Jean & Skeeter

Skeeter is a 7 lb. Pomeranian, born 7/1/2013. She became a registered Pet Partner in 2015. 

I got Skeeter from Weber Pomeranians, a local breeder where I got my previous Pomeranian, Sophie (we visited as a Pet Partner team for over 12 years). Sophie was a wonderful therapy dog and her mentoring was a big reason for Miss Skeeter’s success. Skeeter was born July 1, 2013. I wanted to name her Gidget but after we had her for two days my husband and I agreed we did not have a Gidget, Skeeter fit her much better. She was a very feisty puppy but with a lot of work and socialization has learned to settle well. She likes people very much. She loves to play fetch with her squeaky squirrel tail toy. She loves walks. She loves to visit the hospital and be adored by patients, families and staff alike. We recently got another Pomeranian, Widget. Widget and Skeeter have the same father. Skeeter loves to play with her and they are great entertainment. Pomeranians are very social little dogs and love to be the center of attention, so visiting people at the hospital and in care centers is a great match! 

What is your favorite activity to do together?
For a little dog, Skeeter is a great walker! We both enjoy being outside and I am surprised at the staying power her little legs provide!

What is Skeeter’s favorite treat and favorite toy?
Skeeter doesn’t care as much about treats as our other dogs. But she loves to play fetch with a squeaky toy. She gets so excited and spins in circles when she sees me reach for her favorite toy, a tiny tennis ball with a tail on it that squeaks.

What do you like most about helping people through TDJC?
Skeeter and I visit regularly at Briarwood Care Center and at UI Hospitals and Clinics. Skeeter loves people and enjoys greeting them and getting attention, but she isn’t very good at sitting calmly yet – she is still young and we are working on that. I just love when we walk down the hallway and when people see her they call out her name “SKEETER!!!” – they are so happy to see her visit and she gets excited when she hears them call her name and that makes them happy, too!

What’s the best story you have about one of your visits?
Probably the thank you’ s after visits you never knew made such a difference. I got a note from a woman I never met, a daughter of a patient we visited, who shared how much the visit meant. She couldn’t be with her mom as much as she would like and her mom loved animals so, so much, and what a comfort it was to this daughter to know that her mom was getting this kind of care and love in her absence. Another family member mailed me her husband’s memorial service program. We had visited months ago and I might not even have remembered at all, but the wife shared how the visit came at a really tough time and the husband felt that unconditional love was a sign, and he told so many of his friends and family about that visit after his hospital stay and how that little dog being “sent to him” kind of became part of his story, and how grateful they both were for that. Stories like that are just more than you ever imagined being part of, and it is such a gift when someone goes out of their way to reach out to you to share the impact your visit had, a side you would never have seen or known – that is a true gift.