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What if you had cancer and, while going through treatment, couldn’t walk or care for your dog? Or if you were physically unable to take a 30-minute romp with your dog? That’s why Dogster wags it up for Corinne Conover, her dog Sonny and her organization Paw It Forward NY because they step in to lend a helping paw.
Corinne and her rescue dog Sonny set out to become a therapy dog for cancer patients and those who are disabled or seniors. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out when Sonny failed his audition twice. But, of course, when one doggie door closes, another one opens, and Corinne decided they could help these same people by walking their dogs, spending quality time and caring for their dogs when they can’t.
“We pick up the dog at the owner’s home, take him for nice walks and then bring him back to the owner,” Corinne explains.
To get this service, go to pawitforwardny.com and sign up. “We get back to them within 24 hours and set up a meet-and-greet session and schedule on a weekly basis,” Corinne says. “It’s worked great every time. We give the dog an hour walk and the owner an hour if she so chooses.”
The 501(c)(3)nonprofit has been around for a little over three years, covering the following areas in Queens, New York: Forest Hills, Kew Gardens Hills, Rego Park, Flushing and Astoria. Plus, it covers Long Island City and the West Village, along with Gilda’s Club, a community organization for cancer patients in NYC .
The service is free, but people can donate to say thank you on the website, in honor of Michelle Helen Conover, Corinne’s sister who passed of leukemia when they were children.
Corinne says there is a reason the word dog is God spelled backwards. “If it wasn’t for my Sonny, we would never have been inspired to create Paw It Forward NY. He is my light and shining star. I meet so many beautiful volunteers, who are now friends, and we have much fun together. We even have a kid-friendly program with parents, kids and me going out for long walks. It’s so much fun and the kids love it.”
Corinne hopes to get even more volunteers and members in the Queens community and go global with a chapter in London and places like Texas and Chicago. Her mission, along with Sonny, is “spreading our joy in helping people and animals.” To learn more, go to pawitforwardny.com.