Every dog has its day, and at this year’s Wine & Wags around a dozen canines, as well as their people, were honored for their great work at Children’s Hospital Colorado. There were doggie treats and pats for the puppies, and plenty of delectable wines and tasty tidbits for two-legged friends and supporters. On Monday, Sept. 11, the fourth annual friendraiser for Children’s Prescription Pet Program attracted a pack of positive people and pooches at Kuni Lexus in Greenwood Village. Hot diggety dog!

(l to r): Jeff Toussaint, Bee Bennett and Wade Bennett

At check-in, each guest received a paw-print bracelet and a pebble from Creekside Elementary School students of second-grade teacher Kathy Paulson. She and her class organized a fundraiser for the pet program after a visit from one of the PPP dogs, selling dog-themed items along with some heart-felt monetary donations that raised more than $650. One of the many lessons Paulson taught her students was about the ripple effect of giving, and she urged guests to keep their pebbles as a reminder to do good deeds in their own lives.

Event founder Lyn Schaffer (left) and veteran Prescription Pet Program team Darby Kelly and Cormac

Pet Program founder Sara Mark, DVM, and event organizer Lyn Schaffer also addressed the group, and went on to recognize reps from Chewy’s Bonetique, Biscuits and Berries Catering, and Kuni Lexus for their continued support. The program ended with giveaways that included a dog-themed travel tote and a children’s book “paw-tographed” by each volunteer PPP dog-and-owner team.

The Prescription Pet Program (first in the nation) is a dog-assisted therapy and visitation program that began in 1984 as a cooperative effort of Children’s Colorado and the Denver Area Veterinary Medical Society (DAVMS). As part of the program, specially trained volunteer dog owners take their dogs on rounds at Children’s Colorado. All Prescription Pet dogs have passed a vigorous screening and have been approved by veterinarians who volunteer their time.

Mimi Kroger, with Hugs

The dogs’ visits with patients can range from a few minutes or longer, depending on the child’s response. The dogs also assist the medical staff in the psychiatric units and, as needed, in the physical rehabilitation department. Patients can request a dog visit, and prospective volunteers can apply for the program by calling the Volunteer Office at 720-777-6887. To learn more, please visit: https://www.childrenscolorado.org/community/donate-volunteer/volunteer/prescription-pet-program/.