Jazz is a wavy-haired Portuguese water dog. Her coat is grey/black, sometimes called ‘blue’. I adopted her when she was almost five from a breeder in Smiths Falls. She was retiring from breeding activities after achieving champion status as a show dog and birthing several litters. Her puppies are a variety of pure black, some with white spots and even one all white. A female puppy, Guiness, is also a therapy dog that qualified with Ottawa Therapy Dogs but now lives in the Toronto area.
Within several months of owning Jazz, I realized her affectionate nature and wonderful obedience skills were assets for therapy work. We joined Ottawa Therapy Dogs after qualifying in March 2005. Later that year we began visiting at St. Vincent’s Hospital.
Although she had no young children in her earlier life, through contact with my family Jazz learned to love kids. Her favourite activities are hide and seek and tag. As I am a librarian by training, the READ program was a natural next step and, after qualifying in early 2007, we worked with Elgin Street Public School readers. Jazz loves going each week to the school library where she meets our readers and listens attentively to them reading. She also loves to observe carefully as class groups visit the library to select books or hear stories.
Jazz enjoys her work, wagging her tail proudly when dressed for work, eager to bring joy and comfort to our clients. We have also represented OTD at several exhibit events, where Jazz shines at sucking up to passers by – ever hopeful of a stray treat finding its home in her mouth!