Maggie O'Mara: Behind the Scenes

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A BLOG about a very special DOG

by Maggie O'Mara

Bio | Email | Follow: @maggiektvb7


Posted on January 20, 2010 at 9:03 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 7:44 AM

Back in March of 2005, I did a Seven's Hero on a DOG. That's right a DOG was honored as a HERO!

This was not just any dog though. "Jake" was a very special therapy dog who brightened the lives of so many sick and disabled people here in the Treasure Valley! He was well known for his costumes and incredible tricks, and he had a heart of gold.

Therapy dogs do a lot of good work at hospitals, and schools. It's amazing what a dog can do to heal people, and just bring people together. I saw it with my own eyes, and you can see it too. Watch my Seven's Hero story on "Jake" below to see what I mean: 

Sadly, I found out Jake lost his battle with cancer this month. I got this email from his owner (or Mother) Janet Hatfield - and I thought I'd share it with all of you: 

Dear Maggie,
A few years ago you did a Seven's Hero story about my dog, Jake, the amalgamated American Eskimo (the short little white guy with the tie and business cards) that was part of Saint Alphonsus' pet therapy program. For the past ten years we (mostly Jake - I was just transportation and the treat dispenser) provided pet-assisted therapy at schools for disabled children and adults, hospitals and even a church or two. 

The last five years were at St. Al's. I never kept track of the number of visits or hours we spent. Jake always thought it was the greatest thing to dress up, do tricks, get treats and tons of attention.  He made a lot of people smile. People often asked if they could take him home since he was the "perfect" dog. I always responded that I would put them on his waiting list. He had a very long waiting list.
Jake touched a large number of patients, families and staff over the years. Our journey together ended today and as I have no way of relaying this to the community, if you would consider announcing his passing and providing a link to his web page at the National Canine Cancer Foundation:

And not to worry - Jake's little sister (And by "little" I mean "shorter".  Widget is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi.) has been proudly following in his footsteps for the past seven years.
With Regards (and woofs),
Janet Hatfield