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From Stray to Therapy Dog – Meet Mardi

Mardi was found on Mardi Gras in Louisiana as a stray. She was placed in a high-kill shelter. Not much was known about her history, but it was suspected she was a rejected hunting dog.

Arizona Beagle Rescue offered to transport Mardi to Arizona where Cheyanne opened her home and heart to be her foster. Mardi was heartworm positive and required an intense four-month treatment, but Cheyanne knew that just after a few weeks that Mardi was hers!

Mardi at first did not display characteristics of a therapy dog – she was very skittish based on her previous life. She would run away terrified over the smallest things and wouldn’t let men pet her.

Cheyanne had lost her previous dog Sophie to cancer not long after Mardi was adopted. Sophie was Cheyanne’s first therapy dog with Gabriel’s Angels. Mardi was clearly not happy as an only dog, so along came Tiana. Mardi LOVED having a puppy to hang out with and after she was a year old, Tiana started doing therapy work with Gabriel’s Angels.

It took a lot of socialization, but Mardi soon became more comfortable around people and started seeking attention. With Mardi’s sweet and gentle disposition, Cheyanne decided to test her to be a therapy dog and she aced it. Cheyanne and Mardi are now a Pet Therapy team with the Animals, Books and Children program. Mardi is wonderful with the kids and the one-on-one reading has been a perfect role for her.

“Working with Gabriel’s Angels is like nothing I’ve ever done before when it comes to therapy dogs. We want everyone to succeed, and this is such a unique program to Arizona. Teaching and modeling core values like healthy attachments is so important for the kids we visit because you never know their background, and they may be afraid or not know how to bond and attach to others, but part of the goal is to help them bond with the dog. When we show up consistently, children learn that sense of attachment to someone they care about, and that’s, again, one of the many reasons why I love Gabriel’s Angels and the impact it has on children and their families,” explains Cheyanne.

Mardi is Cheyanne’s third therapy dog with Gabriel’s Angels, and we are honored that she is one of our volunteers, along with Mardi and Tiana!

To see Tiana and Cheyanne in action, check out this video. 


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Charity ID (EIN): 86-0991198

Arizona QCO: 20449

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