To Contact any WTTD Team Member email:

Current WTTD Members

  Anne Weiss – [Director]  and partner: Cashew 

I would like you to meet Cashew.  He is part Bichon and the other part is pure happiness. His story was rather sad when I met him.  Cash had been dropped at Memphis Animal Shelter two days before Xmas.  The only thing the Shelter was told was his name, breed, his age (4) and that he loved children. Woof River rescue took him from the Shelter, vetted him and he went into a foster home.  I called the rescue some days later and asked if they had a dog they thought could be a wonderful therapy dog.  End of story...Cashew came to live with us.  And yes, he adores children and can't wait to be with them.  He needed no training to become a therapy dog.  He was a natural.  I have done therapy for over 20 years, with numerous purebred dogs from Bearded Collies to a Coton de Tulear and Cashew is the best dog I have ever had and the only “mutt” I have had since childhood. His tail is always wagging and his eyes show his love.  We would love to visit with you and go to schools and libraries where there are lots of children.

  Jo Anne Fusco – [Asst. Director & Evaluator]
and partners:  BOSS and KEYS


Tanglewood’s Stylin by Hugo Boss, (aka Boss), has done a great job in following in his brothers (Kickers) footsteps.  Big shoes to fill I must add!   He always has a smile on his face and has personality plus! Boss, along with Kicker, started the animal assisted therapy program at The West Clinic Cancer Center.   Boss also loves visiting The Exceptional Foundation where he often goes to work with his handler and owner, Jo Anne, aka JoJo. One of the many tricks that he has learned is Stop, Drop and Roll and his most famous trick of all, sneezing on command!    Boss is a registered READ Dog and enjoys the kids reading to him at various libraries and the Early Learning Center at Temple Israel.  On the weekends you might spot Boss and other teams at the Memphis International Airport, greeting travelers with a great big smile.   Boss is the ideal therapy dog and brings joy to everyone he meets! Boss is also known for "walking himself" with his leash in his mouth!


Hues Of Gold, Keys To Ladder Company 3 (aka Keys)   Keys was born on 9-11 and his litter had a special theme, First Responders.  Ladder Company 3 was the first group of men to reach the World Trade Center on that dreadful day.  It is also the Fire engine that is housed in the World Trade Center Museum.  The group lost the most men and the truck was burned terribly.  Keys is a very special boy.  Keys earned his therapy dog registration at the age of 1.  This British Golden Retriever from Alaska has a wonderful sweet personality that everyone falls in love with.  He even has a great big smile, always!   Keys is known as Boss’s little brother and is filling the shoes or should I say paws of Kicker, whom he never met.    He is becoming quite the celebrity with a commercial spot on TV for The West Cancer Center, but that doesn’t surprise me.  He was also on TV the day he arrived at Memphis International Airport from Alaska as we met the next Therapy dog in training at 10 weeks old.  Keys has a very positive fun spirited character, in fact he is a character!  It is very apparent how much he loves visiting and being around people.  He loves adults with cancer, staff, children at schools or airports, special needs individuals, and really everyone.    Keys visits West Cancer Center, The Memphis International Airport, The Women’s Prison, Temple Israel preschool, Methodist Hospital and Methodist Hospice, The Exceptional Foundation of West Tennessee and The Polar Bear Express.  He is ready when called upon for special requests.    Keys lives with his famous brother Boss and Kitty (The blind kitten that thinks he is a dog) and is owned by Jo Anne Fusco. 

  Ann Adler – [Treasurer] and partner: BAILEY 
  Jan Wertz –[Board Member] and partner CHASE


Supporting Members:

Dixon Parnell, Ron Lewis, Constance Cherry,
Katherine Strausser, Ellen Rodgers

  Brooke Ballenger and partner: RIMSKY
  Dee Anne Blair and partner: JACKSON

Jackson, a British Labrador Retriever, along with his owner, Dee Anne Blair, are joining West TN Therapy Dogs after spending the past year as a therapy team with an out-of-state organization.  Jackson loves his visits with the senior citizens at Solana, Heritage Place, and South Breeze.  Jackson enjoys taking long walks, going for rides in the truck and the boat at Pickwick, playing with our young grandchildren, as well as playing with other dogs at the park.  He loves to eat, sleep, fetch and chase squirrels.  Jackson is an AKC Canine Good Citizen, and hopes to expand his visits to include schools and special events.

  Laura Boren and partner: GUMBO
  Lynn Briggs and partner: POSH
  Dr. Mark Bugnitz and partner: BELLA
  Betty Buchignani and partner:  CHAMP (In Training) 
  Katherine Bush and partner: ASTRO
  Ron and McKenzie Cohen with partner: ROSWELL
Roswell "Roz" is an English Springer Spaniel with a kind heart and loving disposition; all she wants to do is be loved on all day.  She is nine years old and has been with Mommy McKenzie since she was three months old.  In her early years, Roz tested her mother's patience with her tremendous amount of energy and constant need for love and attention.  As Roz continued to train McKenzie, they learned to spend lots of time learning new tricks and exercising; Roswell loves to be challenged to try new things.  Roswell and McKenzie moved to Memphis in 2007 where they adopted Roz's canine sister Shelby, a rescue lab mix.  In 2010, Ron and McKenzie met and it was instantly the family they'd all been searching for.  Roswell is registered with Alliance for Therapy Dogs (formally Therapy Dogs Incorporated) and works well with children and adults.
  Shari Dodson and partner: TODD
  Kaitlin Duckert and partner: SCOUT
  Annette Eisenberg and partner: CHLOE
  Bernie Errion and partner: BRINKLEY 
  Pete Friedman and partner:  TESSA
Tessa is an English Golden Retriever - the other half of her therapy team is Pete. Tessa was certified by Therapy Dogs, Inc. in November 2012. She loves kids, adults, dogs and cats and to be petted.  As soon as she puts on her ATD vest Tessa knows it is time to smile and be loved.  She wags her tail every time she approaches another child or adult knowing she will make their day (and hers) a bit better.  Tessa was trained by Amy Lear and Meredith Caver and received her K9 Good Citizen at 8 months. She did her first therapy session with the Memphis Oral School for the Deaf in January 2013 working with the oldest kids (5 years old) first. Next she was one of WTTD’s teams to be cleared and approved for therapy work at Memphis International Airport in the Fall of2013.  Since then she has made numerous trips to the concourses to meet and greet travelers.  Tessa's mother Annie of Tanglewood Kennels of Charlotte, NC is also a therapy dog.
  Paula Gentry and partner: HAPPY 
Happy is a labradoodle. He, on the other hand, is a “party animal”! He loves every breathing thing – kids, grown-ups, cats and dogs. He loves to be in a room full of people. Wherever we go, people say he has the perfect name because he is always so "happy". Happy is now visiting Kings Daughters and Sons Nursing Home.
  Laura Gildea and partner: GRIFTER 
  Don Gold and partner: CRICKET 
Cricket is a 2 year old rescue Puli (HUNGARIAN SHEEP DOG) who is a fantastic Therapy dog and loves children, adults and other dogs. She works hard for the money as when she was delivered to us after 3 previous wrong homes is a welcome addition to our family.  On the day of her arrival at our house, she started trianing to herd both sheep and ducks like our beloved L.E. who was #1 most tiltled herding Puli in the world. She has big paw prints to fill but most important she has found her forever home.
  Steve Goldman and partner: HUNTER

Hunter is a seven year old Golden. Hunter became a Therapy dog in 2016. In 2018, we joined WTTD and The Alliance. Hunter has a nice list of experience. He has visited at Hospitals, Drug an Alcohol Rehab, Schools, PT areas, Stress Free Zones, Meet and Greets, and various open air areas like Farmers Markets and Malls, plus one Assisted Living Complex. Currently he is going back to his Schools, we can't visit with the kids but he is visiting with the Admin and Teachers. 

  Dorothy Goldwin and partner:  LEO
Leo is a caramel colored, big green-eyed labradoodle who loves life and lives with Dorothy. He never meets a stranger, has such a kind spirit, laid back and goofy in a good way. Leo loves children, seniors and other dogs. With all the joy he brought to Dorothy, it was obvious to her for Leo and Dorothy to become a therapy team. Leo loves to run around the dog park at Shelby Farms and go on long walks in the neighborhood. One of his favorite activities is driving around with his hair blowing in the wind.  Leo received his Canine Good Citizenship Certificate and was recently certified through ATD as a therapy dog. Leo looks forward to his visits at Lebonheur Children’s Hospital, Ava Maria Home and other facilities. He smiles as he brings joy to others.
  Blair & Susan Graber and partner: MABEL
Mabel Lou Graber is a 7-year-old British Labrador with a huge heart and smiles for everyone!  She has made therapy dog visits to St. Mary's School, St. Agnes Academy, the Poplar-White Station Public Library, the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, and the Mending Hearts Camp at the Orpheum.  Mabel's favorite place is wherever her parents, Blair and Susan Graber, are, but she is partial to Pickwick Lake where she can be with the deer, turkey, and foxes.  She loves to take long walks, ride in the golf cart, and jump off the boat to swim for tennis balls (She can climb up the ladder all by herself!).  It's impossible to be in a bad mood around Mabel - she just exudes love for everyone and joy for life!

  Megan & Anne Grinder and partner: CHIEF
  Lydia Nichole Hadaway and partner: MYKLETI 
Mykelti (pronounced: muh-kell-tee) is an Australian Shepherd. Her beautiful coat pattern is called, Blue Merle. She has one brown eye, and one uniquely colored eye that is half blue and half hazel. She was born on 1-27-11, exactly one year to the date from her big brother Ranger, who is a retired therapy dog. When we were told that they shared the same birthday, we knew it was meant to be! Mykelti also shares her home with several senior cats, and a retired racing Greyhound that her family recently adopted, Phoebe. Mykelti and Ranger are hoping that Phoebe follows in their paw prints and becomes a therapy dog as well! Mykelti is an absolute love-bug; she delights in visiting with everyone she meets, young or old! She began training for therapy work as an 8 week old puppy, and went on to pass her Canine Good Citizen test in 2012. Mykelti trained in both Agility, Rally, and Obedience at Dogwoods and SCOC. She is registered through Alliance of Therapy Dogs, and also Intermountain Therapy Animals' R.E.A.D. program. Lydia has been a registered therapy dog handler, and a member of R.E.A.D since 2011. Both Mykelti and Lydia love volunteering with WTTD! Mykelti enjoys weekly visits to Trezevant Manor. She also delights in visiting schools, special events, and other facilities in our community. Her sweet, cheerful personality warms the hearts all she meets!
  Tonia Hanson and partner: Maverick & Elton (pending)
  Lauren Hayes and partner: WINSTON
  Richard Herbert and partner: LILY
Lily is a Coton de Tulear and we have been together since she was six weeks old. She is full of life with baby seal eyes. She got her first training with one hour every other day at Lowes Hardware introducing her to the sights and sounds, parents with children, people on walkers, wheel chairs, shopping carts, dollys and moving equipment making beeping noises, just as you would encounter at a hospital or a nursing home.  We then moved on to therapy classes finishing her training. I trained her so that when we go out to visit she will not bark, lick, or jump. She obtained her Canine Good Citizens award and received her State Certified Therapy Dog certificate and best of all we joined with WTTD. We then noticed that she became a magnet for children, and loved working with special needs children, such as deaf children, sick children, and upset children at airports..  She had a calming effect on them, as well as adults who become anxious about flying and she made everybody smile and laugh by giving them high fives.  The children love giving her commands such as sit, lie down, and of course giving high fives, plus on my command she will stand up on her hind legs and walk backwards. She loves chasing squirrels that are running on the top of fence lines, adding she would not know what to do with them if she did catch one, and she enjoys playing with her best dog friend, Murphy. We visit about five different places where she performs fantastically as a Therapy Dog.
  Ron Hotchkiss and partner: ELI
Eli didn't have the best start in life. A person with criminal intent decided to use Eli's pedigree to use  him as stud dog for criminal dog fighting. Luckily for Eli his former owner liked to brag and bragged to a neighbor who was a TBI agent and got into trouble. We were fortunate enough to get Eli as a result and from day one one he has been the typical child loving and loyal class clown pit bulls are known for. American pit bull terriers naturally have outstanding temperament and score better than 95% of all other dog breeds in temperament test. Eli is no exception. The bad rap the breed gets is media hype based on the abuse they get from criminals that take advantage of the dogs superior physical strength,  intelligence, and unwavering loyalty which makes them a target to be used for criminal dog fighting. The breed is actually a victim of his own loyalty with his unwillingness to quit any task his master ask of him. Because of Eli's gentle nature, it was with the recommendation of neighbors who are nurses at St Jude's and Methodist hospitals that we use Eli as therapy dog, not only to help people but also show what gentle dogs pit bulls really are. He passed his test with a perfect score. Eli's hobbies include playing with my grand daughter for hours every day, playing with doggie friends and children in the neighborhood and hunting. He loves hunting rabbit, deer or any game that moves including squirrels and raccoons, and has even climbed trees to chase them. Pit bulls are bred to work and Eli certainly loves working, especially when loving people is involved.
  Mary Hurley and partner: BRINKLEY
  Christi Jones and partner: LATTE
  Kristie Koontz and partner: ELVIS
Elvis is a terrier mix, fun-loving, filled with energy. My dream has always been to have a therapy dog. So when moving to Memphis I said I’m getting a dog and naming him Elvis. He is the first dog I’ve ever owned. We love to go to Memphis Airport and do tricks for the passengers at the gates. Elvis also goes to Shrine School and works with kids with disabilities. We do our own type of occupational therapy by letting the kids throw balls and watching Elvis catch. He is extremely intelligent and loves working with adults and children.
  Bill Levy and partner: JAKE 
  Lourienne Long and partners: RUGER and MAVERICK
  Margee Mays and partner: PRECIOUS (in training)
  Juana McCoy and Partner: DELILIAH
Lilah started her first career as a show dog.  She traveled the country gathering her championships.   She is an AKC champion, as well as , a Cavalier King Charles Club of America champion.  Her name is There Goes Delilah of Shirlwood Cavaliers from Dallas Texas.   It is not uncommon among female show dogs, that once they have their championships they are retired from the ring they are allowed to have two litters of puppies and then the search is on for a forever home begins.   Lilas's owner/breeders were intent on finding a person with a highly elevated sense of the place a dog should play in the home and world; a home where she would be pampered for the rest of her life and usurp the place of anyone else in the house.  .Bingo! Match! That's how Lilah and I came to be  together  two years ago.  She and Harry, my male Cavie quickly bonded and the family was complete. I am also retired from my first career and was looking for a way to serve my  community in a one on one way.  It dawned on me that Lilah was used to lots of different people, crowds, unusual and changing circumstances and yes loud noises.   She always walks to my left and on a loose lead was no problem at all.   Together with her extremely laid back, sweet personality it seemed like the therapy team world was for us and we began our journey. We took  obedience and therapy classes.  One of the hardest things for her was plain ole sit and stay.  She had been taught not to. Can you imagine a dog sitting down on the judging table?  Finally we passed our test and were officially certified a therapy team.  I don't think I was as proud of my son when he graduated from law school!  We go to St Peter's Villa, a nursing home,  every Saturday.  I must say Lilah is very good at her job.  She very politely approaches the lovely people in their wheelchairs.  She slithers up and places her head and paws on their laps.  She is very adept at using her charm, because after looking at those big expressive eyes and that sweet face, she usually ends up in their laps.  My part is to smile, hold the leash and think yes, There Goes Delilah.

  Lynn Morris and partner: GRACIE 
  • Six-year old West Highland White Terrier (Lynn's 3rd Westie)
  • Joined WTTD last year.
  • Loves & gets daily, long walks.
  • Avid hunter of squirrels and chipmunks.
  • Loves chasing the water hose.
  • Can perform some tricks.
  • Gentle.  Sweet.  Smart.  Fun.
  • Is not a barker.
  • Loves children, adults, & other dogs.
  • We can't wait to go on therapy visits ASAP!
  Rachael Morrison and partner: RUDY
Rachel and her partner, Rudy became members of WTTD in the fall of 2014. Rudy is an adorable little yorkie-poo with a very big attitude. Rudy enjoys meeting new people and going on adventures. In 2016, Rudy became a certified R.E.A.D. dog, and he loves going to Promise Academy Spring Hill where second grade students read to him. He has become quite the celebrity at school, and everyone is excited to see him each week! After school, Rudy loves to play with his friends at the dog park. Rachael and Rudy have also volunteered at the Women's prison as part of a program through the University of Memphis.
  Marla Mounce and partner: MOOSE 
  Sue Myers and partner:  SOPHIE
Sophie and Sue became a registered therapy dog team and member of WTTD in the spring of 2014.  Sophie is a shih tzu rescue, and Sue a retired teacher.  When out visiting, Sophie loves to settle right down beside the new friends she makes, both young and old.  She and Sue make weekly visits at Methodist DeSoto Hospital and Silvercreek Retirement Community in Olive Branch.  They have made frequent visits to the local elementary school and the public library to read and interact with children.  They also have made visits upon request to friends and acquaintances who are rehabilitating in rehab facilities, living in hospice facilities, convalescing from surgeries, experiencing chemo, or are in the grieving process. Sophie’s wagging tail and cuddling personality make her welcome in a variety of situations and venues.  She is comfortable with both children and adults and is always very excited when she realizes she is about to be buckled into the car to go to “work”.  
  Jennifer & Tara Prather and partner: ROOTY
  Luciana Richer and partner: LOLA
  Lane Roberts & Grace (Jr. Handler) and partner: SCOUT
Scout Roberts is a British Lab that was trained by Grace Roberts, a student at Houston High School.  He became a registered therapy dog in July 2015, and has also completed his AKC Canine Good Citizen test. Scout and Grace are also certified with the Reading Education Assistant Dog program.  As a Junior Handler with WTTD, Grace launched “Reading Scouts” in 2015 in three area schools including:  Farmington Elementary, Dogwood Elementary, and Grahamwood Elementary.  Grace’s mom, Lane Roberts, is also a certified handler with WTTD, and the three enjoy reading with children each week.  When he is not reading, Scout enjoys playing ball and going on walks. Scout is a highly intelligent dog who can do lots of unique tricks, but he especially loves to meet new friends. 
  Karen Salt and partner: LIBERTY
  Susan Schwartz and partner: SYLVIA
  Jennifer Sewell and partners: T-BONE and TUCKER
  Linda Staten and partner:  MISSY
Missy is a Labrador Retriever, who has lived with Linda since she was found as a puppy wandering the city streets of Memphis alone and scared.  She developed into a wonderful companion, excelling in obedience training and social settings. It was immediately evident that her intelligence, personality, and temperment would make her an ideal therapy dog. Through training at Tri County Obedience in Olive Branch, MS, Missy earned her CGC Certificate in June, 2010.  She completed all requirements for Therapy Dogs Inc. registration in January, 2012. Missy and Linda visitDiversicare of Southaven and LifePointe Village, both senior living facilities in Southaven, MS.  Whether she is chasing squirrels from the back yard, retrieving the morning newspaper from the driveway, or playing 'dead' for her nursing home regulars, Missy brings a smile to all those around her.
  George & Ginny Steffens and partner:  CHIEF
  Lisa Todd and partner: MAVERICK
  Joanne Ward and partner: DALLAS
Dallas is a 6-year old female Golden Retriever and has been with WTTD for about one year. Her favorite pastime is being petted and loved on so becoming a Therapy dog came naturally to her. Dallas is a regular at WCC and goes to various other places as needed. Whether it’s visiting with a new patient or someone receiving their treatment, she is happy to be with whomever needs her and seems to sense those who need her most. She has so much love to give!  
  Leigh Taylor White and partner: SUNNY
  Laurie Whiteley and partner: BRIXEY 

Brixey is an energetic, eager to please, Golden Retriever.  She loves to retrieve anything; toys, balls or sticks.   She often will lie at your feet with a toy or ball in her mouth waiting for you to throw it for her. If she’s not retrieving, she would prefer to cuddle next to you on the bed or couch.  She will remind you frequently that she needs petting with a nudge from her cold nose.
  Kelly Wight and partner: FLO 
  Andrea Williford and partner:  SALLIE
Sallie is a Yellow Labrador Retriever, who shares her home with Andrea Williford and who has recently been certified through ATD. Sallie loves people and animals and looks forward to beginning visits at LeBonheur Children’s' Hospital. One of Sallie's favorite activities is going to Shelby Farms with her 3 sisters where she can swim, run, sniff, and dig until her heart is content.
  Cheryl Wood and partner: EMME

Miss Emmeline or "Emme" is a Standard Poodle Mix (Goldendoodle) and quite the diva. I started her training immediately as a small puppy. She passed her AKC Canine Good Citizen and shortly after became a proud member of West TN Therapy Dogs. Emme gets excited as soon as I get her Therapy Dog vest out. We primarily visit the elderly at nursing homes and assisted living facilities. She loves the many friends she has made with all of the patients and the staff. We look forward to many years as a West TN Therapy Dog Volunteer Team.