Last month, we shared a story about Archie, a Newfoundland, who is an inspiration, motivation, and just a good friend to the children at Casa Pacifica, a Ventura County oasis for abused, neglected and emotionally disturbed children. 165 pound Archie has been working there as a therapy dog for the past two years and has truly been making a difference.
Archibald Razzmatazz, otherwise known as Archie, brings smiles and laughter to all the children at Casa Pacifica and provides them with someone to lean on or hug. Sometimes children just sit and read to Archie, others share their frustrations with him, and all of the children find a true friend in Archie.
Vicky Murphy, director of operations and development for Casa Pacifica, first brought Archie to the center after researching and finding that Newfoundlands are some of the best therapy dogs. Archie lives with Murphy in her home.
Archie walks around the campus spreading his warmth and love around. For some children, Archie is the one friend they can open up to and trust.
One of the Casa Pacifica children, Solidad usually doesn’t speak, but with Archie, she opens up and talks to him. She tells him that he’s a good boy and snuggles up to him and strokes his fur. She said he is sweet, calm and likes kids.
“For some kids, it’s hard for them to touch or be touched, but with Archie, they hug him and lay on him,” Murphy said. “They say, ‘He loves me so much.’ He makes them all feel incredibly loved.”
Now, this therapy dog needs a little extra care and attention for himself. He injured a back leg while playing with Murphy’s other dog, a Shih Tzu/poodle mix.
He went through a $5,800 surgery for his injury, which is comparable to an ACL injury in a person. Now, he needs another surgery from the stress of shifting his weight to the other leg while he healed.
Casa Pacifica has no resources to care for Archie, whose purchase price and food, as well as the first surgery, have been paid for with donations.
Even though Archie is in some pain and walks slower these days, he keeps on working and being a friend and bringing smiles to everyone’s faces.
He has even helped a teenage boy concentrate while taking tests at school. This teenager became an expert in caring for Archie and once said the dog was his only friend.
His self-confidence drastically increased because of all the knowledge he learned about dogs. He simply looks forward to the time that he is able to spend with Archie.
One of the clinicians at Casa Pacifica said children relate well to Archie because of his “unconditional positive regard for people.”
Archie has gone through obedience training and earned the AKC’s Canine Good Citizenship certificate. After his surgery, he will be trained as a water rescue dog to handle an emergency at the pool.
For more information about Archie and how to help, you can visit his website.
UPDATE: Casa Pacifica has received the $5,000 in donations needed for Archie’s surgery.
Source: Ventura County Star