Our beloved golden retriever Cubby was a certified Therapy Dog, but I benefitted most from his unflappable, affectionate character.
We “made rounds” at Children’s Hospital, Cubby comforting sick kids. I trained troubled teens to train Cubby, giving them a sense of accomplishment and empowerment, and we worked a summer camp for severely handicapped children.
We also regularly visited a nursing home. Uncommunicative patients would open up with nostalgic stories, or patients seemingly crippled with arthritis would suddenly begin using their hands, after petting Cubby.
Cubby was the most working animal model in Chicago. He primarily did print ads, plus one TV ad, for McDonald’s, with basketball star Grant Hill.
I had a Chinese art gallery. Many of the artists were fearful of dogs but never in Cubby’s case. He had such charisma, and was so calm, that everyone enjoyed his companionship.
After moving to Atlanta, I read about animal cloning and contacted ViaGen Pets’ forerunner. With help from Cubby’s wide social circle, we endowed the “Cubby Boo-Boo Bear Scholarship” at St. Louis’s Washington University, for a student whose work enhances the human-other animal bond. See www.cubbybooboobear.com.
Cubby’s impact continues, as it does through his Obedience Champion children. On me, it’s forever.