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Guira’s Bella THDD CGCA CGCU & Eileen Guiry of Dover, DE

Bella, a 10-year-old Miniature Schnauzer, was a rescue dog living in the Kent County SPCA shelter when Eileen Guiry of Dover, DE, adopted her.

Eileen quickly recognized that Bella had the makings of an excellent therapy dog.

“When I first got Bella, she was so loving and trusting I knew she would make a great therapy dog. She passed her AKC Canine Good Citizen class with flying colors and has also earned her advanced level of CGC.”

The two have been volunteering at Bayhealth Kent General hospital in Dover two days a week for past four years, along with visiting various nursing homes and the veteran’s home.

In 2015 Bella put in 296 hours visiting patients at the hospital alone.

“Bella loves to visit where ever we go, and the patients and the staff love her back. Many patients are surprised to see dogs in the hospital, especially when they see Bella riding in a stroller.  Patients will even ask if they could take her home with them.”

Bella and Eileen were one of two therapy dog teams invited to be on the Delaware Senate floor on April 11, 2014, when they passed a law declaring April 11 as National Pet Day in Delaware.

Bella was awarded the 2014 Spirit of Planetree Pet Therapy Award from Bayhealth Kent General Hospital. The national award recognizes the role that therapy pets plays in the healing of patients.

Bella also has earned the AKC Distinguished Therapy Dog (THDD) for making more than 400 visits to help others.

“Bella is not only a therapy dog; she is also my service dog for PTSD. Bella is my best friend and I would surely be lost without her,” Eileen said.

Bella is a member of the AKC Canine Partners program for all dogs, including mixed-breeds and rescues.