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Tessa Mae Hammett THDD CGCA CGCU owned by Beverly Hammett of Starkville, MS

Tessa Mae, 10 years old, was born to be a guide dog for blind handlers in California. Beverly had worked with Tessa’s original handler for eight years, until she was no longer able to work her or financially care for her. Beverly is also blind and already had another dual certified service dog/therapy dog, Mazie Grace THDD CGCA CGCU. She accepted the challenge of Tessa Mae’s care, training, and exposure to nursing homes, hospitals, etc. which she took to very well. Tessa Mae has had to learn sign language, German, and to be an ambassador.

Her “sister,” Mazie Grace, helped to put her on the road to success, during outings with students who are blind and hearing impaired. “On our daily adventures, we educate, empower, and provide awareness of what we do – demonstrating the need and the benefits to people with disabilities and those with chronic diseases,” Beverly said. “We make the community aware of the laws regarding handlers with service animals and their accessibility to various establishments.”

Tessa Mae and Mazie Grace are recognized by the transit system on the Mississippi State University campus. Children in the schools, daycares, libraries with reading programs know them and some still remember them from when they first started in Paws for Friendship, Inc., eight years ago.

“Whether we receive accolades, titles, etc., the best rewards are those of people stopping, smiling, petting the dogs, and bringing those wonderful memories and smiles to all.” Tessa earned her THDD title in November of 2019.

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