Troupe Member of the Month - Julie Brenneman and Klaus
Julie has been a dedicated member of the Pawsitive Therapy Troupe since June 2017. Her canine partner is “Forevergreens Baron Klaus” (aka Klaus), a six-year-old male Leonberger with a laid-back personality and mellow temperament. Leonbergers are working dogs from Germany, where they work on farms pulling wagons and carts. They are also very loving family dogs. Klaus holds THDX, TKN, CGCA, and CGCU titles, and has received the Leonberger Therapy Award from the Leonberger Club of America. Julie and Klaus completed their certification in Animal-Assisted Crisis Response (AACR) in November 2019, and while they have not had the chance to get involved with that, they are looking forward to having those opportunities in the near future. Julie and Klaus visit six different departments at the Hines VA Hospital, three departments at Loyola Medical Center, the Loyola Stritch School of Medicine, Wheaton College, and Read-With-Me programs at Arbor View School and Westfield School.
Klaus made his acting debut in the PAWSitive Therapy Troupe’s 2018 “Canine Nutcracker”. His role as the Cheese Distraction in the epic battle scene with the Mouse King and The Nutcracker Prince brought down the house!
Here is what Julie has to say about Klaus and their PAWSItive Therapy Troupe experiences:
"Klaus’s favorite place to visit is the in-patient mental health unit at the Hines VA Hospital. However, Julie’s favorite memory of a visit happened at the Manor Hill School in Lombard. Manor Hill has six classrooms of elementary school students with a range of different special needs. During one visit to a classroom of younger students, the teachers and aides sat on the floor with three students and Klaus. The teachers took off the students’ socks and shoes and let them put their feet in Klaus’s fur so they could feel the different textures. The children’s eyes lit up and the smiles and joyful reactions from the kids who are not otherwise able to communicate was a very special moment. It was an emotional experience for Julie and the other staff members watching. For Julie, the students’ reactions prove therapy dogs can make a difference to the people they visit. Reactions like that is why Julie loves working with Klaus as a therapy team. Klaus also enjoys his work. When his supply bag and therapy vest come out of the closet before a visit, he gets very excited. When Julie says, “it’s time to go to work,” he is immediately at the door ready to go. His reaction only further proves to Julie that they are making a difference, and they are looking forward to continuing their work for years to come.”
On behalf of all of us in the PAWSitive Therapy Troupe, thank YOU Julie and Klaus for your years of devoted service!