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Davis Evertson reads to Monk, also a read- ing therapy dog. Monk and other dogs (and some cats and rabbits) are Pet Part- ners, who with their human handlers work in schools and coun- seling centers, court- rooms and hospitals.


Dolly got her start as a puppy visiting Marr’s mother and other residents of an assisted living center. “She is very gentle and loving. She allowed everyone to hold her and stroke her silky long hair,” she said.


Connection to creation Hubbard sees Gloria Dei’s alliance with Pet Partners as “an expression of creation care, God’s grace manifest through animals.”


“I think the pet owners appreciate the commissioning in the context of worship,” he added. “Not all of them are active church members, maybe some are disaffected from religion but they find it refreshing for a church to acknowledge God working through an animal/human partnership.”


The alliance with the congregation grew when Marr asked Hubbard if she could use a room at church to con- duct evaluations of Pet Partner teams. Since then the connection has expanded as Gloria Dei opened its doors to meetings of pet handlers, training classes (humans and animals) and other acitivities. It’s a good match. Gloria Dei has a commitment to helping people in need through its “Creation Care” effort. And Pet Partners brings together people to share their love of animals and make a difference in their communities.


Helping kids read


Now Dolly is a READ dog. “I saw that Dolly was very good with children,” Marr said. “On family nights at the assisted living residence, the grandkids flocked to Dolly


August 2013 31


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