Story by: Julie Kruer on December 8, 2020
Love dogs? Love kids? Love the holidays?
The 2021 Paws for Days facility dog wall calendar is on sale now.
The calendars are available for sale online for $20, with free shipping, and proceeds support Norton Healthcare’s Heel, Dog, Heal facility dog program. The program provides highly trained dogs and handlers to give comfort and support to patients and families during their time of need.
The colorful calendars feature each of our nine full-time facility dogs as well as some adorable group photos, and will make for a perfect holiday gift for a great cause this season.
The online store features additional Heel, Dog, Heal items such as apparel, hats and backpacks. Ten percent of your purchase of any of these items also benefits the Heel, Dog, Heal program through support from Tag Your Swag, which creates and sells custom-branded apparel and products.
The Heel, Dog, Heal program is funded by the Norton Healthcare Foundation and the Norton Children’s Hospital Foundation through the generosity of community members.
The program launched in 2017 with two dogs and expanded in 2020 to nine full-time facility dogs with a 10th dog in training. Norton Healthcare has partnered with various programs for the training of our dogs, including the Camp K-9 program at the Kentucky State Reformatory, Duffy’s Dog Training Center and Paws with Purpose in partnership with the Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women.
“We are so grateful for the support of the community that makes this program possible,” said Heather Stohr, manager, child life and expressive therapies, Norton Healthcare.
The Norton Healthcare Heel, Dog, Heal wall calendar helps support the facility dog program to comfort patients.
Heather, who is also a dog handler for facility dog Juno, recalls a patient visit when Juno helped a young girl walk for the first time since injuring her leg in a car accident. The patient had staples from her ankle to her knee and was able to stand from her wheelchair and walk Juno around the unit with no tears.
“It was truly precious to see,” Heather said.
The dogs still receive many more patient requests than they can fulfill. Proceeds from the sale of the calendars will help support the care of Norton Healthcare’s current facility dog team and fund more four-legged caregivers that can bring comfort and support to both pediatric and adult patients.