Red Standard Poodle like myself, so my mom calls me Ruby.
I was born in Surprise, Arizona in 2017 at the Springer Clans Ranch. My mom Melissa Amaon says I was specially chosen to be her best friend and to grow up to have a job as a people helper!

We started “school” the first day I came to live in NV and when I was ready, I got to go to a new class at Michael’s Angel Paws, with Ms. Shastina and Ms. Stephanie! It was hard work, but it was fun too! Then the time came for me to take a test! My mom was nervous, but I was excited! I passed, got a certificate and a real badge with my picture! My mom said, “Ruby, now you need to get a job!” 

My first job was at an Assisted Living Center, then at a Rehabilitation Center. Sometimes I got to do “extra-jobs” like conventions and even once, a funeral. They were all great jobs and I learned a lot about the kind of jobs I might do the best!

Then I got a new job at the Library, with the kids! I love KIDS! Mom says it has been my very best job! I help the kids by listening to them read books. Some are afraid to read at school or to other people, but they seem to enjoy reading to me! This is great because I love stories and I always get lots of extra love from little kids! Once in a while, I meet a kid who is afraid of dogs, so I am extra careful to show my manners and let them see that I am gentle and happy. My mom helps them learn that they should always approach the owner first, for safety and how to be gentle! When I can show someone that dogs can be kind, gentle, and very good listeners, I see their hearts open with happiness and I know my mom was right, I WAS born to be a people-helper!

Be Happy, Be Kind
Love, Ruby
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.
Potty Training 101
Michael’s Angel Paws wants everyone to have a happy and healthy home with our pups!
One of the most important things we can teach our four-legged loved ones is to go relieve themselves outside and not in our homes.  One of the biggest reasons pups may lose their home, and end up in shelters, is because of soiling in the house. Few people are willing to put up with a dog who destroys rugs and flooring or, who leaves a stinky mess that you have to clean after a hard day at work.
It takes a lot of work on the part of the pup parent(s) as well as really great observational skills for successful housetraining.  Some key points of housetraining are:
-Consistency, attention, understanding, and patience.
-Crates are an important housetraining tool that can make your life easier.
-Puppy pads and paper training offer a temporary solution to housetraining.
Crates are probably your best bet in Potty Training.
Dog crates make life easier. It’s a good idea to get your dog accustomed to one for many reasons, such as vet visits, travel, convalescence, and safety. Remember dogs are den animals and will seek out small shelters for security. This point alone makes it easier to get your pup to like the create. 
The idea behind crate training is that like people, your pup isn’t going to want to soil his/her area where they are living. Makes sense, right?! It’s very important that you get the right size of crate for your pup - just large enough for the dog to lie down, stand up, and turn around. If it is too large, the dog will feel that it’s OK to use one corner for elimination and then happily settle down away from the mess.
When he/she feels the need to “go”, they will usually let you know by whining and scratching. That’s his/her signal that they want out of their crate.  Quickly let your pup out into an area where they can relieve themselves. When your pup does “go” outside, remember to let them know how happy you are that they did such a good job!
Puppy Pads and Paper Training
These methods can be tricky…. because you’re teaching them that’s it’s ok to potty in the house BUT only in a specific place. This can be a real challenge. Puppy pads give a dog the option of relieving him/herself in an approved spot in the home, when not in their crate. After the dog matures, the owner can then work on having the dog do his/her business outdoors all the time.
Timing and observations
A good rule of thumb is that dogs can control their bladders for the number of hours corresponding to their age in months, up to about nine months to a year. (Remember, though, that 10 to 12 hours is a long time for anyone to hold it!) A 6-month-old pup can reasonably be expected to hold it for about 6 hours. Never forget that all puppies are individuals and the timing will differ for each.
Monitor daily events and your puppy’s habits when setting up a schedule:

First thing in the morning
Last thing at night
After spending time in a crate
After eating
After drinking 
You have to watch your pup carefully for individual signals and rhythms. Some pups may be able to hold it longer than others. Some will have to go out every time they play or get excited. Some will stop in the middle of a play session, pee, and play on. Keep an eye out and get to know your pup!
Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Call Michael’s Angel Paws and we can help!

"Canine Coach" Spotlight

I have now been with Michael's Angel Paws for a year, and in that time I have come to appreciate how much our canine companions can mean to a person that truly needs the help of a service dog.  Before joining Michael's Angel Paws the training I did with dogs was for a competition, or it involved helping people train their pets to be the dogs they always wanted. I didn't realize how special a service dog is, and what it means to the community of people that these dogs help on a daily basis. 


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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