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Joan and Bella

Bella: December 10, 2000 to November 22, 2012

Bella was a Kangal Dog, a guardian breed native to the Kangal Region of Turkey where they are typically used to protect goats, sheep, and other herd animals. Though frequently mistaken for a small horse . . . Bella weighed 155 pounds. . . she had a very gentle spirit and remained calm in most situations (except for the occasional cat-encounter! — unless it’s her cat). This spirit is what made her a wonderful participant in the Comfort Creatures program.

Denise and Thyra

Thyra: 1999 to February 9, 2012

Thyra was raised to be a service dog for Canine Companions for Independence. After a month at “college” in New York, however, it was determined that she was homesick and not happy in training, so back to Tupelo she came! Denise always knew that Thyra had the perfect disposition to be a therapy dog. When the Comfort Creatures group was formed Denise and Thyra jumped right in. Denise and Thyra most recently visited schools as a R.E.A.D. team; Thyra loved having kids read to her.

Katherine and Mac

Mac: October 6, 2000 to December 7, 2007

(in service 2006 to 2007)

Mac, a British Labrador Retriever, was in the first “class” of Comfort Creatures in 2006. Katherine had always thought about doing pet therapy and when she saw the sign advertising the start of Comfort Creatures, she knew she had the right dog for the job. Mac was the family pet as well as a duck dog for Katherine’s husband, Gerald. After a few stints at “doggy college” he was extremely well trained for retrieving ducks and general obedience. He breezed through the training course and passed his Delta registration even though he was very interested in the neutral dog. He enjoyed Tupelo Nursing and Rehab, the State Hospital, and Traceway, but especially loved his time at Millcreek of Pontotoc where he played with the children when he wasn’t flirting with Thyra. Sadly, Mac died at the young age of 7 after a sudden illness and has been sorely missed by all.