Mary Helen Hughes’ Roxy dog is Nelly, a chocolate lab. Mary Helen and Nelly volunteer at Bridge Valley Elementary School, the Courthouse and CB High Schools.
Mary Helen finds her interactions with the children very rewarding, however, she is more impressed with what the Roxy program has done for her dog Nelly. Nelly was a rescue dog with a history of neglect and several owners. She was a very unruly crazy dog when Mary Helen got her. With training and love, Nelly was certified as a therapy dog. Nelly’s work at Bridge Valley is with autistic and learning support. Nelly has filled this role nicely as a Roxy therapy dog going with the flow in these classrooms and loving her job.
Mary Helen also reported a time in the Courthouse where she was talking with a little boy who was very sad that day. They read a book about a dog and the boy was asking why Nelly does not bark. He wanted to hear Nelly bark. Nelly was startled by something in the Courthouse and let out a bark causing the boy to laugh very hard. Thanks to Nelly, a sad little boy had a good laugh.
Mary Helen is just very happy she was able to give Nelly a purpose after being neglected so long. She credits Roxy Therapy Dogs for helping her to be able to do that for Nelly.