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Size doesn't matter

Maddy with her certification tag for being a therapy dog. Owner Ashley Bemis said that, due to her size (she weighs around six pounds), the tag is too big for her to wear.1 / 3
Maddy during her certification test, in which she was required to sit for a certain period of time.2 / 3
Maddy lifting the spirits of a patient at the Ellsworth Care Center.3 / 3

Research shows therapy dogs have the ability to lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, ease depression and improve the quality of life, among other factors.

That's for the patient. How about owning one?

"It's been very rewarding," said Ashley Bemis, who owns "Maddy," a Chihuahua/Papillon dog who officially became certified last July. "It makes your day when their eyes light up when we walk in."

Bemis and husband Ryan, who live north of Bay City, bought Maddy nearly three years ago when she was only seven-weeks-old. Bemis explained that, previously, she wasn't a big fan of Chihuahuas until she saw a picture of Maddy. Ryan then surprised her on a work break, holding the pound-and-a-half dog as an anniversary gift.

The couple then talked to some friends, who convinced them Maddy could make a good therapy dog.

"We didn't get her for therapy; it just worked out that way," she said.

For more please read the April 21 print version of the Herald.

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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