Welcoming Memphis

dog looking attentively at camera

I would like to share this article with everyone. We were so fortunate and excitied when Memphis and his handler Tom Kuhs made a visit to Eden Heights last week.

Thomas G. Kuhs and his canine companion, Memphis, are making area residents smile in a unique way.No, Memphis is not a circus dog that does tricks at halftime of sporting events, but Memphis and Kuhs are a registered dog and handler team that visit nursing homes in the Southern Tier, creating happiness for those who may be restricted to a nursing home.
Kuhs took Memphis to Phillips Command Dogs in Olean, where the canine was trained in obedience and therapy. The training was not only for Memphis, but for Kuhs.
¢€œThe dog¢€™s 20 percent of the training, the human is 80 percent,¢€ Kuhs said.
To receive certification, Kuhs and Memphis took three test visits to two different homes in Olean, where after, they earned registration to the National Alliance of Service Dogs. Kuhs is also allowed to enter state buildings under the state Office for Persons with Developmental Disabilities, or OPWDD which recently used to be the OMRDD.
¢€œYou can take an Alzheimer¢€™s patient that maybe is not responding and doesn¢€™t talk,¢€ Kuhs said. ¢€œ¢€¦ You take a dog up to them and let them see the dog, sometimes they will speak, they will reach down and pet the dog and smile. And even talk to them at times.¢€
Trained dogs can even help make some vocal when they haven¢€™t spoken to others.
¢€œI do it because whatever you do on this earth, echoes through all eternity,¢€ Kuhs said. ¢€œIf you can do one small thing to help out somebody less fortunate, or somebody who is having trouble, that is what you do. It¢€™s a pretty small price to pay to put a smile on somebody¢€™s face”.

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