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Positively the Heartland: Puppies with purpose bring peace as therapy animals in Omaha and beyond

Posted at 7:05 PM, May 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-30 20:05:33-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — We arrived during naptime. Nine puppies, nestled on a heating pad.

“There's Light Goldens, Golden and Dark Golden, and they go the whole spectrum in between,” said breeder Christy Brandt.

Brandt explained the British type is known for this lighter fur. Just like mom, Dublin.

“She's an amazing mom,” said Brandt.

Once up from their nap, Dublin's "littles" can't get to her fast enough.

Their eyes are open, but they can't see very far, so they rely mostly on touch and smell right now.

The puppies — not quite four weeks old — are all already spoken for.

“One is going to a lady that has multiple sclerosis that lives in upstate New York.

“And then, the one that's going to Uplifting Paws ... a little girl that will go to be trained and hopefully just as cool as Indy," who is Dublin's half-sister.

An example of the difference that the puppies will make someday.

Indy is a full-time therapy dog at Children's Respite Care Center (CRCC) in Omaha.

"Our main goal is just to be here and help every kid learn and reach their potential,"

Carrie Kolar is Indy's owner and the director of special education.

"Some of our kids will work for her," said Kolar. "So, by making good choices or being kind to others, they can earn time with Indy. So, they might come read her a book. A lot of times, they like to brush her or teach her a trick."

Kolar went through Uplifting Paws in Lincoln, a facility that provides highly trained service dogs to people with disabilities.

Indy's been doing this now for six months.

CRCC serves people six weeks to 21 years old, including people who have highly complex medical needs.

"Their temperaments are just ideal for any type of therapy, whether it's a service dog, or an emotional support dog or an institution dog," said Brandt. "They love everybody."

Second to their purpose, Brandt's dogs are award-winners. Through her work, she's made friends around the world.

"A lot of my friends in Europe live in Ukraine ... they're Ukrainian breeders," said Brandt. "Two of them fled to Romania and live with my breeder."

Because of the turmoil, Brandt calls this the "peace" litter, which is also what you feel while holding the puppies. The people they'll serve will experience that too, starting late next month.

Before they go, they will be temperament tested to see which will be the best fit for the organizations and families that have already been vetted.

For more information on Kashmir Goldens, visit this link.

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