Some of our Canine Ambassadors who are at the Rainbow Bridge

Our Founder, "Lucky" Waxman, passed away June 28, 2011.

It's been over 12 years since "Lucky" passed away. Not a single minute of the day goes by that he isn't missed or thought of by his Dad, Richard. Never has a dog left a legacy behind like "Lucky".

"I told you that you'd never be forgotton, Lucky, and trust me, you aren't. Every so often someone will still say to me, 'Aren't you Lucky's father?' and I'll just grin from ear to ear!"

What a Halloween Party this was! Carol's family used this picture as a Christmas card that year!

"Can I just play hide-n-seek down here?"

One of "Lucky's" favorite patients at Valencia Palms.

"Lucky" and a patient pose for the camera.

"Lucky's" favorite spot was in a patient's lap.

"Just hold me so I don't slip down between your legs."

Barbara waited every week to have "Lucky" on her bed.

James and "Lucky" truly had a special connection. "Lucky" would kiss James all over, and James loved the visits!

"Lucky" and Elano always spent a lot of time visiting Valencia Palms.

"Lucky", Dad and a patient at California Nursing and Rehabilitation.

"Lucky" in the volunteer office at Eisenhower Medical Center with Donnie, Halloween 2003.

Dear Edith..she was the one who taught "Lucky" that trick of taking a cookie from her mouth. These two were great pals!

Lets both smile for the camera!

"Could I make myself anymore comfortable?"

"Lucky" always loved a tray or a wheelchair so he could get really close to the patients.

"I'll play with all of you!" Martha's Village Kitchen.

"Lucky" and Dad one Halloween at Eisenhower Medical Center, 2003

"I'll just let this woman pet me for as long as she wants."

Uncle Phillip worked with "Lucky" a lot in the first years.

"Lucky" and Uncle Phillip at our very first fund raiser at Ruby's Diner, Palm Springs.

Founder "Lucky" Waxman

The End of an Era at "Paws & Hearts"

Richard Waxman, Executive Director "Paws & Hearts" and Dad

On July 4, 1998 I was looking at a condo and this little white poodle mix jumped right up into my arms. No collar, full of fleas and ticks, it was apparent he'd been abandoned. He saw the word sucker engraved on my forehead and home we went.

Didn't take long before I named him Lucky, because I thought I was very lucky that he found me. In Yiddish we have a word, 'buschert' and it means, meant-to-be, and if ever two lives were meant to collide it was Lucky's and mine. For the next twelve years, Lucky was at my side, actually up in my right arm as we built "Paws & Hearts" Animal Assisted Therapy. Lucky was the founder, I was just the executive director.

Lucky was still a puppy when we were invited to Valencia Palms Nursing Home in Indio. Lucky turned out to be marvelous on the beds with the patients and the Desert Sun sent a writer and photographer on our next visit, and when the story and photograph ran in the paper, our journey together began!

Potential volunteers read about Lucky's visits and they wanted to take their dogs on visits and what I thought would become a hobby, quickly became a full-time career. Lucky and I began making presentations to the Activities Directors at local nursing homes about a new program, temperament tests were conducted, and Lucky's visits became training visits for the new volunteers.

Very quickly an office in Palm Desert opened, a board of directors was assembled, and Lucky and I began making presentations at local rotaries and service clubs. Gino Lamont from KMIR 6 had us on his morning show a dozen times that first year, and the response from potential volunteers, donors and facilities was overwhelming. We were on our way, and the next decade of my life flew by in a heart-beat!

We were asked to visit the Oncology floor on Wednesday afternoons at Eisenhower Medical Center and a couple of years into it, we began visiting 3 times per week so that all the floors were covered. My second dog, "Scruffy" came along, and after some intense training by his older brother, he began going on visits with us, and the two of them worked like a well-oiled machine, Lucky always the star, and Scruffy a very happy Ethel Mertz, the second banana.

In the Spring of 2011 Lucky developed a cough that just would not go away. Many trips to the vet, many medications later, Lucky passed away very suddenly June 28th from a tumor on his liver that ruptured.

I can't remember a time when Lucky wasn't under my arm at Eisenhower. We'd enter a patient's room and I'd say, "Lucky and Scruffy are here to visit. Would you like them on your bed?" And Lucky would lay across the patient's chest and Scruffy would snuggle in along-side their leg. I never thought this would ever change, but sadly it has. Scruffy has become Numero Uno now at Eisenhower and he does his older brother proud visiting with the patients and making them feel better. Not a visit goes by that someone doesn't ask, "Where is the little white dog?" and as much as that hurts, just knowing that Lucky is missed is thanks enough for the memories he made over 9 years, and an estimated 32,000 individual room visits.

To watch a video of Lucky and Scruffy at work, and to see what your dog could do as a Canine Ambassador please click below.

Rest in peace Luck, your work and your legacy will never be forgotten!


After reading an article on "Paws & Hearts" Animal Assisted Therapy in The Desert Sun from June 28, 2013, Barbara King sent this lovely note to reminisce about a visit from Lucky and Scruffy, that took place a few years ago at Eisenhower Medical Center.

After the news of Lucky's passing emails began arriving. If you can believe it, these are just a sampling of what people had to say about him...

~Every time I touch anything "Paws & Hearts" related, I think of Lucky - even if I catch a glimpse of the USB stick I use to copy the database back and forth to your office. When I visit the office, I see all the pictures of Lucky and I wonder how you can stand it. He was such a special little dog - with a heart bigger than many humans I've met.
I heard a young woman once ask a priest if her dog would be in heaven with her. His answer was that if when she arrived in heaven, the only thing that kept her from experiencing paradise was missing her dog, then, yes, the dog would be in heaven with her. Richard, Lucky is in heaven right now. I hope it's many years before the two of you are reunited, but he will be there ready to greet you (and show you around the place). He's a little doggie angel and will watch over you for the rest of your days.
Take care, Valerie

~My heart goes out to you and Scruffy. Lucky was the best dog ever. I know you will both miss him. The piece in the paper was so special. Lucky is in heaven with all my dogs and they are having the best time running and and playing. I know that it is not the same as having him with you and Scruffy, however he is very busy watching over you.
Love, Debbie
I hereby propose that the 2011 annual "Dog Walk" be dedicated to "Lucky" Waxman...

~I just got back from my trip to Mexico and I am at a total loss for words on your recent loss. My heart goes out to you and may Lucky rest in peace and no one will ever forget Lucky. Much love coming your way in your loss.
Best regards, Wanda & Barry + Raisin

~I just wanted to let you know how much of an influence the pair of you and Lucky, and then later Scruffy had on my life. You all as a team gave me the gift of knowing how good it feels to volunteer and help other people smile and feel better.
I still have my Annie, but, its not quite the same now that she is retired. I am so sorry for your loss as I am having a bit of a hard time over Lucky's passing myself. Do the best you can, and know we are all pulling for you. Give Scruffy and big hug and kiss for me.
Lucky will be so very, very missed by so many, many people (of course including me). You of course, will miss him the most and Scruffy too will miss his "brother" in his own way.
Thank you for the email notice. Eva

~I am so sorry for your loss. I still remember the first day you came into Tish's office with Lucky.
What a special part of your life. I am sure he is in a VERY good place due to what he was able to accomplish while he was with you. You will probably never know how many people he was able to touch and make feel better.
Take care, Jeff

~I just heard about Lucky's passing. I know how much he meant to you and could see how much you loved him. I hope you take comfort in knowing that he gave joy to so many people in their time of need and helped many on their road to recovery. I'm sending you all my prayers through this difficult time.
Sincerely, Lee Rice
Communications and Public Relations Specialist Eisenhower Medical Center

~I'm so saddened by the news about Lucky! I ,too, felt he WAS Paws and Hearts. I'm out of town, now, and when I get back I would like to make a contribution in his name. I'm so sorry, Richard.
Fondly, Lois Leiter

~Please accept my heart felt condolences on your loss of a fine friend and companion. You and Lucky are in our thoughts. We wish you and all your ambassadors well. Keep up the good fight.
With Warm Regards, Rick Iacovino

~I am so, so sorry and shocked to hear of the sudden passing of your beloved Lucky. Words cannot express how I feel - only that being a dog mom of wonderful boys myself, I can understand and sympathize with the grief and heartache you are going through. My thoughts and prayers are with the soul of your little boy and with you and Scruffy.
Warm regards, Donna Craig
Chief Program Officer Desert Healthcare District

~I'm so sorry for your loss. I can only begin to imagine how you must be feeling, as I dread the day I am in your circumstance. It was a beautiful obituary, well deserved, and a tear jerker. Thinking of you.
Fondly, Bruce and Kinsey

~We send our sincere condolences to you and Scruffy on the loss of your sweet Lucky. I heard that your boy had passed away when we were visiting the Carlotta this morning. Maddy and I drove to your office after our visit to extend our sympathies and were sorry we missed you.
Rest in Peace Lucky, Sue & Maddy Taylor

~I am so very sorry. It is said that our four legged children are the first to meet us at the gates of heaven and welcome us home. I have no doubt that Lucky will be there to greet you. It is never farewell but just good by for now.........
Bill Youngblood

~So sorry, Lucky was a true gentleman and an inspiration to all of his fellow volunteers. We will all miss his furry little face and happy bark.
Love to you and Scruffy, Ann, Rey and Andy

~I am soooo sorry to hear the news.
I too am speechless on what to say, from my own experience, loss is a toughy. The obituary is beautifully written. I hope you will find comfort in the good work he did and the memories of the many visits you both went on together over the years helping patients feel better. Please know I will be sending in a memorial donation.
Love you, Richard.
Mary Panesar, Desert Community Foundation

~I was so sorry to hear about Lucky's passing this week. I'm so sad for you and of course for all the patients who will never meet that precious pup. We're sharing the news with staff at Eisenhower, so I know many, many kind thoughts will be sent your way.
Thinking of you, Elizabeth Wholihan
Director, Marketing and Public Relations Eisenhower Medical Center

~I am so sorry. Lucky leaves a great legacy and some big pawprints to fill. How fortunate we were to know him.
You and Scruffy cling tight to each other, Becky

~There are not words to express my sadness over Lucky's passing. I know from experience that there is nothing worse than losing one's beloved pet. That Lucky changed so many lives during his own too brief life is little consolation, but it does help to know that he influenced so many people. Richard, my heart goes out to you. Know that you and Lucky remain in my heart.
Love, Jeannette

~I am so very sorry. I know losing your sweet Lucky is so hard - he was your buddy for so long. What joy he brought to so many.I send you my condolences...
Warmly, Betty

~I am so sorry to hear this news. There is no doubt that wherever and whatever dog heaven is, Lucky has a front-row seat there for all the wonderful work he did. May you be comforted, in time, by the beautiful memories of Lucky and all he did to help make the world a better place.
With love, Lee

~ohh Ricky i am so sorry, i wish i can take a little piece of that pain for you so you can feel a little better. you loved him fully and wonderfully, as best that can ever possibly be, and Lucky knows it and feels it now, and you will most definitely see him again and again.. I love all of you!

~I'm so sorry that your sweet sweet Lucky is gone. He made a difference in the lives of so many of our cancer patients and so many people in our valley.
My heart is with you, Teresa

"Lucky" Waxman Memorial Fund

This was Lucky's last day of visits at Eisenhower Medical Center.

Thank you all for your very generous donations in "Lucky's" memory. The list keeps growing and every note received and the sentiments expressed are sincerely appreciated.

Second in Command, "Scruffy: Waxman, passed away June 9, 2016.

It is still very difficult to put into words what the loss of "Scruffy" means. For many years Lucky and Scruffy did visits side-by-side, and then Scruffy was solo for about a year, and then along came Maddie for Scruffy to train. It can't be possible that both founding dogs have gone to the Rainbow Bridge.

The Desert Sun put together an amazing obituary notice and we've included some of the lovely notes received for Scruffy.

Last picture of "Scruffy" and Dad taken at the Palm Springs Library, March 2016

The cover picture on our brochures!

"Scruffy" the Volunteer Fire-fighter at the Joslyn Senior Center Health Fair, October 2015

"Scruffy" & "Maddie" on the famous ottoman at the Lucy Curci Cancer Center

Our 2014 Publicity Picture

"Scruffy" & "Maddie" made the Spring 2016 Cover for Modern Woodmen

Summer 2015 Palm Springs Library.

"Scruffy" & "Zoey" at the Palm Springs Library

Dressed up for Halloween at Windsor Court 2014

One of the tech's at Lucy Curci giving "Scruffy" a big kiss!

"Scruffy" & "Maddie" on a visit!

Always one to pose right for the camera--"Scruffy" at the Palm Springs Library

"Scruffy" & "Lucky" at Eisenhower Medical Center

Second in Command "Scruffy" Waxman

A Tough Act to Follow!

On Scruffy's last afternoon at the office we put together his Face book story which we share here.

Monday morning and not my typical Volunteer Report. We are all very lucky in that we can make the world a better place by taking a lonely dog or a cat out of a shelter and providing them a loving home. We give them all kinds of love and affection, vaccination shots, lots of fun baths, and in some cases our dogs get a job that defines their journey on this earth.

My dog Scruffy, who I called Big Bear all of his life, went to join his buddy Lucky at the Rainbow Bridge last Thursday. Scruffy was diagnosed with diabetes 18 months ago, and Cushing's disease 14 months ago. For a year and half, the insulin for the diabetes worked, and the medication for Cushing's worked. And then 2 weeks ago, nothing much worked. There were many trips to Dr. Hick's, way too many at-home blood sugar tests, and just too much stress for a 15 year old dog, with two really strong diseases.

So, the evening after Scruffy's Wednesday visit to Dr. Hick's, I just had a talk with him. I gave him the option that if he'd had enough of the pokes, and the insulin, and being carried everywhere, he could go and join Lucky and be out of pain and be young again. Scruffy, who never kissed his Dad on the face, looked at me with his cloudy old eyes, and totally covered my face in sweet, warm kisses. And there was my answer.

The pain of losing Scruffy is still way too intense to really talk about without crying, but before I post all the pictures with this note I just have to say how proud I am of all the thousands of hours of volunteering that Scruffy did. He visited Eisenhower Medical Center 3-mornings every week for 13 years. For this last year and a half, he visited the Lucy Curci Cancer Center every Wednesday morning. And he was interviewed many times on KMIR, made hundreds of presentations around the valley, did every library reading session, and even made the cover of a national magazine this Spring. Not bad for a pup who was found in Indio tied up to some discarded furniture by a good Samaritan who picked him up and took to the Pet Rescue Center. He came to our second Dog Walk with a group of dogs up for adoption, and he and Lucky hit it off instantly and the rest was history! In Yiddish this means, bushert--meant to be.

My favorite Scruffy story is now many years old--he and Lucky were visiting a cancer patient at Eisenhower who had lost all of her hair. She was sitting up in bed and invited both boys up on the bed with her. Scruffy walked around behind the woman, stood up, put his front paws on her shoulders and proceeded to lick her ear lobes. I'd never seen him doing that, and I'm saying, "Scruffy, get down." The patient asked how my dog knew that her ears were so sensitive from the chemo, and begged me to let him keep on doing it because it felt so good. For the next 10 minutes, Scruffy licked, the woman smiled and cried, and I had a big lump in my throat.

Scruffy was an amazing therapy dog. He had a much quieter style than Lucky--he made patients feel better by lying down at their side and kissing their hand. For years, I heard how relaxing those kisses felt, and my all-time favorite line, 'you made my day!' And now I've been able to make Scruffy feel better, by letting him rejoin his buddy Lucky. Scruffy, you have no idea how much Dad misses you. We had a hell of a good time these last 14 years together. You and Lucky, and then you and Maddie, made great teams. I just trailed along behind, and watched you work, in total amazement.

Rest in peace Big Bear. Maddie, Samantha and I are very unhappy without you at home.

We sincerely thank Dr. Terry Hicks, at the Palm Desert Pet Hospital for all the care he gave Scruffy through this final chapter. Terry and his staff worked very hard to keep Scruffy as healthy as possible, for as long as possible. Our Face book page is not set up to accept messages, if anyone would like to send a note either in writing or electronically, our email address is, and the office address can be found there.

One last thing, Scruffy was with me at the office last Thursday afternoon before our trip to Dr. Hicks. He and I wrote this together. I wanted him to know how proud I was of him, and how much he was loved and will always be missed.

After the news of Scruffy's passing emails began arriving. If you can believe it, these are just a sampling of what people had to say about him...

~I am so sorry to hear this news. It's so hard to have to say goodbye to a member of the family. I know there are really no words that can comfort, but I just wanted to let you know I am thinking of you. But I have no doubt that Scruffy, after all the mitzvas that he did in his lifetime - thanks to you - is in the best place he can be.
My thoughts and prayers are definitely with you, Lee

~Sending love to Paws & Hearts today. Scruffy was featured on the cover of the spring 2016 issue of The Modern Woodmen magazine. He was an incredible pup who truly made an impact as a therapy dog. Rest in peace!
Modern Woodmen of America

~Sorry to hear the sad news about Scruffy. You are in our prayers.

~My heart goes out to you and everyone who knew and loved Scruffy. What an honor to see this photo from the Library. He was always such a good companion and good worker! He will truly be missed by many of us. He was so fortunate to have you as his Dad!
Thinking of you, Sharon

~Oh Richard, I am so sorry. I wish I was there to give you a big hug. What an incredible tribute to Scruffy and how hard it must have been to write the story but so worth every minute of it. Take care.
Richard, the memories of this special dog, your work together and your special bond will, I believe, be both a comfort and for a while a very painful reminder. But I believe that people who truly love and care for animals have the most difficulty losing them. Some days will be easier than others but especially hard because he was not just part of your home life but also a big part of your work life.

~So very sorry for the loss of Scruffy. He was such a sweet boy and I will miss his wanting treats at the library. He sure made lots of patients happy over the years. My thoughts are with you.
Take care, Cathy Robinson

~I'm so sorry to hear this. I hope you're ok. Scruffy did great things and touched many people's lives and will be missed by everyone. Need a hug?

~I am beyond sad...The tears in my eyes are nothing compared to what you are experiencing. It is never easy to say goodbye no matter how we can look at it "intellectually" it just f***ing hurts! I am glad you & Drew have one another for comfort. Please be good to yourself & know how special you are.
XOXO, Kathy

~Sorry to hear about Scruffy, he was a scrappy little guy. He and Lucky will be able to play together again (I'm sure they missed each other) in a better place.
My condolences, Samir Khanna

~Richard, your post was both heart wrenching, and beautiful. We all cry with you during this time of suffering. Please remember, you will see your partner again. So many years Scruffy worked on taking away the patients suffering, offering love and kisses. The wonderful memories of watching that magic unfold in front of you when a new patient arrives, and Scruffy starts to work.

~Now that the tears have stopped I can send my heart felt condolence to you as I know how much losing another best friend hurts. At least you know that he is playing with Lucky in peace. What an enriching life you provided for him and he in turn for you and those hundreds of patients who benefited from his sweet kisses. We will miss you Scruffy. Hugs.

~If we all could be like Scruffy, loving, kind and grateful for the little things in life this world would be a better place. It's the gentle creatures of this world that can teach us volumes about being a better person to each other. Rest in Peace Scruffy.

~When you love dogs, as so many of us do, and when a dog loves you back, you understand how this loss both empties with the loss and fills you with the grief. So sorry for this huge loss.

~Andy and I will always remember the holiday visits we did with Scruffy at EMC. He was a true gentleman. Always in our hearts.
Ann & "Andy"

~A truly gifted dog, Scruffy, who gave so much love and support to many hundreds of patients over 13 years of service!!! He will be greatly missed by so many.

~What a beautiful tribute, Richard. He provided so much happiness to the informed for so many years. He is surely in doggie heaven. Rip Scruffy.

~This is so hard to write. I know the suffering you are going through. The loss of one our partners in life is so very difficult to cope with, and I'm so sorry for your loss. MaryAnn didn't tell me until Saturday, she knew that I would be crying over this, and I am.
Scruffy, Lucky, Maddie and you have worked so hard to help people in their loneliness and pain, then growing an organization that now has helped thousands of patients get through theirs. I wish there was some way to help with yours right now.
Scruffy is now with Lucky with no pain, and a lifetime of good memories making lots of people very happy. I've always believed that we will see our partners again when it's our turn to leave this earth. That's what I hold on to, knowing they're not gone, just waiting for us, as I am for them.

"Bingo" Waxman was taken to the Rainbow Bridge Monday, June 8, 2020

What in the hell happened that Monday morning at 5:30 am when "Bingo," "Maddie" and I went for our morning walk? Some horrible off-leash German Shephard grabbed "Bingo" in his mouth and brutally killed him. The details are just too horrible to put in words.

"Bingo" who wasn't even 3 years old was just starting his career as an amazing therapy dog and his life was cut way too short by this senseless act.

"Maddie" and Dad have not walked in the neighborhood since, and every morning at 5:30 we are reminded of what happened.

The very first time I saw "Bingo"

Here we are in the get acquainted room at the shelter!

After a hard day of playing at Duane's

"Bingo" visiting a patient at Desert Regional

"Bingo" & "Maddie" dressed for Halloween during their Lucy Curci visit

If I hide, maybe I won't have to put on the bandanna and go to work today!

Dad, put the book down. I want to play with the toy.

"Bingo" and "Maddie" at home

Bye Dad, I'm safe now at the Rainbow Bridge

"Bingo" Waxman

"Bingo" was only 8 months old when I adopted him from the Coachella Valley Rescue. I'd gone to look at another dog, but Bingo laid eyes on me and that was it. He motioned me over to his kennel and those big boy paws just started batting the air around me. It was as if this little squirt was saying, 'Take me home, I'll make a great dog for you.' A great dog...........jeez, he was a puppy longer than any other dog I'd ever had!

Talking about testing my patience, "Bingo" chewed pillows, pillowcases, the drapes in the bedroom, the cushions on the living room sofa. After two or three weeks in the crate he figured out how to unlatch it and collapse it! Talk about an old escape artist. I had him in the car a few times to go back to the shelter. But each time, I thought, 'Well, I've come this far with him already.' So, off to DW Pet Care and Duane's pet sitting service. At Duane's Bingo got to run around in this huge yard and play 'big dog' with all the big dogs. Every time he came home it seemed like a bit of the bad puppy behavior was gone. And the last time at Duane's when I brought Bingo home and gave him a bath, I remember that he looked at me as if to say, 'Okay, don't send me back, I promise to be really good from here on in,' and he was. All the bad behavior was gone.

"Bingo" began going on visits with "Maddie" to Desert Regional Medical Center and with Uncle Drew to the Lucy Curci Cancer Center. What "Bingo" hadn't developed in his ability to sit/stay he made up for in his eagerness to greet everyone with his huge smile and quick kiss. He just liked each and every patient immediately. He proved to have nothing but kindness in his heart!

Sadly, "Bingo" didn't get hardly any time to be a Canine Ambassador but the love he shared was sent back via emails, cards and phone calls when the notice of his passing appeared in the Desert Sun. Here are just a few samples of the kind words for "Bingo."

~Bingo was a beautiful and cherished member of your family. He endeared himself to everyone with his energy! He was just a little bundle of enthusiasm and what happened today is beyond horrible. I wish I had some words this morning that could give you comfort, but the reality is that there are no words. This is all so shocking. Just shocking. An email seems like such a diluted tool to try to express heartache. I'm crying with you for the loss of Bingo from our Paws & Hearts family.

~Drew called me earlier tonight and told me about the tragic death of your beloved Bingo.
I am so very sorry and cannot imagine how painful this has been for you.
I wish you peace as you deal with this terrible loss and I have no doubt that little Bingo was welcomed at the Rainbow Bridge by Scruffy & Lucky and is running free in beautiful new fields.
Take care my friend and again, I am so sorry for your loss.

~I just read your email and broke into sobs. I'm devastated that you and precious Bingo had such a brutal, inhumane, horrific experience.
I'm beyond empathetic-I'm with you in my entirety. I pour out to you all the compassion of my being, all the love and caring you give to all of who come to you and those in the institutionalized living.
All my love, Anita

~What a tragedy! I am so sorry, and the fact that you witnessed it is horrific!
I have been thinking about you all week, and have been meaning to write to see how you were doing.
Take care, and know that Bingo's last years were filled with love and kindness.

~I am so sorry. There are no words. Such a senseless loss.
My heart is broken for you and Maddie.

~I am crying with you, as I am sure many are.....words cannot express the feelings, the anger and overpowering sadness with this tragedy. I am so very very very sorry. My Blessings and Prayers are with you and Maddie at this time.
Blessings and Love, Kate

~My heart goes out to you. I can't imagine what you must be feeling at this time.
I just hope this dog and his owner will be brought to justice, and you will get some relief from that.
Just know that you are in my prayers, and that Bingo is looking down on you and is thankful for all the love and the quality time he got to spend with you.
Regards, Ann and Maggie

~Oh Richard, I am so, so sorry to hear about Bingo. Your email was the first I read this morning, thinking it was about visiting and hope. Instead it was about the horrible events of June 8th. How you must hurt. I know that ache of losing a beloved pet - but losing him this way is so tragic and devastating. So senseless. Besides the grief you feel for Bingo, there's the anger and frustration that has to be in your heart for this other dog. I wish there were better words to express my sympathy for all you are going through.
Bingo was an awesome ambassador of hope for the patients at Lucy Curci. Many of them remarked how much they loved the two little dogs that came together on Wednesdays. I'm sure that Maddie is so sad and lonely as well. It's a horrible, horrible tragedy. Bingo was lucky, though, to have you as his dad, and to be so loved and cared for in his short life. I do believe in the rainbow bridge and I know he'll be there with his friends waiting to greet you again someday.
In the meantime, know that I am thinking about you with an aching heart. Give Maddie all sorts of attention and hugs. She needs you now more than ever.
Take care, Sandie and Shelby


"Bingo" there were many more emails, and close to fifty cards arrived in the mail addressed to you. That spot right beside me on the bed, the one that for 2 1/2 years you pushed "Maddie" out of the way for, is pretty empty without you kicking me all night long.
You will never be forgotten Bad Boy Bingo!!!

"Maddie" Waxman went to the Rainbow Bridge Friday, June 18, 2021

The very day I found "Maddie" and adopted her!

"Maddie" at The Lucy Curci Cancer Center

"Maddie" visiting the hospital in her special towel cart!

These weekly visits are really tiring me out Dad!!

"Maddie" doing a Christmas Day visit at Desert Regional with a very happy patient!

"Maddie" and the nicest patient she'd ever visited, Chris. She meant a lot to him!

Another on-the-bed visit with a delighted patient at Desert Regional!

"Dad, do we really need this bath day?!"

Maddie just loved this toy!!

"Maddie" trying out her new carrying case for her international trip to Canada!"Maddie" trying out her new carrying case for her international trip to Canada!

Oy, such a cutie pie!!!

This was our Holiday Photo a few years ago. I hope you two are okay at the Rainbow Bridge.

"Maddie" Waxman

June 19, 2021

Yesterday I had to say good-bye to "Maddie" who at 11+ years old lost her battle with Cushing's Disease.

"Maddie" did amazingly well on the medication for the last two years, but this last 2 months the medication wasn't doing what it was supposed to do and Maddie wasn't doing too good.

Like so many people during the pandemic, having had "Bingo" and "Maddie" were a God-send. After "Bingo" was taken to the Rainbow Bridge last June, it was "Maddie" and Dad going into the office a couple of times a week and keeping each other company at home.

In late January I adopted a 5-year old Orange Tabby from the Palm Springs shelter. "Toby" and "Maddie" hit it off right from the start, and it was delightful to watch them become fast friends.

Maddie was probably the sweetest of the all the dogs I've had. She was so adorable and gentle on visits. When she started going to Eisenhower with "Scruffy", volunteers and staff always commented that "Lucky" was inside of "Maddie".

"Maddie" had an outstanding career as a therapy dog, and I am just terribly sorry that she won't be around to go back on visits at the Lucy Curci Cancer Center. At least now she's at the Rainbow Bridge -- young and healthy again, with her buddies, "Scruffy", "Samantha" and "Bingo", and that she'll be finally meet "Lucky".

As always I sincerely have to thank Dr. Terry Hicks, at the Palm Desert Animal Hospital and his staff for making these last couple of months a little easier for "Maddie". And for making the final good-bye yesterday so bittersweet.

Don't you just hate good-bye's?

Here are just a few samples of the kind words for "Maddie"

~I will never forget the day you adopted her from us, Rescue Me Pups. From day one she was meant to be with you, and I (Kim) will always be grateful for the amazing life you gave her. She may be gone from your arms but she will never be gone from your heart.

~Words cannot express the Love and Support Maddie provided to so many over time. On our visits to The Luci Curci Cancer Center for so many years, providing so much support to so many. Both patients and staff. She will be with us Always
Uncle Drew

~I'm so sorry for your loss Ricky. Maddie was a sweet and amazing dog. You gave her an incredible life and made an impact on so many other lives as well. RIP Maddie.

~Ah Richard, so very sorry you had to let Maddie go. On Thursday I was sharing information about pet therapy with a tennis friend, she was so impressed with your story and devotion to bringing happiness to so many. All your dogs were special in their own unique way. Big hug to you, know how you are feeling.
Ann & "Andy II"

~I am so sorry to hear about Maddie. Big hugs to you
Maddie was the sweetest dog. So gentle and kind.
Stay well and if there is anything we can do please let us know.
Duane & Lon

~Oh Richard... we are so sorry for the loss of Maddie... she was a beautiful being and the sweetheart of your eye. I'm so saddened by this but will remember all the sweet moments with her and hope you will as well. Know that Oliver and Oreo are available for kisses...

~I am so, so sorry for your loss of Maddie. There really are no words to express how hard this hurts you. The one thing that I know is that no little girl had a better Dad than you were to Miss Maddie.
Please take care of yourself during this very sad time.
With sympathy and care, Kerry

~I don't have words to express my sadness for your loss. You have been through so much and I know how close you were to Maddie. I am so so sorry. I know it's hard right now. But, just maybe there is another dog out there that needs your love and care.
Just know that I am devastated and thinking about you. You were a great dad to Maddie and she couldn't have asked for a better life. Disease is part of this world, but, she is at the rainbow bridge with her buds and will wait there in anticipation of seeing you again.
Sandie, "Shelby", and "Hudson"

~I am SOOOOOOO sorry for your loss. What a brave little soul that now is in eternal peace bringing joy to the heavens and all of their inhabitants....
She will be sorely missed but is in a much better place now.
I am so sorry and hopefully you will be able to find some peace in Toby and his love!!
Take care, Jeff

~Hi Richard - I am so very sorry to hear about your loss of Maddie. It is very hard to say goodbye to a loved pet. We lost our lab Kaya last year and it was one of the toughest decisions we have ever had to make.
Glad that Toby is there to warm your heart.
Take care, Jim & LeeAnn

~Maddie was a very special and wonderful furry friend to everyone that she came in contact with. She will be missed more than words can express. What a great loss for our Paws & Hearts family and especially for all the patients that she visited. We love and miss you Maddie! Thinking of you Richard. May her memory be a blessing.
Risa & "Shaina"


"Maddie" there have been many more emails and Facebook notes for you. You touched countless lives in your lifetime with your visits. You just made so many patients feel a bit better because of your sweet and gentle disposition. You are just so missed, and will always be my sweetheart!