After two years as the Rogers County District Court's therapeutic dog, Jerzy celebrated her third birthday last week with her court colleagues, including another therapy dog — Bear.
More than 50 people attended the canine birthday gathering consisting of court staff, attorneys, Department of Human Services, Child Advocacy Center and more.
Over the last year of Jerzy's life, her handler Mindie Baab said she has accompanied seven children through the investigation and preliminary hearing process.
Jerzy has accompanied more than a dozen children while in the judge's chambers to talk with them in family court.
Jerzy had participated in a handful of adoptions, while she sits in court with the children as they attend their final adoption process.
Baab said she witnessed Jerzy calm three individuals in need of mental health, while they are in front of the court.
The Alzheimer and dementia patients at the Claremore Veterans Center get
a visit every Tuesday evening from Jerzy.
In addition to visiting six elementary schools in the area, the canine is currently offering compassionate care to a young grieving child in Claremore's School district who lost his mother four months ago.
Through Karing K9, the therapy dog has visited 21 nursing homes; participated in A Walk in her Shoes; the Inclusion Project; and Rogers County Back to School Bash.
Jerzy attended the Judicial Conference in Oklahoma City last year to talk with the court-involved children about her job as a court dog.
Baab said Hayden and Hailey Lairmore donated 50 pounds of dog food to the Claremore Animal Shelter to honor Jerzy's birthday.
Baab said being Jerzy’s handler has been the most rewarding job she has
“I get to witness daily scared children faced with talking to stran-
gers about horrific things that have happened to them find comfort in the mere presence of a furry companion,” she said.
“I’ve witnessed a veteran that hasn’t been able to find his voice in months communicate with Jerzy.”
She said the impact Jerzy makes on other’s lives is huge — even if it is small — every single day.