Dog joins the Red Cross

The American Red Cross of West Michigan is adding a unique member to its team.
Tribune Staff
Oct 26, 2013

Merlin, a 5-year-old Borzoi hound, will serve as a therapy dog for the newly formed K9 Action Team. He and his owner, Susan Bandsma, will be the first Red Cross K9 Action Team in the state.
“My husband and I adopted Merlin in 2011,” said Bandsma, who started with the Red Cross in St. Joseph five years ago. “I thought that Merlin had the perfect temperament for being a therapy dog so we went through the program and he was certified.”
Dogs in the program provide comfort for disaster victims and volunteers, as well as to the military and their families. During pet therapy, people are invited to pet, brush, play games or simply sit with the dogs in order to provide therapeutic contact.

The program began in 2009, and the first team served the Red Cross chapter in Trumbull County, Ohio.
Bandsma said she first had the idea to volunteer Merlin for the Red Cross when she heard about pet therapy programs in hospitals. She researched the necessary training for Merlin to become a member with the Red Cross and had him certified.
Merlin will be able to take part in parades, health fairs, military homecomings, pet CPR classes and other Red Cross events.



Cool, my dogs are too high energy for this type of thing, or I'd do something like this myself. Congrats on being the first.


Well, I used to have a Borzoi who woulda been great for this, but he passed on back in 19 aught and 6.






Wing change his name?


Ha! Not that I want to issue a challenge, but I don't think wing has got the mad skills for this type of subterfuge. My money is on ggravish.

I thought we were having a good back and forth, but I must've hit a sore spot. It's tough to communicate on the net without the visual clues.


"I thought we were having a good back and forth,"....

I guess that explains everything, since it appears to me "we" was "you"....


Ahhh, well, I guess the lesson here for junior is "don't dish it out if you can't take it". Seems I just got accused of that yesterday and I can take "it" just fine. Other than the political drones most of what is done here is done at least somewhat based in humor.

How about an "I'm sorry"....think that'll help, or am I doomed to be a blue meanie for the rest of my life?


"I'm sorry" - absolutely not! You have a finely honed sense of humor/sarcasm/irony/satire that does not require an apology. If someone doesn't get it, it's their loss. You should get a job writing for the Onion. Otherwise, keep the balls rollin', LTA.


Wow Lani, that's a great idea! I could move past the regional trolls, stalkers and haters and get a world-wide audience that wouldn't understand 80% of what I was saying. :-)

I think 80% might be a tad bit low, but I'm feeling generous today.

Can you put in a good word for me? Know anybody that works there? I don't have an up-to-date resume for my writings. Hmmm, I guess I could give 'em the links to my blogs and see what that'll get me. Hmmmmmmm.


I wasn't kidding. My only connection with the Onion is third dimensional. I'd give it more than a thought - us Onion lovers would understand and appreciate you!


Well, I'm speechless, and flattered. Did I mention speechless?


Hey - I didn't catch that - would you repeat it?


Hey, hey just because I get bored with you doesn't mean I can't check back in on you and the bunch of lame, bored old farts to see what's going on. Glad ya missed me tho:-)


Just like a toothache after its been pulled. :-)

Actually we all figured a deer knocked over your ladder and you were still stuck up in your tree stand!


Come on now, I'm a bigger pain to you than a toothache!

Just bored with the predictability. Maybe if something more intresting gets going I'll jump back in.

Meanwhile, I'll keep laughing as I watch the rise of the Tea Party and the embarrassing exposure of the POTUS to the sheeple of what they elected! Chew on that aluminum!


"Come on now, I'm a bigger pain to you than a toothache"!

Sorry masterwing, I hate to pop your bubble but you're only about at #8 on my top 10 list of things that are a pain. That's not a reason to try harder either, there's simply too much competition out there for the #1 position and at least your fun to pick on...some others are just a complete P.I.T.A., not worth the effort even to mess with them. So, I guess you could take that as a left-handed compliment. Coming from a lefty, that IS a compliment.

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