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The Ava Area Animal Welfare League Junior met Tuesday February 22nd in Mrs. Karen Davis’ classroom on the Ava R-1 school campus. Members in attendance were: Mary Chipps, Judy Ross, Marilyn Alms, Albany Wallace, Sherry Wallace, Karen Davis, Alexis Beverlin, Ali Hall, Barbara Andrus, Paul McKee, Lynda Clouse, Erin Clouse, Lance Clouse, Nanda Bradshaw, Larry Bradshaw, and Carol Riggs. Members enjoyed a special presentation by Yorik the Wonder Dog and John and Marilyn Slaton. John and Marilyn have been training Yorik (Your-Rick) for several years to be a trick dog and therapy pet. Yorik has had basic command training, agility skills training, trained to be a therapy pet and is constantly adding new tricks to his vast repertoire of advanced tricks. As a therapy pet, Yorik must be comfortable in many types of social situations from loud busy areas to new territories. Certified therapy pets provide mental, physical and emotional health for housebound patients. “It gives the patient someone to love on, it lowers blood pressure, lessens depression, and gives patients something to look forward to.” Yorik must pass certification classes, and must be kind, friendly, and gentle. Yorik is a Norwegian Elk Hound and he is about five and a half years old. His owners (John and Marilyn) take Yorik to lots of events and make regular scheduled visits to area residential care facilities. Yorik visits the Heart of the Ozarks Healthcare Center the third Thursday of each month at about 9:30 AM. Sometimes Yorik just gets to visit patients in their rooms, but often Yorik get to put on his whole show for an audience. This was the case at our most recent AAAWLJ meeting. Yorik answered the phone, took clothes from the dryer, picked up trash and put it in the trash can, fixed us a snack in the oven, solved a math problem, sniffed out “lost” items, and even played the piano. Yorik was a joy to meet and his tricks were very impressive. We really enjoy his visit. Yorik and his trainers showed us some wonderful tips to effectively train a pet (“NO Negative correction commands”), reward good behavior (Treats), interact with your pet daily and continue training every day. Your pet will love the attention and you will enjoy your pet more.
The AAAWLJ has submitted a grant to the Missouri Department of Agriculture for monies to be used to help with our spay/neuter program. We should know something later in March.
The Ava Middle School is running a contest between grade levels for the collection of Best Choice labels. Send labels with your child or grandchildren to help with this project. Labels could also be dropped off at the office or mailed to: AAAWLJ, PO Box 1885, Ava, MO 65608.
Our next meeting will be on March 15th at 3:30 PM in Mrs. Davis’ room (Bad Weather Date: March 22nd). Come join us. Look for our donation cans around town and help support this community organization.