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NEWS: September 20, 2003

Meet our New Therapy Teams

Congratulations to the new members of the Chenny Troupe! Three new teams will become active volunteers from our September 20 testing period. Read below for the official bio's of our new therapy teams.

our new dog therapy teams
New therapy dog teams: Nero and D'Arcy, Bonnie and Barbara, and Koa and Lori

Meet Koa, owned by Lori Fong

Koa is a 1.5-year-old male black Labrador Retriever. His full name is Maka-Koa, which is Hawaiian for "brave, fearless and fierce." It is the perfect name for him, since he endured great trauma in his early life. At 6 weeks of age, Koa's entire litter was dropped off at animal control in Indiana. They were scheduled to be put to sleep when a volunteer group coordinated their transport to the Chicago area. He was then placed in foster care until we were able to adopt him. Despite all of this, Koa is one of the most easygoing, cheerful dogs around. He loves people and other dogs, especially his brother, a 3 year old Golden Retriever named Smuckers. Their favorite activities are swimming, the dog park, and long walks in the forest preserve. Koa is looking forward to the challenge of being a Chenny Troupe therapy dog.

Meet Bonnie Blue, owned by Barbara Burns

Bonnie was born on January 1, 2000, a significant day in History–the turn of the century. She might have been named “Millie” for Millennium, but that name had belonged to a very famous political dog so it was abandoned.

Bonnie met her current guardian when she was a little more than four months old. She and her remaining two litter mates were running wild in the alley near her first family’s home because they had learned to dig under the fences and scavenge for food in the garbage. They played wild and raucous and enjoyed their days getting dirty and tired. However, life could not continue in that manner; the neighborhood had contacted the city dog pound and they were coming for the wild ones.

Just days before, Bonnie had met Barbara, and it was love at first sight. Bonnie was quiet, mannerly, and comfortable with Barbara. Barbara thought Bonnie was quite possibly blind because her unusual eyes were so light they looked white. Actually they were light blue, and they gave Bonnie a unique appearance—and that is why Barbara named her “Bonnie Blue”.

Bonnie moved in with Barbara and her family and learned to live in the house, walk on a leash, enjoy the private space of a crate, and respond to her new name. She made friends with children in the neighborhood and other dogs, too.

Preparing to be a Chenny Troupe Dog has been a long and challenging experience for Bonnie, but is well worth the time and effort.

Meet Nero, owned by D'Arcy Von Schultz

Nero is about five years old. He came from Chicago's Animal Care and Control facility on Western Ave. The staff was hiding him in the hospital, hoping to find a home for a puppy with a paralyzed front leg and soulful eyes. Time was running out for him when D'Arcy happened to stop by and fill out a foster home application, and tell them she preferred special needs animals. Norma and Muro (staff members) called her the next day, and she brought Nero home. They don't know what happened to his leg other than that he wasn't born with it that way; as his freedom of movement was severely hampered by the flopping leg it was amputated, and he's never missed it. Nero likes fetching his stick, catching popcorn in his mouth and attention. He's very stubborn, very smart and very sweet - and he's a winner all the way.