Never Underestimate The Power Of A Retriever

| October 15, 2014 | 0 Comments
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Gina Blevins and Tex

Photo provided by Pet Partners

Reprinted with permission from Pet Partners Interactions Magazine Summer 2014

Gina Blevins and Tex of Haymarket, Virginia

Tex is a five-year-old black Labrador Retriever that Gina Blevins raised to be a service dog for Guiding Eyes for the Blind. Although he was released from that program due to stress issues, Gina knew Tex had a special gift. Now, as a Pet Partners therapy dog, Tex works with confidence and pleasure. Gina and Tex regularly go to Fairfax Inova Hospital in Virginia, and during one particular visit, the team met a 21-year-old woman who had been severely injured in a car accident. Her numerous fractures and lacerations were healing, but the head trauma had left her in a coma for weeks. This was the first day the woman had been awake, but she was still not responding to her environment.  As the team entered the hospital room, Gina introduced herself and Tex to the woman and her mother. On command, Tex gently climbed onto the bed. When Gina asked the woman if she would like to pet Tex, her eyes lit up and she reached over to him. This was the first indication the patient was becoming aware of her surroundings — she understood the request, and she was able to process the information, engage her muscles and follow through. Tex and Gina continued to spend time with the woman, and soon, her mother explained that her daughter had been originally scheduled to transfer to a nursing home, but this new interaction would likely upgrade her to a neurology rehabilitation facility instead. Although Tex hadn’t made it as a guide dog, he found another significant way to make a difference. Gina said, “being involved in animal-assisted therapy has shown me the profound effect our animals can have on people emotionally and physically.  We should never underestimate the power they possess and we should make every effort to share it with the community.”

Category : Dogs With Jobs, Service Dogs

About the Author ()

Pet Partners, formerly Delta Society, is a non-profit organization that brings individuals together who share a common passion - a love of animals and people. We are committed to making a difference within our local communities and across the globe. Vision: People are healthier and happier because companion, service and therapy animals enrich and positively impact their everyday lives. Mission: Pet Partners is the leader in demonstrating and promoting positive human-animal interactions to improve the physical, emotional and psychological lives of those we serve. Visit us at

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