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Ginger of Lagorce THDD CGCA CGCU TKN owned by Frederick Charles Sake of Miami, FL

Ginger is 5 years old, was rescued at 10 weeks of age, and is part Labrador Retriever, part German Shepherd and part “who-knows-what,” Frederick said.

She has been working as a therapy dog since December 2013. She and Fred are often called the “Fred and Ginger” team (as in Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers). They have “been privileged to have made over 470 therapy visits to the elderly at Seasons Hospice and Palliative Care, to children in need at the Miami-Dade County Grace Court for victims of human trafficking, and to children in dependency and delinquency proceedings by participating in the Paws of Court program in Miami-Dade courts, Juvenile Court Division,” Frederick said. Ginger has also assisted with a children’s reading program at the Miami Beach Public Library and at a school for children with special needs.

On Monday and Wednesday afternoons, Ginger brings a bit of distraction and playfulness to children, generally aged from several months to the early teens, who are in the strange and strained environment of the court system.

“For the few minutes that a child plays with Ginger, they seem to entirely forget where they are and why they have been thrown into that strange and frightening world,” Frederick said. “When we approach a child waiting outside a courtroom for a bunch of strange adults to decide his or her fate in unfathomable proceedings and I ask ‘Would you like to meet Ginger? She would like to meet you,’ a big grin or smile comes onto the child’s face, and they start to play with Ginger. They lose themselves in the moment of that child-dog world. It is one of the most satisfying accomplishments imaginable.”

Ginger also does hospice volunteer work every Tuesday, “where she brings comfort and distraction to those who are elderly and dying and a little respite to those who are sad and despairing. She really appears to get some special joy when the person she is visiting pets her and gives her a treat,” Frederick said.

The Fred and Ginger team plan on continuing hospice therapy and work with children for as long as Ginger can do so; they have also enthusiastically encouraged others to investigate and consider doing pet assisted therapy.

“It is with great pride and pleasure that we go on our therapy visits as representing Love on a Leash and the AKC,” Frederick said. Ginger earned her THDD title in January.