Mission Statement

The PAWSitive Therapy Troupe is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to sharing registered therapy dogs with individuals in a wide variety of health care and educational settings--bringing comfort, support and encouragement through the unique healing power of the human-animal bond.


A Community Partner of Pet Partners

PetPartners ReadWithMe LOGO


Secured by PayPal



Faithful Friends from Our Past


In Memory - February 14, 2006 to February 16, 2019




Bernese Mountain Dog


Feb or March, 2006 (Otto was rescued from a puppy mill)


About 24”, 65 lbs (in other words, a teacup Bernese Mountain Dog)


Otto is very friendly and affectionate. He wants to stop and visit everyone we pass on our walks, which makes short jaunts through the park long but rewarding. His main method of getting attention is to sit on your feet and look back up at you adoringly. He’s very eager to please and was happy to try everything in the agility class (except the teeter-totter). He’s also very sensitive and becomes dismayed when voices are raised (such as when I drop a dish, or worse), but is ready to come and nuzzle when it’s clear that everything’s OK. He is wonderful with kids and infants, even those barely walking are eager to come pet him. I suspect he favors women over men, although it may be that he just gets a bigger response from them. And, especially important as a condo owner, even though he has a big, deep voice, Otto almost never barks.


CGC 2008 and Delta Society 2009

Awards / Titles


Favorite Therapy site?

Otto enjoys visiting the Westlake Rehab center, but also provides excellent therapy to his 87 year-old grandma who has a house on a wooded lot in Pennsylvania.

Favorite Toy:

Currently it’s an artichoke made by Planet Dog ( USA !) that has an opening just larger than a Bil-Jac.

Favorite Treat:

He’s never met a treat he hasn’t liked.

In Memory

I am beyond sad to have to tell you that Otto died last Saturday, just two days after Valentine's Day, his 13th birthday. His death was sudden: he was ill for less than a day, and died only 3 days after his last therapy visits. He passed away at home with his chin, as always, hugging my forearm.

Otto, along with his 8 siblings, was rescued from a puppy mill auction by BARC, a Bernese Mountain Dog rescue. When we brought him home he was 4 months old, was on the skinny side, and had pink-eye and mange. But he was a playful and affectionate puppy from the first.

His puppy class instructor also thought he was exceedingly sweet tempered and obedient, and suggested he would like therapy dog work. Her suggestion changed both of our lives, giving us countless hours of rewarding visits and introducing us to so many other wonderful volunteers and amazing dogs. Volunteering for over 11 years, Otto made many friends during his visits to hospitals, nursing homes, rehab clinics, elementary schools, high schools, colleges, med schools. Our most favorite visits were with Otto's "Pet Partners" at Hephzibah Home in Oak Park. Over  the course of 10 years Otto had a sequence of 5 pet partners, children between 9 and 12 who would spend Saturday mornings with him. Otto adored the attention, and the kids got to build a relationship with him and learn how to take care of another living being. During our visits we would take Otto to local parks, to the forest preserve, to local stores and outdoor restaurants, to Otto's vet and hydrotherapy visits, and of course to the do-it-yourself dog wash.

Otto was my first dog as well as my best friend and companion. He had the sweetest soul, and he lived to give and receive affection.


Other News

Contact Us

For general information on Animal-Assisted Activities/Therapy, visit the Pet Partners web site.

If you are already a registered Pet Partner Team and would like to become involved yourself, please fill out our online application.

If you have further questions about the PAWSitive Therapy Troupe, contact us at: