For the past three years, Tufts Paws for People has presented the “Nemo Award” to a team that has excelled at visiting with multiple groups of people, donating their time to bring comfort to others.

The award is dedicated to remembering the work that was done by Nemo, a Newfoundland dog who was a member of Tufts Paws for People for nine years.  Nemo was a natural at being a therapy dog, and he touched and changed so many lives for the better.

This year’s recipient was “Raven,” a seven-year-old miniature poodle owned by Stephanie Nye.

Stephanie and Raven have been a registered Pet Partners® team and members of Tufts Paws for People since January 2013. They began visiting at a facility that included assisted living, rehabilitation and an Alzheimer’s/dementia unit and did an excellent job with all three types of clients. Stephanie completed Read With Me™ training, and they frequently participate in literacy support programs, including a recent research study in a child remedial summer reading program. They also make regular visits to a local public school, working with students with special needs and stress relief events at colleges and universities. They represented Tufts Paws for People as part of a research study on the effects of therapy dogs in children with cancer and at many public relations events. Stephanie also assists at the Pet Partners® workshops and evaluations. This year Stephanie became a licensed Pet Partners® evaluator and is working to become an instructor. We believe Stephanie and Raven embody the true spirit of a therapy team as well as contributing to the true mission of Tufts Paws for People.

Story provided by Lisa Freeman