Therapy dog program at Evening Lions

Marshalltown Evening Lions met in regular session on May 21 at the Salvation Army. President Lion Tim Fienup called the meeting to order with Pledge of Allegiance, singing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” and invocation by Lion Arlene Johnson.

Guests for the evening were Marty Mitchell, owner of Mitchell Family Funeral Home, his business manager, Mary Drake, and their funeral home grief therapy dog, Gabriel.

Gabriel is a grief therapy Goldendoodle that was born, raised and trained in Florida. There are few breeders and/or trainers for grief therapy dogs and the waiting list is usually long.

Gabriel is a good addition to the funeral home with his soothing presence. He came to Mitchell’s in December 2013. He is hypoallergenic and being a dog, very familiar to many people who need something familiar. Gabriel helps with dysfunctional actions, he listens and is just a calming presence in a difficult time.

Gabriel was in training for three months for grief therapy. He is trained in verbal and movement commands. His work life is estimated at 12 years. Gabriel was the youngest in his class. In each litter trained for his type of work, one dog is earmarked for a wounded warrior.

Lions are busy. Lions Don Anderson and Judy Stone popped corn at the MACS FunFest. Lion Fienup popped corn at the police bike rodeo and safety equipment check. Lion Kevin Lageschulte grilled at the Police Academy graduation.

Lion Lageschulte, tailtwister, questioned club members on Memorial Day information and Keely Fienup’s upcoming wedding.

Lion Bob Johnson won the door prize and the next door prize will be brought by Lion Dave Esperson. The lion went home with Lion Janelle Hawk who also won the dollar drawing which she donated back to the club.

The next meeting of the Evening Lions will be on June 4 and will be the annual banquet and installation of officers.

Visitors are always welcome at the meetings. For more information about Lions please contact Membership Chair Lion Don Anderson at 641-751-7075 or Lion Fienup at 641-485-9942.