Why Paws2Care? Founder, Dominique Dupras, has always felt called to volunteer with children. In 2007 at a halfway house, D brought Beamer and his brother Taylor to help her connect with a few shy kids. She placed Beamer in a little girl's lap promising he would not interrupt, judge, or tell anyone her secrets. Soon after, the girl confided in Beamer about the sexual and verbal abuse her father inflicted upon her before a neighbor called the group home. With this knowledge, the counselors were able to help, and eventually found her a safe and loving foster home. She has since graduated high school and now volunteers in her community. That was it, that life-altering moment, the ineffable bond between Beamer and the innocent child, that is why we Paws2Care!
The Washington Business Journal's Top 40 Under 40 honoree, NBC4's Citizen of the Week, Fox5's Pay it Forward Recipient, YPN's Black Opal Recipient 2015, the Rotary Club's Paul Harris Fellow Recipient and much more, Dominique lives to inspire others to "Paws2Care" daily with her and truly has a heart for working with and supporting good people and businesses committed to their local communities.
Some of Beamer's Buddies have autism and Asperger's which can make it difficult for them in social settings. "My kids love their time with Beamer, as he helps ease their anxiety. They want to make him feel as special as he makes them feel, so they remember his name by saying, 'Justin Beamer, Justin Beamer!'" -Mother of two children with special needs, Vienna, VA
"As a nurse, I had firsthand experience with the healing power of modern medicine. When my six-year-old daughter, Rylie, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, I was confident that our brilliant team of doctors would develop a treatment plan to rid her of the cancer. After weeks in the hospital, her body began to respond to chemo, but her spirit was suffering. My once jubilant little girl was now sad, scared and lonely. Then, she got a heaping dose of medication for the soul in the form of a furry pup ready to offer unconditional friendship and love! Soon the visits from the pet therapy teams became the highlight of Rylie's days; her smile and laughter returned. The greatest gift to a parent of a chronically ill child is to experience moments where fear and pain are forgotten, and for just a brief moment in time the child you feared had gone away returns. Our family was so grateful to the dogs and their handlers that we vowed to one day provide the same gift to other families. With the help of Paws2Care, our promise has become a reality! We could not be more happy to share our dog, Boudreaux, with other families so they can also experience the profound healing power of a therapy dog." -A mom who is paying it forward, Rockville, MD
"My son is a sweet five-year-old who happens to have down's syndrome. Beamer and D work with him on the weekends at our church. The first time they met, Riley was having a rough day. He arrived throwing a fit, fussing, and fighting with me. THE moment he locked eyes with Beamer, Riley's eyes smiled.. then his lips.. then his entire demeanor. He raced over, dropped to his knees, and gently grasped Beamer's head in his hands whispering, 'You're a good puppy, you're my puppy, you're a good puppy.' They were instant buddies and Riley was delightful for D the rest of the day." -Thankful mom who enjoyed four whole hours of respite alone at home, Reston, VA
"Beamer was at a coffee shop one morning enjoying ice cubes beneath a table when a 12-year-old boy with autism walked in with his mom. The boy was visibly upset and uncomfortable with this unfamiliar place and loud noises. Beamer instantly perked up yearning to attract the boy's attention. After a few minutes of frustrations at the counter, the boy's mom pulled him back toward the car, but Beamer's mom interrupted. She made eye contact and smiled at the mom, asked if her son wanted to pet Beamer but the exhausted mom was quick to reply, 'Thank you, but Andrew is (pause)...' Beamer's mom chimed in, 'Special! I know. That's perfect! Beamer can't wait to meet him.' Instantly, the moms were hugging, Andrew's mom was teary eyed, as were other patrons. Andrew became at ease, the flush in his face diminished as he and Beamer shared a calming moment on the floor of a bustling coffee shop, all because Beamer and D took time to Paws2Care." -Friend and Coffee Shop Witness
"Visiting his new friend Delia in the pediatric oncology unit, it was imperative Beamer remain calm and quiet. He gently climbed into bed with Delia, nestled into a ball on top of her little feet so as not to disturb any tubes and IVs lines. The two of them just lay there soundly sleeping. Delia never woke while Beamer was there, but she must have sensed his presence as her monitors magically reflected the calmness in her heart rate and blood pressure from the moment Beamer snuggled up to her. The power of a warm, loving, furry presence cannot fully be described in words, but I'm certain it's underrated." -Peds Nurse, Virgina Hospital Center, Arlington, VA.
Thanks to all who make it possible for us to help children in need transcend their illness for a little while, to spend precious time with and provide comforting and educational gifts to kids at St. Jude, Hopkins, Children's National, Inova, VA Hospital Center, Mayo, Cook, Scripps, orphanages and schools in Haiti, the DR, CR, PR, Kenya, Morocco, Rwanda, Afghanistan, France, Spain, New Zealand... and families everywhere!