A special guest will be on hand at the All Hands In traditional song and dance event scheduled for Friday, March 22, from 6 to 10 pm, at the HealingNewtown Arts Space, 5 Queen Street. Therapy dog Willow, a female white Standard Poodle owned by Alison Kelley, a member of The Johnson Girls & Friends, will be available to offer comfort from 6 to 7 pm, and following the community dance.
Johnson Girls & Friends are among the featured performers at the Friday evening dance program.
Willow has been in service to Ms Kelley since she was 12 weeks old and provides her with mobility, balance, and PTSD assistance. They began training as a therapy dog team with The Good Dog Foundation of New York when Willow was eight months old and have been visiting hospitals, nursing homes, and attending community outreach events since they received certification in 2011. In 2012, Willow and Ms Kelley trained at The Staten Island Companion Dog Training Club and became certified as an Intermediate Trick Dog Team.
Willow is very sensitive to suffering and tries different methods to comfort those in need. According to Ms Kelley, the dog loves to meet new people, give out hugs and kisses, and be petted and admired. Willow may give a trick performance Friday evening, as well.
Visiting with Willow is free.
Donations to All Hand In will be accepted for HealingNewtown and The Newtown Lions Club Foundation. Registration is requested by calling 203-364-9230, or contacting info@HealingNewtown.org.