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Therapy Dog of the Week: Cedar the Miniature Dachshund

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Cedar is a very small Dachshund, but she has a big personality. Adopted when she was a senior dog, that didn't stop her from starting a whole new career. She became a Pet Partner therapy dog and member of the Love Dog team in Las Vegas and is making up for many years before she found her new loving home.

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Each week Cedar works with critically challenged youth and adults and has brought about countless breakthroughs.

Sometimes only the smallest of dogs can achieve a goal such as being raised to a person who only has feeling in one small spot, perhaps someone who is quadriplegic or on a respirator. Those assignments are so important because those clients need a dog that can fit into the smallest of spaces and be touched wherever it is possible.

One young man in particular never interacted with the therapy dogs before. He would tolerate a small dog on his lap but would keep a cloth over his face as if to say "I'm not here." But when he met Cedar his life changed. For the first time he related to something, someone, a cute tiny dog that could be lifted up to his head and face. He opened his eyes and tracked the little dog. He reached up with his hand from underneath the blanket and petted the dog. He knew the dog was there and different from all the other Love Dogs. He comes out of his fog of daily life to visit with "his" dog and the dog's owner, Jill.

As we always discuss in Pet Partner Workshops, this activity is a team effort between both ends of the leash and Jill has become a wonderful handler and volunteer. She is joyful and relates to clients on a visceral level.

So as one of our smallest Love Dogs, Cedar makes a big presence and is changing people's lives and found her true calling in her later years.

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