Shoreline woman starts dog therapy business

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Melanie Granfors and her therapy dog Hunter
Photo courtesy MyEdmondsNews
By Teresa Wippel, MyEdmondsNews

Well-known Shoreline Fire Public Information Officer Melanie Granfors has been educating citizens about emergency preparedness and fire and life safety for 13 years at the Shoreline Fire Department. She has worked extensively with the firefighters on emergency medical responses and has also helped patients in need of the services of the Edmonds-based MS Helping Hands Donor Closet.

“I discovered the Donor Closet years ago, when I realized how difficult it is for some folks to purchase vital equipment like walkers and wheelchairs,” Granfors said. “Fall prevention is a huge mission in our fire department, and the Donor Closet is a partner in that.”
Granfors is now also on the board of MSHH.

But one of Granfors’ latest projects involves another kind of help for people in need: animal-assisted activity and animal-assisted therapy. Granfors has started an organization called K-911 Therapy Dogs on Call. She and her trained therapy dogs provide visiting services to hospitals, nursing homes, rehab centers, schools and other facilities where the healing power of animals is recognized and encouraged.

Granfors worked for three years with her beloved therapy dog, Hunter. When Hunter died last April, she vowed to continue his work by forming K-911 Therapy Dogs and honoring him as her “forever-after dog”.
“He was the best therapy dog ever,” Granfors says. “His mellow demeanor was remarkable — and the way he gazed at humans was enough to heal the deepest of wounds, physical or emotional. I was so lucky to know and love him and so proud to share him. Hunter’s eyes shine on in my heart and will forever.”
Now she works with a black lab named Sable. And she is looking for volunteers who may want to learn about and become involved with therapy dogs and animal-assisted activities through the Delta Society.

For more information, call Granfors at 206-349-7074 or email her.


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