Friday, April 30, 2010


For those of you needing a little puppy fix, here are a few pictures Cheers' puppies.  These 10 puppies will be going to their foster homes in just a few weeks and will start on their journey to become service dogs.  But for now they are thoroughly enjoying hanging with mom and being puppies.

Cheers x Truman litter 4-30-10

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


 Foster homes are very special people who take our puppies into their homes and hearts, work with them daily, attend weekly training classes, socialize and train them in public and of course, love them.  They will teach them approximately 80 skills, including retrieving, turning on and off light switches, opening doors, snuggle and getting help.  After two to three years the foster homes will give these well trained, wonderful dogs to an individual with a physical disability, other than sight or hearing.
"Sounds like a lot of work and how can you possibly give the dog up after two years?"  We get asked this question a lot so to hear the other side of this story we asked our foster homes, "What is the best thing about being a foster home?"  Their responses all told the same message - this is a labor of love.

Top Ten Reasons
To Be a Helping Paws Volunteer Foster Home
According to those who would know - our foster homes.

Number 10
Have you ever seen a dog smile?

Number 9
You get to experience the thrill that comes from seeing your service dog-in-training "get it" after being taught a new skill.

Number 8
Learn dog training skills that go far beyond those learned in regular obedience classes.

Number 7
Meet new people; classmates, Helping Paws staff and volunteers, and all the wonderful people you will talk to when you are out training your dog in public.

Number 6
Nothing like a cute puppy to serve as a chick/guy magnet
(for your teenagers walking the dog of course)

Number 5
Each day is greeted with a wagging tail and you get to receive sloppy, wet, puppy kisses given unconditionally on a daily basis.

Number 4
You get to be around really great dogs and really great people.

Number 3
You get to experience the joy that comes from having contributed your time and talent towards helping another human being become independent.

Number 2
It's fun!

And the number 1 reason . . .
Where else can you give somebody the gift of a best friend?

Learn more about becoming a Helping Paws Volunteer Foster Home.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

March Goodness Wasn't Just Good, It Was GREAT!

We were overwhelmed by the generosity shown to Helping Paws through Razoo's March Goodness Tournament.  

First off, it was incredible that Helping Paws was even selected as one of  64 non-profits chosen to compete in the tournament this year.  

Secondly, we not only won the Western Region and advanced to the Final Four but we received 189 donations totaling $5,475.  

Then it was on to the Final Four and that was when the generosity of our donors was truly amazing.  We raised another $16,386.  We may not have won the $10,000 grand prize, but we did raise enough money in this two week competition to sponsor 5 of the new puppies, and boy does that have them cheering!

Helping Paws would like to thank everyone
for their overwhelming support!

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Thank you to everyone who helped us out with a donation during the March Goodness Tourney.  We were successful in having 178 different donors and raised over $5,400. 

If you are considering making a donation to Helping Paws in 2010, please consider donating during the Final Four Competition and help us win that $10,000 prize!

Things to remember:
  • Only on-line donations made through the MG2010 Final Four Helping Paws project page will count.
  • Competition is based on total donations received.
  • The competition runs from 12:01 am EDT on April 2 thru 11:59 EDT on April 6.
  • 100% of your donation goes directly to Helping Paws, Razoo covers all credit card fees.
  • The winning team will receive a donation of $10,000 from Razoo.
  • The winner will be announced on April 7

Friday, March 26, 2010


Helping Paws is celebrating it's newest litter.  Cheers delivered 10 beautiful puppies (6 boys and 4 girls) yesterday, March 25th.  Cheers not only had her puppies without any complications, but also was kind enough to give birth during the day and not the wee hours of the night.  

Wow - two big litters of Golden Retrievers this week.  In just five days  Helping Paws has added 21 future service dogs.  Congratulations to Cheers and Faith, their caretaker homes, and Helping Paws.  

Here are a few photos from yesterday of Cheers and her kids.

Thursday, March 25, 2010



Last Friday Cheers and Faith, both Helping Paws breeding dogs, took a trip out to Inver Grove Heights Animal Hospital.  You can tell from the photo above that they are both very pregnant.  It was a week before their due dates and time to take an x-ray to determine how many puppies they were carrying. 


Faith's x-ray showed between 10 and 12 puppies and on Monday, March 22 she delivered six girls and five boys.

Faith had a very long day on Monday, but by the end of the day she was able to take a well deserved nap with her 11 adorable puppies.  Hopefully, her caretaker home, Kim, was also able to get in a well deserved nap.

Cheers' puppies are due any day now.  Can you tell from her x-ray how many puppies she is having?


 After reviewing the x-ray, Dr. Jim Winsor was able to tell us how many puppies to expect.  Watch the video below if you want to know!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

One of the more frequent questions potential foster homes ask us is, "Is it okay if  I already have a dog?"  The answer is yes, many of our foster homes have another dog and in some cases, several other dogs.  These family pets watch as the new puppy is trained and often learn right along them.  One of Helping Paws' foster homes, the Bartels, recently entered a contest Trish Van Pilsum of Fox 9 news had through her blog.  The contest was to win a photo shoot with photographer, Molly Durkin.  To enter the contest you had to write why your dog deserved to get his picture taken.  Lori submitted her family pet, Indy, and said he deserved the photo shoot because he helped her train service dogs.  Indy won, had his photo shoot and was featured on Trish's blog.  His photos are amazing and Indy had his well deserved moment in the spotlight. 

Click here to view Indy's story