Thursday, September 29, 2011

Meet My Friend Miki Baker- The Award Winning Therapy Dog

Miki Baker, the therapy dog
I love dogs. I know it sounds silly, everyone thinks I'm a cat person but someday I would love to have a dog in my life.

Until then, I have to content myself knowing a very special dog, Miki Baker, the therapy dog. Miki is a three year old Pomeranian and his human is Trish Baker, someone I am honored to call my friend.

Miki is one of this year's winners of the AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence. Miki won the Therapy Dog contest.

This is from an article in today's (NJ) Home News. I hope Miki will warm your heart, as he has done mine. Miki is also on Facebook, under Miki Baker, the Parti-Pomerian, ready to friend.

"We're thrilled," said Tricia Baker, who, along with her husband, Kurt, and their 18 year old daughter, Katelyn, founded AIR (Attitudes in Reverse), a grass-roots group designed to raise awareness about mental illness and educate the public about the stigma attached to the illness. 

"Miki is a great dog and has helped us through a terrible tie when our son, Kenny, who suffered from anxiety disorder and depression, completed suicide on May 19, 2009, when he was 19", Baker said. "Miki has been an integral part of our journey and continues to be a champion for the cause."
Miki and her human, Trish (courtesy of the (NJ) Home News 

Baker explained that as a result of her son's illness, the family came to realize there was a lack of understanding about mental illness. 

"We saw how his death was treated so much differently than the deaths of other students in the school,", she said. "When Kenny passed away, less than 10 people from the school came to the wake and funeral because the belief was that people who complete suicide are only looking for attention, and that's not true. It's an illness. There's also the old thinking that if you talk about suicide, other people are going to go out and complete suicide. That is not how it is."

"If someone completes suicide, if the death is not discussed and those kids that are struggling don't get the help they need, there could be possibly another suicide. That's how the contagion happens. It's not because you talk about suicide, and someone with a healthy brain is going to go out and complete suicide. When we saw how his illness and death were treated, we knew as a family that we needed to change things. We needed to do something to help other kids' depression."

So the family founded AIR. The organization's slogan is "Mental illness is like air. Just because you don't see it, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It's all around us."

Baker said the family, along with Miki, attends community events and makes presentations in schools in hopes of getting the word out. 

"Our main goal is to reach kids to help educate them so they can get help and seek treatment if they need it", Baker said. "We want them to know what to do if their friends are struggling. We also want to change the way society looks at mental illness." The entire article can be seen here.

More Miki. Such a cutie!


Jenna said...

I love Mikka! The power of a pet is so strong. Animals just seem to be able to connect with us in a way that people can't. They sense our moods and are able to help heal us :)
Thanks for sharing this!

Mary LA said...

Miki looks just like my little half-Pom mongrels! Such a moving article Susan.

susan said...

Hi Jenna, I agree. I love my kitty. Someday I will get a dog. Knowing Miki has turned me into a dog lover too.

Mary! You have a little Pom! ;) I wish I could see him/her.

Kurtis Baker said...

Hi Susan, thanks for posting Miki's article. As my step mother once said, "If I liked dogs, I would like Miki." (She doesn't like any animals, but he even won her over, to a degree. :)

Steve said...

It's true, pets have an amazing ability to provide unconditional love and there is no better therapy than that. Miki is so cute how could you not love her! Thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

this blog makes me feel less alone in the world.

sometimes i am so helpless.

i ask God to do what i can't.

i wish i had an advocate to say, "she cant function right now or dont be cruel to her..."

Discover and Recover said...


Dogs are great!

Having worked with blind people for many years, I came to realize how close we humans can get to dogs... by seeing the bond between some of the people I've worked with and their guide dogs... Amazing bonds are formed!

They help people with psychiatric diagnoses as well... They help big-time -

We got a dog at a rescue last summer... She was only a few months old... Half collie/half yellow lab... She was just a small pup, but now is 65 pounds, and full of lots of energy.

Her name is Samantha (We call her "Sam")... She is sweet and smart... really smart!

I take her for walks throughout the day... several of them... And it has forced me to walk, which is something that really helps me with anxiety, depression, stress.

Also, I'm grateful to have another female in our home... With two boys and no girls, my wife felt "out-numbered" for a while!

Dogs are a gift!

Be well,


Ellan Lima said...

Thanks for sharing this, Susan! Dogs, by their nature, are loyal and affectionate. They’re instinctively capable of forming strong bonds with any companion. Thus, they are a big help for providing emotional support.

Ellan Lima

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