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Our Pet Connections Teams
Katja

My Breed: 
Borzoi (Russian wolfhound)

My Human Partner: 
Elise Bartlett

I’ve been an HOV Volunteer since: 
2018

My interests, hobbies and talents: 
I love chasing my two Spanish greyhound canine sisters and showing off my speed and grace. When I was going through my puppy stage, I liked chewing hard back books and always picked the ones by Russian authors. Mom said I must have known they were my relatives!

My work at HOV: 
I get so excited when my mom gets out my HOV vest because it means I get to go bring cheer to our patients! (And I get to do something special while my sisters have to stay home!) Despite my size and long nose, I’m really a gentle girl and know how to be delicate and sensitive with patients. I’m at my best when I get to know someone over a few visits. 

Murphy

 

Breed:
Australian Shepherd

My Human Partner:
Dean McDonald

I've been an HOV Volunteer since:
2018

My interests, hobbies & talents:
I am a very happy and energetic boy that loves playing with my Aussie older brother, Harley. My other passions are eating bananas, racing around the backyard and enjoying a puppicino from Starbucks after my HOV visits.

My work at HOV:
On days that I go on visits, I start bugging my dad about an hour before we leave. I love visiting all of the assisted living facilities we’re assigned to in Peoria. I know I get to see all of my buddies everywhere. There is no place I don’t like to be petted, scratched or rubbed. When I visit, I sure want to love on everyone I see; it makes me smile when I see them as happy as I am. No matter how much time I spend with my HOV patients, I always make sure to save some love for the caregivers, family members and staff. If I’m lucky, my dad will even take me to meet new HOV volunteers and office staff.

Kennedy

Kennedy

My Breed: 
Mommy said I was custom-made at the pound, since I apparently have all kinds of dogs in me: min pin, beagle, dachshund and terrier. Who knows… but please, don’t say I am a Chihuahua! I have a black stripe down my back, which amuses people. My eyes look very sad, but I'm really happy.

My Human Partner: 
Elsa Rector

I’ve been an HOV Volunteer since: 
2015

My interests, hobbies and talents: 
I'm very interested in what goes on outside my home. Mommy has set up comfy places by the front windows so I can watch what she calls my television. My daddy calls me “The Inspector,” since I love to sniff, especially on my walks by the nearby lake. It's so much fun to chase ducks into the water. Since I'm little, it makes me feel quite powerful.

People are always petting me, and sometimes they even hold me like a baby, which I just adore. I have a great talent for lying on my back so I can get a good belly rub. One lady used to hold me for a whole hour, during which I would blissfully sleep. This is why my nickname is “The Lump.” My greatest talent is that I'm very gentle and let anyone pet me, even little children. They are the best because they squeal with joy.

My work at HOV: 
My job at HOV is to make our clients happy when I visit them in their home or care facility. Since I'm little, I'm especially good for laps, and HOV can never have enough good lil’lap therapy dogs. Sometimes, I cuddle in bed with an elderly person who thinks I am a real baby. That always makes people so happy. 

When I go out to represent HOV, I sometimes give Mommy a hard time as she puts my HOV vest onto me. I roll over on my back, even though I would secretly like to wear it all the time. I'm not allowed…only when working. I want to "tell" people that I have a job with such a wonderful organization.

Primo

 

Breed: 
Golden Retriever Mix

My Human Partner: 
Evelyn Atchison

My interests, hobbies & talents:
I was born at Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, California, but I was “career changed” from that program and was adopted by my puppy raiser. Besides volunteering for HOV, I also volunteer at Sky Harbor Airport as a Navigator Buddie. I love to play hide-and-seek and my favorite sound is hearing ice falling into a glass from the ice maker! No matter where I am, I will come running for a piece of ice. I also really like playing tug with my mom and playing with my Jolly ball.

Why I enjoy our work at HOV:
I enjoy visiting patients and love that they are always so happy to see me. I sit up straight and put my head up and they will rub my neck, or just pat me on my head. I love being the center of attention and to put a smile on their faces. Our patients like to reminisce about the great dogs they have had throughout their lives. Visiting is a lot of work, though, so I always need to take a nap when I get home!

Chip

My Breed: 
Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie)

My Human Partner: 
Lynn Multari

I’ve been an HOV Volunteer since: 
2017

My interests, hobbies and talents: 
I adore squeaky toys, and would rather have them than treats. I like to show how "Yorkie" I am by ripping them to shreds in a short time. I am much more interested in meeting people than in meeting other dogs (even though I don't mind other dogs, I just like people better). I love to go on car rides and when my person takes out my HOV vest, I turn around and around in circles until we go, because I know I am going to make people smile.

My work at HOV: 
I visit wherever I am needed by Hospice of the Valley, but most especially in one-on-one situations in group or private homes. I love to make the people at HOV smile and pet me. A lot of them kiss me which admittedly makes me feel just a little embarrassed. I’m good at comforting bedbound clients by lying down with them and cuddling them, making them smile. Even though I have only been working for HOV for two years, my person has been volunteering since 2012.

I feel very important to have such a big job at HOV. When some of the people I visit put my picture on the wall, I am pretty sure I am the big boss. I don't know how much I get paid (my person handles that stuff), but I love my job so much I wouldn't care if it was nothing!

Cash

My Breed:
Vizsla

My Human Partner:
Ray Wentworth

I’ve been an HOV Volunteer since:
2012

My interests, hobbies and talents:
I have yet to find a person that I did not like or vice versa. I always have my tail wagging to show how gentle and friendly I am. In addition, I always keep a smile on my face. When I’m not working, I love going on long walks, tearing up tissue, and sitting next to my human Dad on the recliner.

My work at HOV:
I go many places for Hospice of the Valley! I consider our visits a joy and adore the chance to meet and make new friends. It’s quite the bonus to receive plenty of pets and sometimes even get a snack or two.

Papi

My Breed: 
Miniature Labradoodle

My Human Partner: 
Jean Nictakis

I’ve been an HOV Volunteer since:
2017

My interests, hobbies and talents: 
I was born in 2011. I love being with people young and old. Using my speed and agility, I love to chase the quail and bunnies in my yard. Though I’ve yet to catch one yet (darn!), it doesn’t stop me from trying. My mom says I’m “acutely visual,” whatever that means. All I know is that I enjoy watching TV, especially when animals appear. I love to socialize with them, though our communications is somewhat one-sided for some reason. I find it thrilling nonetheless.

My work at HOV: 
I have enjoyed visiting a patient for almost a year now. I like it when patients with dementia pet me and reminisce. I feel very important because I know that spending time with me may be the highlight of their day. I certainly enjoy the attention and the glorious petting, too!

Dexter

My Breed:
Domestic Shorthair

My Human Partner:
Alexis McKenzie

I’ve been an HOV volunteer since: 
February 2018

My interests, hobbies & talents: 
An ornithologist by trade, I spend much of my day watching birds I can only dream of catching. When not working or volunteering, I find amusement playing with my dog sisters and chasing my cat sister.

Why I enjoy our work at HOV: 
I really enjoy volunteering with HOV because I have an abundance of love to give and, I’m an amazingly docile cat. I also love napping in new places with new people.

Bravo

My Breed: 
Shetland Sheepdog, also known as a “Sheltie”

My Human Partner: 
Judy Mohraz

I’ve been an HOV Volunteer since: 
2017

My interests, hobbies and talents:
I’m a former show dog, but I don’t like to brag. Life as a therapy dog is more to my liking. At home I like to herd my family and make sure they don’t wander off. It is a big job but that’s what sheepdogs do!

My work at HOV: 
I get excited when my HOV vest goes on. I visit HOV patients’ homes and snuggle up to them and let them know I would like to be their friend. I stay very still and don’t jump about. I’m also sure to pay special attention to loved ones who may be present.

Emily

My Breed:
Shih Tzu

My Human Partner:
Pam Hile

I’ve been an HOV Volunteer since:
2011

My interests, hobbies and talents:
My main interest and talent is visiting with people. I love the attention! Everyone tells me I am so cute. I have dozens of toys that I offer my human companions to play with! I am quite the fashionista—I have the perfect outfit for every occasion, which brings smiles to those we visit. I love to go to the beauty shop every month where I get my hair cut, a bath and a peticure. I also get in the shower every weekend so I am clean for my weekly visits. Although I don't personally cook, I do have a refined palate—shrimp, lobster, and cheeses, but I also eat my dog food or I don't get a treat. I can be sassy at home, but I have excellent manners when we go on our visits to HOV patients.

My work at HOV:
I have been a pet volunteer with HOV since I was 2 years old. Shhh, don’t tell anyone since I don’t look my age, but I’m 8 years old now. I visit wherever Hospice of the Valley sends me; from private homes to nursing facilities, from group homes to memory units. I look forward to our weekly visits. I notice that even though some people are asleep or not feeling so great, when they see me, they pet me and almost always smile. My life is very exciting and joyful.

Moe

My Breed: 
Yellow lab mix

My Human Partner: 
Tod Yates

I’ve been an HOV Volunteer since: 
2016

My interests, hobbies and talents:
I adore my daily hikes with Daddy, sniffing every square inch of the earth. I must have a bit of hound in my lineage because by my behavior you’d think I was a bloodhound. I also am passionate about playing keep-away from Daddy with every bone and toy I have (he’s so gullible). I’m not much of a hand-shaker, so Daddy taught me to fist bump, which is just cuter than all get out and makes me look really hip. My greatest talent though is tricking everyone in my orbit to rub my belly, and I’m a master at it.

My work at HOV:
I love to visit our HOV and other clients at two memory-care centers on the weekends. When Daddy grabs the vest, I can’t help but do a little tap dance. I’m a little too big to be a lap dog, but when I plop my head down on a patient’s lap and look up at them with my “gosh, I never get petted” eyes, they always fall for it. I seem to get my lovin’ time again and again and again. It breaks my heart when a caregiver or family member says that their patient/loved-one never smiles, so I turn on the charm, hit the lap, and out comes the grins!

Ty

My Breed: 
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

My Human Partner: 
Jane Conrow

I’ve been an HOV Volunteer since: 
2017

My interests, hobbies and talents:
Besides food, I love to learn new tricks and compete in obedience trials. There's nothing I like better than retrieving, running through tunnels and jumping over different obedience obstacles. My owner calls it training, but I call it fun—and if I do well, I just might get a cookie!

My work at HOV:
Being a Cavalier, I'm naturally very people-oriented. I rarely encounter a lap I don't like or a person that couldn't use a good doggie cuddle, so being on a pet therapy team for Hospice of the Valley is right up my alley. We get to meet so many wonderful people while doing our visits: patients, their family and friends, as well as facility staff. I love bringing smiles to people's faces. It never gets boring. Finally, between you and me, my owner is a little shy, so I break the ice for her and make it easier for her to meet and talk to new people.