Lottie Dot, Dora, Izzy and Astro: The Spotters
After rescuing Lottie Dot as a tiny puppy off a highway in Oklahoma in 2005, Patricia Belt got a scary and unexpected diagnosis. For months, Lottie Dot accompanied her to daily treatments that wore her down mentally and physically. Lottie Dot and Patricia formed a very special bond, a bond that not only they shared, but other patients and medical staff experienced, too. Despite the grueling medical treatments, Patricia was able to see the extraordinary way Lottie Dot had with people. At one point, Lottie Dot was sitting next to a chemo patient that said, “Lottie Dot doesn't care how I look does she?” Patricia knew her almost one year old Dalmatian was called to do bigger things and decided to pursue therapy dog work.
“Lottie Dot knows when I’m not feeling my best and always brings a smile. I wanted to share her special gift of unconditional love and support,” says Patricia.
Lottie Dot had already received her AKC Canine Good Citizen award and after months of therapy dog training she and Patricia became volunteers at St. Jude in 2007.
“What she did for the children at the hospital was magical,” says Patricia. “And although Lottie Dot retired from St. Jude in 2013, her memory lives there forever.”
Lottie Dot and Patricia continued to visit hospitals, abuse centers, libraries, schools, and anywhere they were needed. In the years after they welcomed Dora, a Dalmatian that suddenly died just a year later after a fight with liver cancer. Dora completely her therapy dog training and was able to spread so much love and joy to children before her untimely death and even offered lessons in her passing. Patricia was able to talk with children about grief and death, things that are so hard to help children understand.Lottie visiting the Memphis VA Hospital.
Lottie visiting the Memphis VA Hospital.
In 2011, Patricia rescued a neglected and starving Dalmatian puppy off the streets of Texas and named her Izzy. Izzy's temperament and personality were perfect to continue the work that Lottie Dot and Dora were doing. After months of training she is currently working with veterans at the Memphis VA Medical Center and enjoys teaching children about fire safety at the Fire Museum of Memphis.
Izzy helping teach children what to do when they hear a fire alarm.
“Her favorite things are pressing her smoke alarm button, stop, drop and roll, and dialing 911 on her phone,” explains Patricia who didn't stop with just two working dogs. Recently she welcomed Astro into her home. Astro was dropped off at a major Houston pet store and lived with a foster family for the first few months of his life. Now he's training to carry on the work that Lottie Dot, Dora, and Izzy have started with fire safety, anti-bullying programs, and therapy work at hospitals and firestations.
Check out the pictures and videos below. They show a great deal about the importance of these dog's to the Memphis area.
Lottie doesn't care that Briana can't read. She just enjoys spending time with her.
Izzy works with firefighters, helping to heal their hearts after strenuous and mentally taxing work, at the firehouse and at home.
The trio in all their spottiness! Pictured left to right: Izzy, Lottie Dot, and Astro.
Sometimes you just need a slobbery kiss from a dog.
Lottie Dot helps Paige become more confident with her reading skills.
After a hard days work a little spa time is in order.
Sometimes the dogs need a kiss, too!
- Tags: Dogs
- Billie Claire Darby