A Girl’s Best Friend

. November 26, 2013.
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Myranda Klein was just a little girl when she decided that she was going to share with others the love her dog gave to her. Klein, now a 17-year-old Findlay High School senior, says she devel- oped a desire to help others with the art of dog therapy , canines bringing joy to people, when she was a child sitting with her dog at home watching TV. “When I was little, I always watched Animal Planet and I just saw things with therapy dogs,” Klein said. “I knew Duke, my dog, would be a great therapy dog. I also knew that if Michael Vicks’ pit bulls could be ther- apy dogs, so could my sweet lab.” Klein began taking training class- es two hours once a week when she was ten with Duke, who is now six years old. Klein recently became certi- fied after taking training classes from Findlay’s Golden Collar School for Dogs with trainers Anne Moore and Judy Leister and passing dog therapy tests. She and Duke are now certified and registered with Therapy Dogs International. The team traveled to Findlay High School for their first official site visit in October. Klein says that she and Duke make a good dog therapy team be- cause they both are delivering a ser- vice that they have a passion for and they get back what they give. “Duke really loves the attention and the visits are really just all about him and loving him so he really loves it and can’t wait to go to “work,” Klein said. “I love doing this because it really makes me happy to bring joy to other people and give Duke a job he really enjoys.” Klein describes herself as fun and outgoing with her favorite classes be- ing vet science and algebra. She has a very busy schedule that includes a full day of classes and several extra- curricular activities: cross country, crew chief for the Findlay First Edition Show Choir, and technical the- ater. Her evenings often run late at the school or on dog training nights when she also trains two other dogs- Daisy and Zora, but she loves every minute of it. When she does have time to relax, she says you can prob- ably find her hanging out with her best friends Chase Wagner and Beth Davila. Klein is hoping her work ethic, current activities and passion will lead to bigger future goals. “I have been accepted to the Uni- versity of Findlay and University of West Virginia’s pre-vet programs,” Klein said. “I want to have my own ranch with therapy dogs and horses for disabled children and also work at a vet clinic.” For now, Klein is excited about the first of those goals being met as she and Duke head out into the community to provide some tender loving care. “I expect people to open up and come to life when Duke visits them,” Klein said. “I hope to see shy chil- dren reach out to him for comfort or senior citizens in nursing homes light up when a friendly dog shows them love.”