The dog-loving world’s hearts melted collectively just the other day when celebrity chef, Robert Irvine posted a video on his Instagram page in which his charity foundation and Paws for People got together to red vest a dog…officially making him a military veteran’s service dog.
And we all love dogs; that’s why we so often converge on this site, dear readers. But when adorable dogs meet a charitable donation, our hearts collectively melt, as they certainly will when you watch Irvine’s aforementioned post.
Join us as we take a look at this heartwarming moment made possible by the Robert Irvine Foundation and Paws for People
The Robert Irvine Foundation
For fans of the culinary industry, Chef Robert Irvine is of course no stranger. He has had quite the impressive culinary career and on the Food Network alone has hosted and been involved with many shows including the very popular Dinner: Impossible and of course Restaurant: Impossible, in which he helps struggling restaurant owners get back on their feet.
His charitable endeavors don’t stop there, as he founded the Robert Irvine Foundation as well; a former military man in his native England himself, he understands the stresses that a life after the military can present.
Perhaps the absolute best way to describe the foundation is through the very mission statement found on the foundation’s official website:
"“The Robert Irvine Foundation’s primary focus is giving back and supporting our service members, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need through resiliency, health, and wellness programs, in addition to the financial support of top-rated military and first responder organizations.”"
Paws for People
Lynne Robinson, who is a retired school teacher decided to train Boo Radley, the first ever Paws for People dog to be trained for pet therapy after she adopted him. Over the years her team of one dog grew and grew, as Robinson saw the absolutely powerful effect dogs could have on people in need of support and well, therapy, so she founded the organization soon afterward.
The demand turned out to be huge as time went on and the foundation grew further from those humble beginnings and it grew rapidly at that.
Their mission too, is a powerful one:
"“With our mission of loving individualized visits with gentle, sweet pets always at our heart, PAWS has grown to be the largest pet therapy organization in the Mid-Atlantic region serving all of Delaware and parts of PA, NJ, and MD and a diverse group of dedicated people and their amazing therapy pets…We say that our main objective is “to provide the very best visit for everyone involved” – the recipient, the therapy human, and the pet. With our eye on that objective, we continue to recruit, train, certify, place, and oversee happy humans and adorable pets doing the very best pet therapy we can provide.”-via Paws for People"
Bentley finds a home
Bentley, an adorable dog trained by Paws for People, was given a red vest and he was awarded to Zack, a veteran in need of a therapy dog.
A little bit of background info on Zack McNew, the veteran awarded Bentley, as per a press release:
"“Zack spent six years active duty with the U.S. Army, as a Military Police officer. While serving, he was a Military Working Dog handler, and deployed to Iraq, where he was always on high alert for threats. As a result, he is diagnosed with PTSD. Zack experiences heightened anxiety, struggles with depression and feelings of survivor’s guilt, and often lacks the motivation and energy to leave his home and interact with society.”via wect.com"
The Robert Irvine Foundation and Paws for People teamed up for the incredibly adorable moment and as it quite obviously seemed in the video, Bentley could not have been a happier doggy. To see the video of the adorable and touching moment, visit Robert Irvine’s Instagram here.
It isn’t the easiest thing to do—train a dog to be a therapy dog—as it takes a long time to train the animals and to get their human friend ready for the experience as well; much like it is for the animals trained by Mira…a Quebec-based foundation providing seeing eye dogs for those in need, founded in 1981.
The whole process can take up to a year and sometimes over that, so overall, the moment was huge and a heartwarming one at that.
“It’s a partnership made in heaven,” as Irvine himself said in the post he filmed for his Instagram followers.
Essentially the red vest is like a graduation hat, if you will, and it symbolizes the partnership that the dog and human are embarking on…a relationship made…well, as Chef Irvine said it best…“in heaven.”
Have any heartwarming service dog stories you’d like to share, dear readers? Let us know in the comments.