I became involved with Paws With Love in 2017 when my good friend, Keri, asked my husband to drive the trailer in a parade. We both realized what a worthwhile program this was and immediately became supporting members. This led to me helping with the obedience classes we teach as an assistant. My beloved Jack Russell mix, Bindi, was well behaved but not much of a dog lover, much less people but we used her as a training example in classes. After a couple of years of being around all the other group members and their dogs, everyone encouraged me to test her for therapy dog. Surprisingly, she enjoyed it and passed the test in 2019. We began our work with the Red Cross and now we are part of the Sit, Stay, Read program at the Lawton Public Library. We both love working with the kids and have seen just how much this program helps improve their reading skills. As a 3rd generation Lawtonian, I'm proud to be a small part in a group that is such a blessing to the many people we visit all around Lawton and the surrounding area.
Paws With Love
I became a member of PWL in 2011 with two Irish Setters, Liam and Chance. I became a tester/observer for ATD in 2015 and also an AKC CGC evaluator around the same time. In 2018 I was elected treasurer for PWL and am honored to have this opportunity to serve this terrific group in this position. I have had 5 Irish Setters as therapy dogs to date. Liam, Chance and Declan, although all gone now and frolicking over Rainbow Bridge, have never been forgotten in my heart especially nor by others who fondly remember their work at the hospital, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and schools. My 2 current working Irish Setters, Cinna and Seamus, continue to bring lots of joy, smiles and frequently laughter, especially, famous Seamus. I always tell people how much I truly enjoy this volunteer work. What could be more rewarding and fulfilling than sharing what I love the most with others.
After spending 29 years moving to different Army posts, I was able to settle down in Lawton OK. I became interested in therapy dog work in 2011 after rescuing a very sweet Golden Retriever. Working in various areas of the health field, I saw how people responded to conversations about their pets. Old Girl and I became a team through Alliance of Therapy Dogs and began our 5 year long journey together visiting nursing homes, retirement homes, the Cancer Center and Rehab at CCMH and schools. She retired in 2016 due to age and had over 400 visits under her belt. I now have two other working Goldens, Sunny and Cy, carrying on her legacy. They bring so many smiles in so many ways and love visiting. What a wonderful way to spend retirement. I have the best job in the world.
I joined Paws With Love Therapy Dogs (PWL) in 2014 without having a therapy dog and really without knowing much about the program. After an invitation to help with a few things in the group, I found myself becoming a part of PWL. I started to help with teaching obedience classes and became the instructor for puppy obedience. After a few years of being a member of PWL I was nominated and elected President of PWL. I was asked to speak about the group at a local elementary school. Walking into that school and seeing how those kids reacted to this big red Irish Setter was all it took to convince me that I wanted a therapy dog and I wanted to be able to bring that kind of joy to people. So now I have Rosie and Tucker. We are able to bring joy and smiles to people at hospitals and schools. I love every minute of this volunteer work and am so very proud of what PWL does for the community.
JoAnn Muller - Vice President
My name is Leann Legako. I am a founding member of Paws with Love Therapy Dogs. For close to 11 years, I have been an officer or board member with this amazing group. Being a tester/evaluator has allowed me to meet and certify many wonderful Therapy Dog teams. These therapy teams have enriched our community. My first therapy dog, Sadie, gave me such a love for volunteering and made many wonderful memories. After she passed my heart needed to return to therapy visits to heal. I now have Sammy. My current Therapy Dog Sammy has been a joy to train, and he loves to go on therapy visits. Sharing Sammy brings joy to myself as well as others. It is such an honor to volunteer with my PWL therapy teams.
To provide comfort and companionship by sharing our therapy dogs with individuals in hospitals, nursing homes, schools and other institutions.
We provide Therapy Dogs, Training, Evaluation, Registration and Volunteering. Therapy Dogs help promote emotional well-being, healing and over all quality of life. We also provide a reading program in local schools and the local library which provides reading practice for children in a non-judgmental atmosphere. If you are interested in requesting a free visit please contact us, we would love to hear from you!
Paws With Love is a 501c3 non-profit group of volunteer handlers and their therapy dogs. Our members are certified with a national organization, Alliance of Therapy Dogs. All funding is obtained through donations.