Paula Cingota, having produced litters before, began tying little colored ribbons on each new-born puppy as soon as it had been dried off. With loving and experienced hands she gently grasped the newly born baby and reached for a different colored ribbon, all of the solid colors were gone by the time this little guy made his appearance and all that was left was one ribbon with little pink hearts on it...I think you get the picture. The little unnamed boy was referred to as "HEARTS" from his very first day of birth. His official name soon became Summerfield's Ace of Hearts.
Hearts found the life as a conformation show dog utterly degrading even to the point of peeing on Paula while in the ring. In fact his nickname became "Willie Lum Lum". Though he went undefeated whenever shown, his show career was exchanged for one of obedience and working at home on the ranch.
Paula had a lucrative career as an interior designer, but that too was destined to change. She lost a couple of family members to cancer and then one of her closest friends was stricken with the disease. When it became apparent that her dear friend was terminally ill, she asked Paula if she could see her dog. After Paula saw what joy this canine visit brought to her friend, she made a promise that she would devote her life to bringing canine visits to the terminally ill, especially cancer patients. Paula too made a career change for after her friend's passing, Paula did not forget and set out to fulfill that promise. I will skip a lot here, but the results of this very dedicated lady and her loving Rottweiler "HEARTS" speak for themselves.
As I write this, Paula and 62 other active canines and owners have officially become "OUR BEST FRIENDS" Therapy Dogs Inc. and they have just received their not-for-profit status on March 15, 1993. Paula and HEARTS visit hospitals every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. There are so very many stories I could share with you about this wonderful partnership however it would take a book to tell it all. I will let some of the clippings on the next two pages give you just a taste of the exciting things that one very special ROTTWEILER has done and is still doing at the ripe old age of 9+ years. At the end of March HEARTS has a special luncheon with Rear Admiral James Richter and has also been selected as one of the judges at a prestigious fashion show. Other than being very proud yet humbled by all of this, Paula's secret wish is that HEARTS had his own 'press' secretary to aid coordinating all of his personal appearances.
(NOTE: Hearts went to Rainbow Bridge in the winter of 1994, he suffered from an aging heart)
Our Best Friends Therapy Dogs Inc
P.O. Box 2346,
Spring Valley, California 91979
or call Paula at (619) 445-8309For further information
It is hard for Paula's current budget to endure returning long distant calls, but you can usually catch her early morning PST. She would love to hear from you.
If you want to help contribute to the OUR BEST FRIENDS a Therapy Dog Program you may purchase (from Paula), the series of Carl (the Rottweiler books) personally autographed by the author, Alexandra Day. CARL now wears HEART'S harness proudly on his public appearances. Hearts was Carl's personal friend and HERO and you may find him in CARL MAKES A SCRAPBOOK right alongside of Audrey Hepburn.