Harford Magazine - Page 13 - Paw Patrol - from page 12

Harford Magazine
- Page 13
Paw Patrol - from page 12

feel more confident when reading to a therapy dog trained to listen and therapy pets can help alleviate fear and anxiety in post-traumatic stress disorder patients.

 

“We are somewhat unique in that we allow pets of all species and breeds, but we have strict health requirements and temperament requirements,” explains the organization’s executive director (and former Harford magazine editor) Gina Kazimir. “Our animals do need good manners and a particularly good ‘leave it’ command. We don’t want any animals picking up anything they shouldn’t be.”

 

The most important thing, Kazimir says, is that volunteer animals enjoy meeting and interacting with new people.

 

For Dave Pawloski and his golden retriever Bethanie, volunteering with Pets on Wheels is immensely gratifying.

 

“I get choked up thinking about it,” he says. “It’s very rewarding to be able to give back a little bit. She brings so much cheer and joy.”

 

Pawloski and Bethanie frequently visit the senior homes Lorien Bel Air and Brightview in Perry Hall. He enjoys interacting with residents, hearing about pets they have had and watching how making a connection with Bethanie draws people out of their shells.

 

Rice agrees. “There’s nothing I love more than spending time with my dog and if we can bring some pleasure to someone else, I can’t think of a better way to spend my time.”