Lynn Marie Millette
Lynn Marie with her remarkable
therapy dog Becke, CGC, PTD, READ
My name is Lynn Marie Millette and my husband Gerry and I have been happily married for 36+ years. We have two married children, a son and daughter. On May 22, 2004 we were blessed with the arrival of our first grandchild, Benjamin Michael Millette. On November 11, 2007 Noah Chase Millette was born. They are reportedly the most wonderful grandchildren ever born to human parents.
Both of us grew up with cats as pets and neither of us had ever owned a dog. I was always very afraid of dogs and even avoided people with dogs. Before getting married, Gerry had expressed a desire to own a dog some day. For years there was always a good excuse not to get a dog. Gerry and I shared a military life, and then there were small children to raise, after school activities and illness. These things made it impossible to have a dog.
However after many years of waiting it was decided that any dog that came into the house would have to come from a reputable breeder who knew of my fear. Gerry believed that a Labrador Retriever would be the best breed given the circumstances.
A great Labrador breeder in Gilmanton, NH who breeds for temperament was willing, so in May of 1995 we got her first yellow Labrador. His name was Provence Falcore the Luckdragon, aka Falcore. He loved to be around people, was easy to train, and could perform many tricks that make people feel better. During this time I learned about pet therapy work and its benefits.
In 1998, an almost seven year old black Labrador Retriever/hound dog mix named Shadow entered the family and the two dogs became “brothers”. In 1999 they both passed the Delta Society exam for pet therapy work.
Researching pet therapy work showed that most of the therapy work was being done on the west coast and finding resources in the east was not going to be easy. Nevertheless, we persisted and found that the local Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC) would allow pet therapy teams in their facility. Their Volunteer Director, Gretchen Gott, had been doing pet therapy before it was called pet therapy work. For years, both Falcore and Shadow visited the local VAMC on a regular basis.
Gerry is a police lieutenant for a small town in southern New Hampshire and sees the benefits of good training of family pets. I am an instructor of Level 1 Obedience, Level 2 Obedience, Rally Obedience, and Canine Good Citizen classes at a local dog activity center. The importance of good bonding and positive reinforcement in training is encouraged every day at this facility.
Together, Gerry and I started the legal groundwork to create a nonprofit organization in New Hampshire that is designed to get trained pet therapy teams to the places where they can do the most good. Some of these places include hospitals, nursing homes, elderly housing, libraries, and schools – anyplace where a trained therapy team is needed.
Both Falcore and Shadow have both since graduated to “Rainbow Bridge” but Integrity Star Beck (Becke) the newest member of the household, still carries on the tradition her brothers began. She goes to a few other places in addition to the Manchester Veterans Administration Medical Center where she and her cold nose warm hearts.
Whatever good is accomplished by Luckdragon’s Angels will be a living tribute to the unconditional love and lasting joy that Falcore brought to everyone with whom he came in contact.