AVON, Conn. (WTNH) — “I’ve raised a lot of dogs and I think she’s the best one I’ve had,” said Betty Goldfarb, a puppy raiser for Blue Path Service Dogs, referring to 14 pounds of cuteness.
A small puppy – a black lab, yellow lab, golden retriever mix – is bound for greatness.
“She’s very smart, she’s confident,” said Goldfarb, adding that the puppy will someday work with a child with autism.
“Many of these kids have never given a hug to anyone and yet they hug their dog,” Goldfarb said.
But this is just part of the story.
The lovely pup is named BeanZ, a tribute to the location where she’s being trained, Beanz & Co., a cafe employing those with disabilities.
“I have been coming here a number of years for coffee and conversation,” said Goldfarb. “When we talked about what Blue Path does for children with autism, what Beanz and Co. does for people with disabilities, it was just a real connection.”
“It’s a nice distraction when you really need it nothing better than a little puppy love, right? It’s really wonderful,” said cafe owner Kim Morrison.
Morrison said she was happy to lend space in her cafe where staff and customers, following certain rules, can mix with the puppy, teaching her social skills.
As a mom of a daughter with Down syndrome, she knows the impact this future helper will make.
“For what she’s doing here, I can only imagine what’s about to come,” Morrison said.
“When she graduates, she will be for safety, companionship, and independence,” Goldfarb said, noting that both of BeanZ’s parents were service dogs.
She’ll be an anchor for a child who runs and a conduit for social conversation and independence.
“We can get on a plane and go to Disney World,” said Goldfarb, explaining the improvements to a family’s routine. “It is life-changing what these dogs do for this child and their whole family.”
For now, the pup will delight all around her with her sweet face and willingness to learn her very important job.
“Customers have been so wonderful to us and I think they come more often,” said Goldfarb.
BeanZ is at Beanz & Co. Mondays through Saturdays from about 9 am to 2 pm. She will be there for the next 15 months.
Every Wednesday, customers can guess the dog’s weight. The winner gets a free lunch!