Though she spends most of her time helping others at Mission and McDowell Hospitals, a local therapy dog may have her day soon. Chessie, a blind four-year-old Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, has been nominated for a 2012 American Humane Association Hero Dog Award in the therapy dog category. She is competing against 67 other therapy dogs.
Chessie has been a registered therapy dog since 2009 and can be seen at Mission Hospital, McDowell Hospital, YMCA afterschool programs, Craggy Correctional Center and SUWS of the Carolinas in Old Fort. The award will be given to the dog that receives the most number of votes online. People can vote one time each day until June 30.
While there is no monetary benefit to Paws On A Mission, Mission Health’s pet therapy program, if Chessie becomes a finalist or wins, she will receive publicity through the Hallmark Chanel and be celebrated at a Hollywood gala.
In Chessie’s description listed on the 2012 American Humane Association website it reads:
When working with young patients, Chessie’s courage and can-do attitude helps the children process illness or injury at a deeper emotional level. After a visit with Chessie, these children have asked “You say her other senses like her nose are stronger, do you think the same thing will happen to me when I finish chemo?” Chessie’s visits increase the children’s coping skills. Young patients have observed, “If she was born that way, I guess she doesn’t miss her eyes like I miss my leg,” and “She’s lucky!! When people stare at her because she is different, she doesn’t even know!”
Chessie is a hero every day, spreading smiles, love, and lessons in courage, overcoming challenges, gratitude, and believing in oneself to all whom she meets.
You can vote for Chessie here.