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Therapy Dogs Give Warm, Fuzzy Feelings to Memphis Passengers

Three teams from the West Tennessee Therapy Dogs organization are working as volunteers at Memphis International Airport bringing comfort, affection and smiles to passengers.

The dogs escorted by their handlers welcome petting, paw shakes and even hugs as they walk through the airport meeting and greeting passengers. The friendly canines wear brightly colored vests with the words “I’m a therapy dog; Please pet me,” to let passengers know their attention is appreciated.

Airport President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Brockman said the dogs help provide an enjoyable experience. “We want our passengers to have a ‘Positively MEMorable’ travel experience at Memphis International, and the Therapy Dogs are certainly adding to that. Our travelers have been very enthusiastic about the program. These friendly dogs are an easy way to put a smile on their face and help them relax a little before their flight.”

West Tennessee Therapy Dogs was founded three years ago by JoAnne Fusco and Anne Weiss. “The airport is one of our favorite places to bring the dogs as we see the reaction from travelers,” said Weiss.

To be a part of the Therapy Dog organization, the dog and handler team must undergo training and pass a ten-step test for certification.

Pictured left to right are all three teams, Pete Friedman with Tessa an English Cream Golden Retriever, JoAnne Fusco with Boss also an English Cream Golden Retriever, and Anne Weiss with Teva, a Coton de Tulear which is a new rare breed of dog.

Pictured left to right are all three teams, Pete Friedman with Tessa an English Cream Golden Retriever, JoAnne Fusco with Boss also an English Cream Golden Retriever, and Anne Weiss with Teva, a Coton de Tulear which is a new rare breed of dog.

Dog and family

Dog and two girls