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  March 2014 Volume 14 Issue 3  


The R.E.A.D. Program continued this month at the Makawao Public Library. Children and their parents look forward to participating in this innovative program each week. Children who may have difficulty reading or special needs are able to relax and concentrate better when reading to dogs. The dogs enjoy interacting with the children and hearing the stories they pick out… most of which are about dogs!


(This letter was recently received from Melanie Johnson, one of our first graduates)

There are no words to describe the way I feel about everyone at Assistance Dogs of Hawaii. Because of you I have had more than a decade of joy, companionship and the freedom to move about with confidence.  Freedom was the greatest gift that I've ever received. The training that you provided us allowed him to become my limbs and eventually my sight.  I once again became a whole person with Freedom by my side and in my heart. 

Freedom not only assisted me with daily tasks, but literally saved my life when I was trapped during a house fire.  He brought the phone so I could call 911 and let in the firemen when they arrived.  He was such a huge comfort when my husband, Mark, was deployed to Iraq.

As he grew older he retired and became the much pampered pet that he was not allowed to be when he was working. He was always there to snuggle up with and to make my heart swell with all of the love that I had for him and that I know he had for me.

At the end, we spoiled him shamelessly and indulged him with anything he wanted to eat. He was carried by Mark when he could no longer get about on his own. After years of Freedom sleeping next to me to keep me from falling out of bed, the last few days I slept on the floor by his side so that he would not be alone or afraid.

My heart will always be with my darling helper and companion, he was my hero.  Freedom gave me confidence and courage and showed me that there was a place for me in the big and frightening world. There are just no words with which to thank you for giving me the gift of Freedom.

Melanie Johnson

“Until one has loved a dog, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” - Anatole France


Marshal is a three month old Labrador Retriever and is the younger brother of Service Dog Trooper (aka Super Trooper!). Marshal is being raised by Jennifer, our intern from England. He has the ideal temperament for an Assistance Dog; he is calm, confident, eager to please and very people oriented. Marshal is a thoughtful puppy and is very mature for his age… unless he is playing with his sister Maggie!


Tucker celebrated St Patrick’s Day by giving out kisses to patients (and staff) at Kapiolani Medical Center. We don’t know for sure, but Tucker may indeed be part Irish since his ancestor’s came from that part of the world. Tucker enjoys celebrating all holidays and helps to make the hospital a happy place for the young patients there. Tucker was recently featured in the InsideOut Magazine, click here to read more about how he is helping hundreds of children through the most difficult time of their lives.


Congratulations to Dale and Scott, who recently completed training as secondary handlers with Facility Dog Angel at the Rehab Hospital of the Pacific. Angel is helping to provide motivation to patients during their physical and occupational therapy sessions. Patients include people who have had spinal cord injuries, strokes and amputations. They all love Angel’s calm and comforting presence and look forward to seeing her each day.

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