Ellie’s Story: Therapy Dogs Help Heal

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Your contribution to Paws & Think provides life-changing programs to people and dogs in need! Our donors ensure we can evaluate & register even more therapy teams and help at-risk youth learn life skills while finding shelter dogs their forever homes.

One of the best things about Paws & Think is the impact the organization has on people who need help the most. We are lucky to have witnessed the power of the connection between humans and dogs for the past 18 years, and earlier this year, one of the strongest connections was formed.

In May 2017, Ellie was diagnosed with a brain tumor at just 13 years old. This past March, Ellie arrived for chemotherapy treatment at St. Vincent. These treatments have been hard on Ellie, causing both long-term and short-term side effects. To help make these days a little easier, Paws & Think has been sending pet therapy teams to see Ellie every week.

According to Ellie’s mom, Karyn, Ellie’s mood has brightened ever since her first visit with Paws & Think.

“Each week when we arrive at the clinic, Ellie raises her eyebrows in hopeful anticipation, and when she hears that a dog will visit, she literally jumps for joy,” says Karyn.

The dogs gravitate to Ellie, sitting with her and loving on her while she happily rubs their bellies and ears. By the time Paws & Think volunteers leave the room, Ellie is always smiling.

“The dogs and the teams remember me every time, and it makes me so excited to see them,” says Ellie. “It really helps every single time I have a dog…in ways I can’t describe.”

After extensive treatment, Ellie’s tumor returned in July. She is now undergoing a 52-week chemotherapy regimen. Paws & Think volunteers will continue to be by her side, helping her fight every single week and bringing a little bit of happiness and a lot of love to Ellie and her family.

Every day, your support makes stories like Ellie’s possible.

Over 50,000 men, women and children were provided comfort and support through our Pet Therapy Program (Animal-Assisted Interventions) in 2019. Hundreds of kids learned to fall in love with reading through our Paws to Read programs in schools and libraries where children read to therapy dogs.

In addition, our Youth-Canine Programs provided a second chance to 79 shelter dogs and 150 kids in 2019 alone!

We need your help to continue to make all of this possible.

Would you consider making a special year-end donation to help us continue to improve lives through the power of the human-dog connection?

Thank you for your continued support and friendship,

Kelsey Burton
Executive Director, Paws and Think, Inc.