Hello Darlene,

I hope you and the Dogs enjoyed a great winter.

Marcus is doing great. He has been easy to train and is a great fit with us and Tiber and Xander. He is 75 pounds now and vet says he looks great. I introduced him to gunfire a month ago, and he didn’t mind at all. Stayed focused on me and my commands (I think the kibble helped).

This weekend we finally took him to a local lake to introduce him to water. He had of course played in some puddles in the yard, but never real water. We took him and the other two dogs to Florida Lake near our house. We got to the waters edge and let the shepherd (Tiber) go and he took right off and started swimming out. Without hesitation, Marcus ran right in and swam right behind him. We played fetch with tennis balls and a duck wing I had saved form last season. Suffice to say, he loves the water.

Easy to train, loves to play and please, loves to swim and doesn’t mind gunfire at all. I guess now it is up to me and be a good trainer!!


We love our new puppy!! Her name is Lucy and she is the sweetest pup around. She is very playful, naps a lot as you said & doing well with potty training. She is just a joy and the perfect addition to our family!
Thank you.
Kerry and Family
Shrewsbury, MA

Hello Darlene,
Summit is just the BEST dog ever! He’s crazy from 5-7am, but pretty chill and very good with people anytime after that! He has been to the vet twice now for well visits and shots and they gush over how beautiful he is and what a good did he is. I’m a proud Mama:). We will start puppy classes with him after he gets his rabies shot on the 28th. He listens very well to me, I just need to work with the rest of my family!
Thank you again,
Lauren and family
Warwick, RI


Marcus is doing great. A week ago today at his 3rd vet trip for shots he weighed in at a 33 pounds and he was the talk of the office.

He is best buds with our 3 year old German Shepherd (Tiber). We still don’t leave them alone, but they get along so well that we often just watch them play for 10-15 minutes straight. It is easy to be completely amused by Marcus’ bravery and tenacity and with Tiber’s patience and caring. It is amazing to watch. Our 8 year old black Lab “Xander” is just starting to come around. I think he is just getting past “tolerating” Marcus and might soon actually take an interest in him.

Marcus has been a pleasure to train. He is very bright and aims to please (of course his drive for food doesn’t hurt either). We brought him up and back to Bryant Pond this past weekend and he did great in the car, and after his last vet trip, we finally brought him out in public to start socializing. Needless to say, his visit to the Tractor Supply in Paris was a big hit. He did incredibly well with all of the people and new smells,and I had several people offer to adopt him!!!

He loves playing with his grouse and duck feathers and he already has the basic concept of searching where I point. This past weekend I was outside sighting in a 22 rifle, and he was barking so loud inside that Jerre had to let him out so he could see what was going on. No gun shy in this dog.

I can’t wait to introduce him to water this spring, looks like he might meet snow tomorrow morning ;).

He is a very smart, curious, affectionate, playful and loving addition to the family. I even think the cat likes him in her own way.

We’ll keep you posted on his progress.

Kris and Jerre



Good morning. Sorry it has taken sooo long to e-mail you. We have just been enjoying this puppy so very much. Hunter is fitting in fine here on the farm! We are already potty trained & know our commands for the two ( he is very smart) & are already sleeping through(holding bladder) the night.

Maxx our 5 year old choc. Lab is in LOVE! He loves having a little brother around. Lola and Oliver (our rescue kitties) find it to be cool having two dogs in the home again. We are just loving our new little friend!!!

Darlene… Thank you again for our puppy. You are doing such a wonderful job of maintaining a superior  puppy in the Killingworth line!

Mrs. Stacey M Ferraina
Windsor, CT



Just speaking of you this evening with my cousins Carmine/Janiece Rossi.  They met you halfway from New York for Nero (I think he is 9).  Maxwell I took home 13 yrs ago from Washington Depot, CT when you were here.  I never did meet you, as I picked up Max day after Christmas-you were away?  Regardless if you remember us or not I thought your would like to know how great a bloodline you have established.

Max is just recently slowing down, but he has run with my horses, swam in every lake, river, mud puddle in the state of NY. I had him x-rayed at 8 just to see if was okay to be so active, no signs of arthritis, dysplasia, nothing!  He laughed at the thought of me questioning his athleticism! He even helped provide pet assisted therapy to firefighters the evening of Sept 11, 2001.  18 hours of hugs and kisses by NY’s finest! Not to mention treats and bottled water.  He has been a great dog, a loyal friend, and comic relief whenever he can!  He is winding down these days and I guess I needed to know you were still out there breeding these incredible dogs.

Nero’s life is typical suburb dog.  He has a great yard, a caring, loving family who see to his every need.  He even gets doggie vacations.  Max sometimes wishes for his easy life and Nero just thinks cousin Max the jet setter is the coolest.  They get together from time to time when I sneak Nero off for a great “mud-roll” much to the dismay of his family!

Anyway, just to let you know both chocolate labs are doing terrific and thanks for paying attention to the most elegant and essential characteristics of this awesome breed.  They are smart, eager, happy, and incredibly beautiful labs!

Bobbi Rossi


This is Susan Kasper and daughter, Charlotte Kasper. We are spending a wonderfully cozy Sunday together and decided to look up Killingsworth Labs because we have a beautiful Chocolate Lab named Reese. She is the daughter of Lilly and Ruffus, and was born in October of 2002. We drove from Long Island to the Methuen Mall to meet Lilly and her pups. We took home Reese and Moose (her brother who lives a couple of blocks from us.) They occasionally see each other on the beach and run towards each other like gladiators in combat only to be licking and kissing each other – it really is quite the sight!

As seasoned dog owners, we have never had the good fortune to be in the company of such a great companion until Reese came along. She is the most loving caring dog we have ever had, and is such good company and a total mush.

When Charlotte was afraid of a rain storm recently. Reese immediately jumped onto her bed and stayed there to comfort her and keep her company. It was only when Charlotte fell asleep did Reese jump off her bed to return to her own bed knowing that her job was done.

We continually thank Reese for being part of our family. Now it is time for us to thank you for making this union occur.

We are starting to talk about getting another family member for Reese. Please let us know about any chocolate pups or adults that you may have available- or blacks or yellows. Or what you may have on the horizon. Thank you so much. We look forward to hearing from you —
Susan and Charlotte Kasper
Lido Beach, New York
I just wanted to let you know that my husband, Ben, and I “inherited” Killingworth’s Coalyard (a.k.a. “Stuffy”) a little over a year ago. Our friend, and Stuffy’s previous owner, Bob Gillie, passed away last January at home. Bob’s relatives were unable to take the dog, so Ben brought him home. After a week of not eating, Stuffy began to recover and is now thriving. He’s down to 105 lbs and gets lots of exercise in our sugarbush and tree farm in Lyme, NH. He’ll be 9 years old on May 19th. Bob kept meticulous records and that’s how I found out that he’s a Killingworth Lab. I also had to laugh when I saw his mother’s name was “Mudpuddle”; Stuffy walks intentionally into every ditch and puddle and earned the nickname “Mudpie” before I knew about his mother’s name.
Having previously owned two wonderful Brittany spaniels (who lived to the ages of 14 and 15 and whom we loved to death), Stuffy has been a breath of fresh air to us. We are absolutely in awe of his temperament and personality. He is also very intelligent and really listens to us when we talk. He is one amazing dog and everyone who meets him falls instantly in love with him (something about those eyes and that big head).

Thanks for providing Bob (and now us) with the opportunity to own such a magnificent animal!!

Deb Kilham
Lebanon, NH


I apologize for not sending a message sooner…including photos! Lily is doing great! She is crate trained and just about house-broken (or we are to her needs at least!. She is sooooo smart. It didn’t take two days for her to figure out the sound of the treat jar opening meant you had to sit and if you ring the bell on the doorknob they take you out to ‘get busy’! The other girls, Dakota 12 and Jenna 7, have adjusted well (although we think Dakota is still hoping she’s not permanent!) but Jenna has found a new pal and friend and they are having a

grand time. We are looking forward to her summer on the island, swimming in the ocean~~ she’ll just have a wonderful life. She is getting big, her legs are so strong. I am attaching a photo of her first vet visit~~ you can see
how disturbed she was by it! The clinic staff love her (and your Jenna Mae!). The other photo is our ‘three’ girls all sharing their big pillow. Again, thanks so much for giving us such a sweet and VERY smart little girl
Pam and Brad
Bridgton, ME


Thought you might like a couple pictures of Oliver taken the day before his fifth month B day. We’re enjoying him a whole bunch.
He seems to enjoy us a well. Been doing some basic obedience. To say he is catching on is an understatement. Especially when there are food rewards offered. Been doing some beginning retrieving as well. He has lots of fun. Waded into a partially thawed out pond today. He’ll have a blast this summer.
He has the most “fun” temperament of any lab we’ve had.
Mark and Sandy Gagnon
Kennebunkport, ME


Hi Darlene,
We just wanted to update you on Rufus (from Lily and Ruffous June 9). He is an awsome dog. We have survived his earlier puppy days of eating everything from rocks to shoes. He is now the most mellow and sweet dog in the world.He is so good and gentle with children. He goes to work with Jason eveyday and just loves riding next him. He has a great playmate Cedar who is also a Lab. We just wanted to thank you so much for such a wonderful dog! Maybe we will have to contact you again soon for another wonderful pup to add to our family!
Sarah and Jason Wiggins
White Plains, NY
Roxy is doing extremely well she has had an unbelievable start to the fall hunting season. She has three fantastic flushes on grouse and I continue to train her on quail and pigeons .Roxy also thinks she is the queen of the Mt. house pond we have a hard time getting her out she loves to swim.
Craig Hilburn
Point Pleasant, PA


I just wanted to report that Bessie is doing really well. She had a serious swim in a little lake in the Berkshires on Monday and fetched a stick over and over and over… she is really beautiful and calm (ok, there’s an upholstered chair with a missing corner that might disagree!!!) and a huge star on West 81st Street where I live across from the Park. On Monday next she will be cleared for takeoff and be able to go to romp in Central Park for the first time. She (and I) can’t wait. She’s a real beauty, and as smart as anything on four legs has ever been. I love her. So do all her myriad fans in the neighborhood. Thanks so much for a great pup.
I feel ridiculously lucky!
Bridget Potter
New York, NY


Mizzen is everything, and more, I thought we would get from a Killingworth puppy. She’s beautiful, smart, full of personality, and extremely lovable. She settled down in her crate after the first ten minutes and rode comfortably home. We have three wagging tails here so all seem to be adapting to a different environment. Thanks again. She’s a wonderful puppy and we hope to visit you at The Perennial Inn. It sounds great!

Just wanted you to know what a spectacular puppy we have with Mizzen. She has become best of pals with Kala, the one we thought might be too jealous. They now constantly play together and are inseparable, and she is very, very smart. What joy to watch them! Hope all is well. Cheers, Roxanne Leighton
Best, Roxanne Leighton
Isleboro, Maine


“I have wanted to share a story about Harley and what a blessing he is to our family.

Two and one-half months ago Harley was waiting at our front bay window for his “Daddy” (my husband) to come home. I was in the kitchen when I heard a horrible crash. My husband was hit by another car. His car was totaled and he was injured. As the ambulance took my husband away, Harley looked at me like he understood exactly what was happening.

The next day we brought my husband home and positioned him on the sofa in our living room. I told him to tell Harley “ouch” if Harley started jumping too much or getting too excited–Harley understands what ouch means and he stops doing whatever he is doing when you say “ouch”.

I left Harley out of his kennel and he was so glad to see his Daddy that he raced to the sofa. My husband seeing this enthusiastic 85# plus pup heading his way started saying “Ouch, ouch, ouch!” right away. Harley stopped mid-run and immediately assessed the situation.

Harley began by sniffing my husband from top to bottom. He carefully lingered over the rigid brace as if he was checking to see if it was positioned properly. After he thoroughly checked everything out, Harley carefully placed his front paws on the sofa. He proceeded to lift himself up and repositioned his left paw on the back side of the sofa next to my husband’s leg.

Then Harley very gently and carefully stretched his body up without touching his “Daddy” and began licking my husband all over his face. My husband was completely immobilized due to his injuries and was sputtering a bit under all that affection. It was such a beautiful picture I wished I had had my camera with me so I could capture it.

Over the last two and one-half months my husband has gone through some intense therapy to regain his ability to walk and perform other functions. Harley has been faithfully at his side. One of the after-effects of the accident has been the loss of vision in my husband’s left eye. With a blind spot on his left side he would run into things. Harley sensed this and would use his body to guide his Daddy away from things as they walked through the house or the yard.

I can tell you that Harley is priceless in our eyes. He is such a sweet and loving puppy and I wanted you to know how thankful I am that you picked such a wonderful dog for us.


Karen Mojecki
Harrisburg, PA


“She’s a truly wonderful pup. I think she’s already bonded to me. What a joy….. She’s such a
darlin’…Sam’s doing extremely well. We already had a visitor this morning. One of the police officers on my shift stopped by and Sam put on a little show, doing some backyard retrieving culminated by a jump into her pool! She just loves visitors! Sam’s pretty much at home in the crate now. Only about one minute of whining last night…Sam went to the porch door yesterday and told me she had to go out. She’s so intelligent, Darlene. Yesterday, I was watching a show on Animal Planet about dogs, and Sam keyed right in on the sounds and images. In fact, she sat down and looked a little apprehensive when they showed a pack of dogs running and barking. So I toggled back to the Red Sox game. Sam has no interest in watching baseball…How are the other dogs doing (besides Bella) doing? I know I’m not an expert, but you’ve done a remarkable job producing these fine dogs. I feel very privileged owning one…She’s really bonded well to me already. A terrific dog…What a sweetheart she is. Very intelligent as well. No adjustment problems…She kept jumping into her swimming pool with no water in it, so I filled it with about 6 inches of water. Did she love it! And the hose with the water coming out of it! She loved that too!…Sam’s super-enthusiatic about water. More than any of my dogs. I brought her to the beach, and she plunged right in beyond shoulder-depth, which means she was swimming for a few seconds. I quickly redirected her to shore, but she kept wanting to swim. Imagine — 9 1/2 weeks old!…Are the other pups in this litter as fantastic as Samantha. What a wonderful puppy. smart, intelligent, beautiful, and loves the water. She impresses everybody I show her off to. But really, you, Daisy and Hilton really produced a marvelous dog in Samantha. I hope the other “adopters” are just as pleased and impressed….”

Click Here for the expanded adventures of Sam

Jack Samek
Woonsocket, RI


“Nearly 20 years ago, I purchased a black lab puppy from Milos Forman in Warrnen Ct., whose staff told me that the line…that produced the puppy was a Killingworth (Thunderson, I believe) and that Lorraine Robbenhaar in Washington Ct. was the facilitator and breeder. To say that this was the most marvelous dog I ever had would be an understatement.”
Jack Smith
Glastonbury, CT


“I want to let you know that Baxter is doing just great. He’s a wonderful pup and lots of fun. He slept most of the ride home from Maine on Christmas Eve and adjusted to his new home right away. Baxter is a content and loving puppy that draws plenty of smiles and laughs from all us. After about 3 weeks he fully learned to do his business outside and had very few accidents prior to that. It amazes me how well behaved he is at such a young age. We have since started Puppy Kindergarten and Baxter enjoys his Friday night out to socialize with the other pups at school. Thank you to Gracie and Rufus for producing such a wonderful puppy.”
David Jigarjian
Westford, MA


“just wanted to tell u just how wonderful moose is…what a complete mensch…..he is so super with jack…..jack is a little pup chewing biting annoying….cant wait to take them to the beach..one more month…..just wanted you to tell mooses mom (Lilly) what an amazing animal he is really …thanks”
Jamie Cohen
Long Island, NY


“She is an absolute delight. What character! She could not be any better. She is so well behaved and such a good little pup. We arrived at the air cargo loading dock within 1 minute of her delivery from the plane, paperwork and everything could not have gone smoother. She was in great spirits and what a cutie. We took her home and introduced her to our 5 year old male Moon. For about 5 minutes she was a little timid and reserved. But that was all, within a half hour she giving him all he could handle and they were both having a great time. As I told you I lost 2 Labs within a few months of each other due only to age and Moon misses not having a companion, but not any longer. We went for walk down by the stream on our property and she jumped right in. Then they played non stop until bed time but you could tell they were both pooped out, we just don’t play like dogs no matter how hard we try. We put her in a new big crate in the same room with Moon for the night. I was pleasantly surprised she did not cry or mess her cage. We took her out first thing this morning and she did her business. Before I came to work she had already taken one of Moon’s toys from him and would not return it. Also I play ball with Moon every morning and evening and Tankur was out there casing the ball with every effort she could put into it. I believe I have received just what I had hoped to..I am glad I found your Kennel.”
Biff Jones
Parkton, MD


“I have known Lorraine since we were very young (Kaytlin my sister is now 21 and used to be in the baby seat during breedings in Washington Depot in the 1980’s). We have trusted the Killingworth Line for the entire history of our girls since then. Even after I moved to the West Coast, I still have not found any dogs superior to Killingworth Labradors.”
Dayna Begley
Twin Bridges, MT
“I have a bitch out of Lily and Rufus (2001 litter), her name is Killingworth’s Seraph, we call her Sera. I can’t tell you how much we have enjoyed her. We have had labs for 20 years but her temperment is the best that we have had. She is so calm and happy. She loved her crate from the second we picked her up, of course she prefers our bed now. She is the happiest dog that we have ever had, she is happy from the minute she wakes up until she goes to bed. She has been an Angel Dog (Therapy dog) since she was 9 weeks old. She was officially certified on her first birthday but was visiting from the beginning. Who can resist such a georgous chocoalte dog. She loves to show but only has one point.”
Erin Wollam-Berens
Lincoln, Nebraska


“Yes, very happy is an understatement! Our children have always said that our animals ‘live on the cruise ship,’ and the Princess certainly knows that she is in First Class. She is doing very well during the night. She has
her crate, but we leave it open so she has the run of the Kitchen and can go out during the night through her doggy door. She also has a bed outside the crate, and she seems to go back and forth between the two…I am working with her in retrieving training daily, and she is finding it great fun…She certainly has the brains, and will be very easy to train. Of course, that also means that she will have the ability to manipulate and outthink us most of the time…”
Art and Carroll Pulis
Wickenburg, AZ
I have to tell you though he has been really fantastic!!!!……he cried the first night in the crate but really that was it!…..I put him in when the kids go to bed at 8:00 or so (by then he is just exhausted), I take him out at 12:30 or so and he goes right back to sleep and gets up at 6:00 or so……he naps a handful of times throughout the day which is great as the kids just adore him and keep him extremely busy!!!….he and I are very close as we spend a lot of time together….he’s very smart as he follows me when I call, he stops when I say stop, he’s great with all the kids…..the only problem there is that my daughter who is 3 absolutely loves him to death, she just spends all day loving him, but she is the smallest person around and he jumps up on her and bites her clothes etc……he’s just having fun as he gets so excited but she panics…..it’s all innocent, she just has to learn to get him to stop
and not panic…..so he’s been a dream….again, he a really special guy who I’m really getting attached to!
Terry Haggerty
Mill Valley, CA


“Zeke is doing great. We absolutely love him. He is very smart and has a sweet personality. We thought he was going to be depressed when Sandy left, but if he was, it was only for a short while. He’s growing biger and bigger. He loves his crate and he’s doing really well”


“He is such a sweetheart – a very happy boy”

“Today Adam is 12 weeks old and I have to tell you how wonderful he is doing. It seems that he has been with us always. He is totally housebroken (thanks to my older labs) and he is growing in leaps and bounds. I think he
is going to be a very big boy. He is very independent, smart and sweet. I love him so much and he knows that he is my special boy. I want to thank you for picking him out for me. I took him over to the horse show today and
could have sold him five times. He is a great ambassador for Killingworth Labs. I have given your email address out to a number of people. Thanks again, Adam is a great addition to our family.”


“I just wanted to give you an update on Abby. She is a beautiful dog, and so well behaved. She sleeps in her crate every night without a cry, her first night here was not bad at all, she really has adjusted well.”
Jim and Melissa Wallach
Southington, CT


“Thanks for such a wonderful doggie! :)”
Glenn & Rachel Reeves & Jesse
Portland, ME


“I am the proud owner of Killingworth’s MaCalastair (Macky) from the litter sired by “Clipper” born in May last year. He is my second Killingworth Labrador. I have neglected to write to Lorraine with a progress report, please pass on my apologies! Needless to say Macky has grown into everything I expected and then some. He is the most perceptive and intelligent dog I have ever owned, a wonderful friend, thanks to great breeding.”
Jeremy Maxwell
“My first Lab was from Jenny and Roland Morehouse in Indiana. The breeding was from Killingworth’s Moroje Windfal out of CH. Kupros Spartacus with a grand dam out of Ch. Clemmsen of Killingworth. “Carly” was energetic, always willing, playful and possessed of all the characteristics of a great lab. I would like to get a puppy from your lines because Carly was such a great dog and your lines have the appearance that I seek.”
Janice K.
Charleston, IL


“Pluto came from Champion field trial bloodlines, was an excellent retriever / swimmer, was very intelligent / good problem solver, and extremely athletic without being hyperactive, not at all gun shy and very gentle & loving…Pluto’s grandfather was CH Killingworth’s Black Brant.”
Robert Olsson
I wanted to write and first complement you on such a wonderful collection of canines!…and am especially taken with Lilly! I am a chocolate breeder myself here in Canada, and really admire her type – it is what I most prefer and consistently try to produce…She is a special girl…congratulations on successfully carrying on a great tradition of fine specimens.
Yours in Labs,
Lisa Brown
Copperstone Reg’d
Ontario, CANADA


“In 1988 I bred my chocolate female Hannah with Killingworth All-Decked-Out a.k.a. Dexter and had a great litter of 10 pups… As a matter of fact you decided to purchase one of my pups, a chocolate male whom you named Flintlock. Well my puppy Kala [ Flintlocks sister ] just passed on this summer and I’m looking to add to our family again. I’ve never forgotten Flintlock because he was such a big easy-going boy and would love to have one just like him.”
Jacqueline Guarino Smith


A Tribute to CH Clemmsen of Killingworth
CH Clemmsen of Killingworth (Eng/Am CH Lawnwood Hot Chocolate ex Stonewood Killingworth Katie) is the only chocolate ever to win the Breed at Westminister. Conceived behind a hanger at the Oxford, CT airport (Jan Churchill had flown in with Eng/Am CH Lanwood Hot Chocolate), he was whelped on Lorraines’s birthday, September 7, 1979 during a hurricane. (No power for 3 days, pups whelped in front of a huge fire in the fireplace for heat)
Despite his dramatic and somewhat inauspicious beginnings, Clem proved to be a real winner for Lorraine. A devoted companion and fishing partner, he is behind all Lorraine’s chocolates and some of her blacks, and produced several foundation bitches for others, including the outstanding CH K Clementine (Sue Ostermuller). Lorraine writes, ” Clem was a wonderful companion dog – very pleasant and tractable. He was a great fishing partner – never jumped around in the boat!”

submitted by Chaplain Vikki O’Hara, M.Div
A Tribute to Killingworth’s Tristan
Killingworth’s Tristan (Hennings Mills Brown King ex Bounty Brant’s Riverroad Chic). At the age of 8 months, Lorraine donated Tristan to the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection with the understanding that she would keep the registration and possibly us him at stud. A superb tracking dog trained in evidence recovery, venison detection, and tracking persons, he replaced an unreliable GSD dog as partner for CT Conservation Enforcement Officer Peter Begley. “Tres” and Officer Begley were constant companions, at home and at work, throughout their career together, during which the team was often recognized for their outstanding work in tracking and apprehending poachers and “deer-jackers.” (Deer-jacking involves the illegal hunting of deer at night by blinding them with lights.)

In 1995 Officer Begley and “Tres” were also awarded the “Medal for Meriterious Service” for “. . . rendering service beyond the ordinary course of duty with perservance and timely judgement. On October 23, 1994, the Granby Police Department requestion the assistance of Officer Begely and Tristan in investigating a series of crimes which had recently taken place in which property was stolen during break-ins of several vehicles. With heavy rain making the investigation and search a difficult task, the team was able to recover the majority of stolen property and solve a major crime, and were also instrumental in the apprehension of one of the suspects who had fled on foot and was believed to be armed and dangerous.”

After donating Tristan, Lorraine did not see him for about a year. When she did see him she said, “I just about collapsed. He was absolutely gorgeous. He has a beautiful head, a beautiful dark eye, and a gorgeous top-line. He has a found front and his hips and eyes are clear. He has all the qualities of a top-notch champion Labrador Retriever” . In addition to his career as a canine detective, Tristan became one of Lorraine’s outstanding stud dogs, producing, among many others, her current outstanding chocolate stud dog, Killingworth’s Rufus, JH, WC.”
submitted by Chaplain Vikki O’Hara, M.Div


A Tribute to Killingworth’s Aelred
Sired by Killingworth’s Rufus, JH, WC, Killingworth’s Aelred was selected by Lorraine to work as a therapy dog and was sold to Chaplain Vikki O’Hara, Director of the Angel Dogs Animal Assited Therapy Dog Program at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska. (The 7th largest rehabilitation hospital in the nation.)

From the age of 9 weeks Aelred has grown up in my office and has been socialized extensively in the hospital setting. When he’s not working he is asleep under my desk. Aelred is the most extraordinary Labrador I have evern known. Lorraine and I have joked that he was mature from the time he was born, but it’s true! He’s just 2 years old now, but since he was less than 6 months old has had full run of the house when I’m not home and has never gotten into trouble. He adores people, “lives” to come to the hospital, and instinctively knows how to work with our therapists to help patients achieve their rehabilitations goals. When he was 8 months old a therapist asked me to have him lie down on the floor where she was working with an 18 month-old child who had experienced a stroke as a result of shaken-baby syndrome. The child was completely withdrawn, had come to us on a ventilator to breathe, and wouldn’t initiate any movement on her own. Although Aelred was not old enough to be certified at that time the therapist saqw a first spark of interest in the child when Aelred walked by. Aelred lay down on a mat and, unbelievably, the child began to reach for the dog. Before long she had her fist in his mounth and was tugging (hard!) on his ears. The whole time he was completely still, except for his tail wagging with delight! Aelred precipitated a breakthrough in this little girl’s treatment, and after this session her recovery accelerated beyond what we had imagined possible. He continues to work his miracles every day!
submitted by Chaplain Vikki O’Hara, M.Div