Purina ONE and GOOD named the winner of the Hero Pets GOOD Maker challenge, which celebrated the amazing impact pets can make in a person's life. Kathy Howard and her Retriever, Wally, were selected among 15 finalists by the GOOD community.
Howard and her dog won coupons for a year's supply of Purina ONE dog food and a donation of US$5,000 will be made to Support Dogs Inc.
Wally graduated from the Touch Therapy program at Support Dogs in 2007. For the past six years, the dog has been a comforting pal at a local high school and hospital. Every two weeks during the school year, Wally visits Northview, a special education high school just outside St. Louis, Missouri, USA. When not visiting with the high school students, Wally spends time with Howard at Children's Hospital in St. Louis, visiting with children in the oncology unit.
"I am a nurse and have always believed in the power of animal therapy," says Howard. Another motivating reason for Howard to train Wally to become a therapy dog came from her mother's battle with Alzheimer's. "She could not remember my name, but she would speak fondly of the cats and dogs that the pet lady brought to her nursing home."