After Joy was released from Loving Paws Assistance Dogs in December 2001, I decided to register her as a therapy dog with Therapy Dogs Inc. We completed the registration process and were accepted by Therapy Dogs, Inc. in January 2002. Joysie became the first registered therapy dog in the Helena, MT area and was one of nine registered therapy dogs in MT. Joy was an immediate success as a therapy dog when I took her to visit hospitals, nursing homes, churches, schools, home care services and various groups. In December 2002, Joysie won the local Pet Hero of the year Award from the American Red Cross for her work as a therapy dog.
Joy especially loved kids who called her slipper foot because of the long hair between her toes. Joy could do math; I would ask her a question like, What is 2 +2 Joy? and she would bark 4 times. She never failed to draw attention of the kids and of adults who heard her barking.
She had several special people who relied on their weekly visits with Joy including Jane, Leo, Bud, and Tanya to name a few.
We started the Montana TDoggers and soon several teams were doing therapy visits thanks to Joy. We were a registered therapy dog team for 7 years.
As Joy got older, we no longer did therapy dog visits. Instead, she decided she wanted to be a pheasant hunter instead of just staying in the dog trailer when the other dogs were out having fun. A couple of weeks before her 8th birthday in 2008 Joy got her first pheasant.
Sadly, Joy was diagnosed with lymphoma in June 2010 and died on 10 October 2010; please read more about Joy in the Memorial section and in the Lymphoma Dogs section.