Pompom top on our visiting Patches.

Rescued by Patches


By Sharon McDermott

WAGS has a lot of Ambassador dogs who were rescued from many different agencies.  But this tale is not of a rescued dog.  This story is to explain how a person was rescued by a dog.  Not from raging water, nor from a dark forest but from a deep sorrow in her soul.

When my husband was in Baptist East rehabilitation unit after a medical issue, while in the exercise room, in walks several people with dogs in tow.  I was totally mesmerized.  Why were people bringing dogs into the Hospital?  At that point I did not know of WAGS and their work.  But when I saw how the patients and staff suddenly had a new breath of life, I had to know more.  I was impressed, but went on with my task at hand of caring for my husband.

Little did I know how meeting WAGS that day would change what life had in store for me. 

Almost a year after my husband died, I was so depressed and seemed to be getting more so each day. I knew myself well enough to know what I needed to do.  I began my search for a dog; a small dog.  My luck at our Humane Societies was not working out for a small dog.  I wanted a Shih Tzu, a Maltese or a Yorkie.  The size was right for my age and physical ability to carry if necessary.  I found a mix puppy: the dad was Shih Tzu and the mom was Maltese/Yorkie.  It was meant to be.

Once she became 16 weeks and had all of her shots, we began training.  I had a plan in mind, but I had to work to see if she wanted the same.  After several training classes (mostly for me) I knew this might just workout.  We would try our hand/paw at WAGS.  I did the steps to become a member and when she became 18 months, we tested for our needed skills.  At 18 months and five pounds we passed and officially became an Ambassador Team.

So, we set out on our mission to bring the happiness and hope to people in all situations as I had seen so many months before.

The peace and comfort that is conveyed to a person needing help to get through the moment or the day can be seen in their eyes as they pet or hug a therapy dog. There is an unspoken understanding between them.

I am a proud Ambassador Team with a wonderful organization which is all about comfort and support for our community.  There are many of us volunteers, but the community need is so great that I personally want to encourage anyone who is a little lost to consider how much good you can do for others and yourself by sharing your heart and dog.

Thank you for any support that you can provide to WAGS: Wonderful Animals Giving Support.


Sharon McDermott (and of course, Patches)