Richie is a ten-pound Yorkie who was saved from a puppy mill in Missouri in the fall of 2011 and arrived at National Mill Dog Rescue in Colorado shortly thereafter. Even though he had been a fear biter when first rescued, he soon became one of the friendliest dogs at the NMDR kennel, always jumping up to say hi and rolling over for belly rubs.
Cathlin Parker adopted him after he had been at the kennel for about a month and a half, and he adapted very quickly to life in a home. He was so friendly and outgoing, especially for a mill dog, that he gave his new mom the idea that he would make a wonderful therapy dog, cheering people up in hospitals and nursing homes. They went through basic and advanced training and, after a few months, Richie passed both the Canine Good Citizen test and then the test to be registered as a therapy dog. He started visiting nursing homes at first, and both the residents and staff loved seeing him and cuddling with him. Since then, Richie and Cathlin have become American Red Cross volunteers at Evans Army Community Hospital on Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, and visit both patients and staff there.
Richie never fails to put a smile on people’s faces, whether they are nursing home residents, kids in the waiting rooms at EACH, or stressed-out staff members. Richie is also a Paws to Read dog at the local library, where kids can practice reading to him as a nonjudgmental listener. You can follow his adventures on his Facebook page, Richie the Love Bug.