Bay Minette, Ala. (WKRG) — Bren the therapy dog–along with friends Max and Bandit are on a mission to spread goodwill to the veterans living at the William F. Green Veterans Home in Bay Minette. It’s part of a program called Pawsitive Therapy from the Baldwin County Humane Society. Kathleen Thompson is the top sergeant of this effort.
“1993 we started this in Oakwood in Bay Minette and then the VA home when they opened here. I believe in 95, they contacted our director with the Baldwin Humane Society and asked if I would consider coming and doing this with them,” said Thompson.
That’s about 30 years if you’re keeping track. It’s a great perk for the vets to pet and hang out with the dogs who bring the warm fuzzies.
“I think there needs to be more,” said Veteran Ralph Dubose. Dubose says he enjoys seeing and petting the dogs. And while others may feel the same, no one really needs to say it, do they?
And not just the vets get in on all the action. Staff members are happy to see them too. The dogs, of course, have been vetted for this particular mission.
Thompson said, “They also have to have records from the vet, vaccination records–and they also have to be well-behaved and walk on a leash.”
Along with Thompson, Tammie Fontaine also volunteers time with her dog Bren to visit the veterans.
“Everybody says that we’re a blessing to them, they are really a blessing to us though,” said Fontaine.
Tammie’s granddaughter, McKenna Fontaine, has been coming here with the therapy dogs since she was eight. She’s 15 now.
She said, “I like hanging out with all of them, hearing all their great stories, and being with the dogs. It’s a really fun experience.”
And if we could ask the dogs what they think, we would–but Thompson says she believes it’s something they also look forward to.
“Do they like coming here?”
“They do. When they see their handkerchiefs coming out, they get all excited,” said Thompson.
And that’s why Kathleen and Tammie and Mckenna — and Max and Bandit and Bren — are our Serving Those Who Serve heroes.