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Paws for Healing helps at Dunbar vaccination clinic

Paws for Healing helps at Dunbar vaccination clinic
Donna Forst with Cricket and Linda Kruzic with Lila.Photo by Don Forst

By Melissa Dowling

On March 1, Sonoma Valley Health Center held a COVID-19 vaccine clinic for children at Dunbar School. Paws for Healing, was there with trained therapy dogs Cricket, a 3-year-old golden retriever, and Lila, a 6-year-old yellow Labrador retriever, to help calm the children during their vaccinations.

“The kids loved the dogs and they took their minds off the shots” said Linda Kruzic, Lila’s owner/trainer. “My favorite thing about our work with Paws for Healing is watching the transformation of the kids coming in for their vaccinations. Petting a dog is pure magic and even the most fearful children usually calm down quickly when they look into the soulful eyes and touch the warm fur of our dogs. It’s a privilege to experience this.”

Cricket was certified as a therapy dog in 2020. Her owner/trainer, Donna Forst, wanted to do therapy work with her dog for a very long time and chose to train with Paws for Healing because of the organization’s compassion and professionalism.

Kruzic and her husband adopted Lila from Guide Dogs for the Blind. “After we brought her home, I was reading the Kenwood Press and saw an article about Paws for Healing. I called Donna the next day, went through the training and began to take Lila to Kaiser Hospital for weekly visits,” Kruzic said.

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