October 2016 - Mary Kay Stewart and Dooley and Donna Schweitzer and Bailey were invited to Fort Sam Houston for the Commander's Coffee at San Antonio Military Medical Center. The event, hosted by Paula Johnson, wife of Commander Johnson, was to honor the volunteers who give of their time on Post to help the Wounded Warriors. We were both proud to be invited!
August 2016 - We attended the Soldier's Angels Meet and Greet helping them attract more volunteers. We "entertained" guests and showed the wide variety of ways to help.
April 2016 - Meet the Team
When did you and Dooley become a team? - About a year and a half ago.
What other partners have you had? - My previous Vizsla, Dylan, was also a therapy animal at Fort Sam.
In what type of facility are you visiting? - I'm the point of contact to Fort Sam so we work in behavior health at San Antonio Military Medical Center, sometimes at the Warrior and Family Support Center and with the soldiers at Laurel Ridge Mental Treatment facility.
In what other Therapy Animals activities do you and your partner participate? - We have done college destressors, Joint Base San Antonio Christmas party, and Red Cross Soldier's Angels food give away to veterans. We are also a Red Cross volunteer team and we just finished working the Poteet Strawberry Festival.
Tell us something about your partner that we may not know. - Dooley is a service animal for me as well as a therapy dog. He also runs agility in competition and adores the snow at our Colorado condo!
What Therapy Animals leadership position(s) do you currently have? - I am the point of contact for TASA to Fort Sam Houston as well as to Laurel Ridge Mental Treatment facility.
What other leadership positions have you had? - None.
Tell us something about yourself that we may not know. - Hmmmm, I am an avid gardener and reader, I love hiking in the Rockies (which I can still do thanks to Dooley) and will be doing some work in the near future for Canines for Independence. I love doing therapy dog work with our soldiers who have given so much.....we can never pay them back.
February 2016 - Visiting with Sparky.
May 2015 - In a moving Memorial Day ceremony at Fort Sam Houston under rain-laden clouds, those men and women who gave their all for our country were honored and celebrated. As therapy dogs who work at Fort Sam in support of our veterans at two locations, Warrior and Family Support Center and San Antonio Military Medical Center, Dooley and his handler Mary Kay Stewart, and Bailey and her handler Donna Schweitzer were present as invited guests. We were proud to be there in support of our military and hope to continue to expand our presence with more teams at Fort Sam. Pictured with us is Queta L. Marquez, the County Veterans Service Officer who was the guest speaker. Ms. Marquez, a native of San Antonio, has a long and important history of military service in the Marines where she was awarded many personal decorations including two Bronze Stars.
April 2015 - Mary Kay and Dooley, Donna Schweitzer and Bailey, and Graham Bishop and Victoria were guests at the Fiesta® military ceremony at Fort Sam Houston. They also attended the VIP reception following the ceremony. At the reception they spread the word about the work they do at the Warrior and Family Support Center and the San Antonio Military Medical Center.
March 2015 - Therapy Animals of San Antonio has been working hard to
strengthen our ties to Fort Sam Houston with visits to the soldiers there. Historically
there have been many problems on the post at the hospital and other locations with dogs
not affiliated with a therapy animal organization creating difficult situations for the
various locations that those animals visited. As a result, the post was closed to therapy
animals for some time. However, in 2012 I was able to make inroads as our Point of Contact
with the military, and I began visiting at the Warrior and Family Support Center (WFSC)
with my previous therapy dog Dylan. It was a successful venture and we now have four
teams there, including Dooley and me. The management at the WFSC is appreciative of having
a contact in case of problems though, of course, there have been none. The soldiers
visiting the WFSC as well as their families have truly enjoyed the presence of well trained and
well mannered dogs who have brought innumerable smiles.
In 2014, we managed to get one team into the San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC), formerly Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC), and we now have 2 teams there. Though the clearance procedure is a bit arduous, our dedicated teams have managed the work and now visit in the Behavioral Health unit. We are hoping to see an expansion into other departments soon, and thus we have high standards for the teams that work on post. Our presence there is extremely important, and we strive to safeguard our presence among the wounded warriors.