Humans of BluePath: Deborah Kennedy, Puppy Raiser

How it All Began:

Deborah Kennedy and BluePath Levi

I raised 3 guide dogs prior to raising Levi for BluePath. When my daughter, who does equine therapy for kids with autism, brought one of our dogs to work, she told me how the dog motivated and comforted the kids. Then I decided I wanted to raise puppies for this cause.

Favorite Part of Puppy Raising:

I have loved watching Levi grow and transform from puppyhood to now. It is wonderful to see how much he has learned. I know that the family that will get Levi will be lucky to have such an amazing dog.

Favorite Memories with BluePath:

I love meeting and spending time with everyone in BluePath. Some of my local friends are also raising puppies, and it is interesting to see their different teaching styles. I like being able to call a friend for advice and go on walks together to have the dogs practice their greetings.

Words of Wisdom for Prospective Puppy Raisers:

Jump in with both feet and enjoy it! Before I started raising Levi, I had 5 dogs of my own and hesitated having another one to make a pack of 6. I soon learned that Levi gets along so well with other dogs. It has been a great learning experience for me. It feels so good to help a program for autism as my daughter has with her own work. Levi is a blessing, and I am so excited to see him paired with a family.

What Volunteering with BluePath Means to Her:

Levi helped me through tough times when my father got sick. He also supported me and my family during visits in the nursing home. He was the biggest, brightest ray of sunshine for me, my father, and my brother and brought smiles to all of our faces. He has taught me about graciousness, kindness, and patience.

Fast Facts:

About Deborah:

Where she lives: Barkhamsted, CT.

Dream vacation spot: I love beaches, in particular, St. Augustine.

Favorite hobbies: Sewing and gardening. I also really love to bake and consider it a form of relaxing therapy. I often give away my baked goods to neighbors and friends.

Favorite food: Penne ala vodka. It is delicious and easy to make.

Favorite time of year: Spring. Everything is fresh and new. I would like to skip the muddy portion of the season though!

About Levi:

Favorite toy: Levi loves his Jolly Ball, which is a big rubber ball with a rope inside. The toy is bigger than him.

Newest skill: Currently, we are working on greetings, especially with other dogs. Right now, Levi gets a little excited when he meets female dogs as he seems to be entering his teenage years.

Favorite sleeping spot: Levi mostly sleeps in his crate at night, but also enjoys sleeping in a beanbag chair that belonged to my daughter when she was in college.

Silly traits: Levi wiggles his whole hind end when he is excited, especially when he plays with sticks. The bigger the stick, the more he wiggles. He loves water and enjoys jumping off of docks and swimming. Levi follows me everywhere, which is why I call him my shadow. He is very loyal and playful.

Fun facts: Levi has a beautiful, round head and big paws. He is the perfect size for a family dog, not too big or burly. He is soft, gentle, and full of energy. Levi loves to play with other dogs but also knows when to go to work.

Three words that describe Levi: Loyal. Loving. Energetic.

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