First Presbyterian Church — Red Wing, Minnesota
When Jane and Ron Ward moved to Red Wing in 2004, Jane was training her first service dog. First Presbyterian Church welcomed the Wards and their service dogs to church for training purposes.
Helping Paws, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that has been training service dogs for about 33 years. The dogs learn about 75 cues that can be used for people with physical disabilities, veterans with PTSD and more.
Peyton, the last dog Jane trained, was well-loved by the church. He was placed with an Afghanistan veteran last spring. During worship in April, Peyton was commissioned for his work, which included a laying on of hands by children.
Jane’s current pup is Brinley, a gentle dog who loves everyone. She will likely become a facility dog — maybe in the court system.
— Greg Bolt, pastor, and Jane Ward