'She's A Blessing': Tulsa Therapy Dog Wins National Award

A Tulsa therapy dog is the winner of a national canine excellence award. Tuffie the St. Bernard brought us a little pet therapy to the Coca-Cola Porch, along with her handler Amy McCarthy.

Tuesday, February 20th 2024, 6:53 am

By: News On 6


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A Tulsa therapy dog is the winner of a national canine excellence award.

Tuffie the St. Bernard brought us a little pet therapy to the Arca Continental Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages Porch, along with her handler Amy McCarthy.

Tuffie is nine years old and has been doing therapy work for about eight and a half years through the Alliance of Therapy Dogs.

Tuffie the therapy dogTuffie works at assisted living centers and memory units, colleges during exam times, a facility for developmentally disabled children and young adults, and more.

She is also a Pink Paws member of the Saint Francis Medical Center’s therapy dog group.

Tuffie Pink Paws Saint Francis therapy dog

Tuffie visited many of the Saint Francis staff to offer support after the Natalie Building shooting in 2022.

She won a 2023 AKC Humane Fund Award for Canine Excellence (ACE) in the category of Therapy Dog.

What makes Tuffie perfect for this job?

"She's a gentle giant. She is, I think, very approachable, even though she is a huge presence. She will gently approach people. She's very calm. She's accepting. She loves everybody. She especially loves children," McCarthy said.

What is it like to be a therapy dog handler?

"As I have always thought, this is a win-win situation. I get to spend time with the dogs I love and they get to do good for the community. We also go out to the airport, the Welcome Wagon, and so people are afraid of flying. They're just kind of a calming influence. And it's a perfect venue if you would like to spend time with your dog and do good for the community," McCarthy said.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Alliance of Therapy Dogs.

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