Greiner Hall Alexei Romanov, CGC, TDI, TT
(Greiner Hall Nicholas x Greiner Hall Alexandra)
Breeders: Stephen and Leah Napotnik, Greiner Hall Mastiffs
Owned and loved by Kelly Carter
Story submitted by Stephanie Stollings, previous owner
When I first got Alex from Stephen and Leah Napotnik of Greiner Hall, I was managing a bar. That's where he was socialized, starting right away as a brand, new puppy. Needless to say, after that, no noise or weird-looking people ever fazed him! He has been doing therapy work unofficially since he was 8 weeks old at the bar. You wouldn't believe the number of people I used to catch on the floor hugging him and whispering to him.
When he started his official therapy work four years ago, he was visiting nursing homes and such; but I believe that what he does now, which is working as a canine aide to speech pathologists, is much more rewarding to him. Alex works with children in the Speech Pathology Dept. of Tulsa University, the Mary K. Chapman Center. The lady in the picture above is Dr. Beth McCauley, the head of the dept. The other picture shows Alex in the lobby of the center with his owner, Kelly Carter. His workday begins once he is behind the gate.
Starting as a once-a-week commitment, Alex now works 5 days a week because he is so good at what he does, and the clinicians are always asking for him. Most of the kids know him by name. With his heavy work schedule, he now has a Faculty Staff ID from TU, and even met the President of the University recently. The TU President’s Chef cooked him some treats made especially for their newest faculty member;-). His service in the Speech Pathology Dept. has been so substantial that there are universities and schools in the area (including MO and AR) that are considering starting this same kind of program.
When Alex is working, it is not uncommon for parents of his patients to literally be in tears. There was one particular little girl that kept saying "Beeeg. Beeeg." Although it was adorable at the time, the child's mother had tears streaming down her face and was deeply moved. We later learned that up until that very moment, the little girl had never before spoken at all, not one single word.
When Alex goes to work, he is paired up with a single clinician, and I know that they are constantly arguing over who gets to use him with their clients. One of his favorite patients is a 9 year old girl. I'm not sure what type of problems she has (maybe cerebral palsy), but they are severe. She has very limited use of her arms and hands. And yet, all a person has to do is say Alex's name to her, and she throws back her head, and laughs with joy.
Alex is a great help to the children at the Mary K. Chapman Center, and he absolutely loves his work!! He provides a wonderful service, and is very much appreciated by all whose lives he touches.
To read more about Alex and his work, click here.