Teddy: Never Too Small to Make a Difference

A masked therapy dog handler holding up her small therapy poodleTeddy: Never Too Small to Make a Difference

Teddy, a tiny rescue teacup poodle, became a Pet Partners therapy dog in 2019, working with his handler Sue Grundfest as part of Pet Partners of Las Vegas. His therapy dog career ended when he passed in July 2021. But neither his short service time nor his size limited the impact he had on those he visited.

It is with a heavy heart that I share with you very sad news about our beloved Teddy.

He had a heart condition when I adopted him but he was doing really well. I had just lessened his therapy work and was slowly retiring him. I had decided he would not renew his Pet Partners registration in 2022. But heart and respiratory issues are insidious. We estimate Teddy to have been 13 years old but who really knows?

He went on his last visit the day before he passed and thoroughly enjoyed quietly lying on a lap and visiting with his friends, teen girls. He had his last hospice visit just a few days before. But all of a sudden, things changed. Teddy passed away of respiratory/heart failure. We always knew this could happen quite suddenly and he died peacefully in my arms on his own.

For almost three years he blessed this home and everyone he met. He was truly the epitome of what a therapy dog should be. They say the greatest therapy dogs are born, not made, and Teddy proved that theory every day. He taught us that you are never too old to start again and make a great life for yourself. You are never too small to be brave and trusting.

A small black dog being held in a blanket by his handler

Teddy was the best companion pet as well. He took such good care of me, Benny, and Hildie. He was the glue that held this family together in many ways.

One thing I am certain of: Teddy may have had a rocky start in life, but he was loved and cherished to his last breath. And his greatest joy was being a therapy dog.

A small black poodle mix dog smiling at the camera

–submitted by Sue Grundfest


Teddy was featured in a segment on 8 News Now Las Vegas for his work with Southwest Medical Hospice Care in honor of National Therapy Animal Day 2021.

Screen shot from a news story showing a hospice patient holding a small therapy poodle