This year, we’re holding our third annual Helping Paws Day on Tuesday, August 7. Davanni’s is giving back 10% of all dine-in and take-out sales to Helping Paws. Helping Paws, locally based in Hopkins, is the organization which trains and provides service dogs for individuals with physical disabilities and veterans with PTSD. Helping Paws’ mission is, quite simply, “Furthering people’s independence and quality of life through the use of Assistance Dogs.” We even have some Helping Paws dogs visiting our shops!

Helping Paws Day is also the same day as Night to Unite, but you can still support Helping Paws by ordering your favorites to go and bring them to your gatherings! 


Check out these amazing stories from people who have benefited from a Helping Paws Service Dog:

Joe and Bogey 5 x 7Joe & Bogey: Joe is an Army Infantry veteran. He conducted combat operations as part of 2nd BN 2nd INF REG, 1st ID in support of OIF from 2004-2005. He was diagnosed with PTSD in 2005 after leaving Active Duty. In the following years, Joe lived with the symptoms of the disorder that at times could be very crippling. After several years of treatment, he enlisted in the Minnesota National Guard but suffered a devastating setback during a training exercise.  Joe’s wife, Kat, found the Helping Paws organization while researching PTSD and suggested that having a service dog might help alleviate the stress, anxiety, and seclusion that he was enduring. Enter Bogey, a charismatic, fun-loving Golden Retriever with a big heart. He has been helping restore Joe’s independence and ability to travel outside of his home. Joe has found a battle buddy in Bogey and finds confidence in his knowing look that says “Hey, we got this.” Out in public, he automatically creates a blocking position for Joe, who knows that he’s got his back. When Joe’s anxiety level rises, Bogey will nudge his hand or leg to reassure him and ground him in the present. At home, he demonstrates the same caring behavior and has become attuned to Joe’s emotional state. When he knows that he’s needed, Bogey will rest his head on Joe’s leg, staring up at him and wagging his tail, inviting him to pet or play. Bogey is a great friend and family member. Helping Paws and everyone involved with the organization have done a great job and are a huge assistance to Joe and his family.

Paul and Franny 5x7Paul & Franny: My name is Paul Flick, Veteran of the Marines and Vietnam. Some of my adventures with Franny start on the morning of our first day together. I was awakened by having my hand licked but I also realized that I was having a nightmare.  Our first big outing was going to the State Fair. We visited the WCCO Radio Booth to watch their presentation of “Minnesota Hospital”. Broadcaster, Dave Lee, noticed there was a dog in the front row and asked her name “on the air” and then he noted that she was a Helping Paws service dog. He mentioned what a wonderful service Helping Paws does and the help that they give to people with disabilities. Can’t beat free air time! Later as we moved around the State Fair, someone asked “is this the Franny she heard about on WCCO Radio”. Yes, she is, and Franny shook the lady’s hand. Now I’ll have to learn the cue for Franny to sign her name.

Tess and Macy smallerTess & Macy: I am 26 years old and was employed as a Hospice social worker. I am excited to get back to work in the future and will continue to help others and find purpose in my every day. One year ago in April, I found out I had an aggressive tumor growing on my spine. I chose to live and had it removed last August, which left me paralyzed from the waist down. I’m destined to live a great life and intend to do so, making each day worth it. “If it’s cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile.” Macy and I seem to have an understanding of each other that’s hard to explain.  When either of us are in a funk, the other one seems to lovingly get us out of it. Macy will help me get dressed and undressed, open doors, pick up dropped items, and much more. I am excited to see where we are in six months or a year and look back at these days, thinking, WOW so much has changed! I am so excited to have and be Macy’s companion, her go to person for all that she needs.  I love her timid nature, joyous spirit, and unshakable loyalty.  She might say about me that she loves my playful and nurturing personality.  She’s a dog fit for a queen and I’m lucky to call her mine!  Thank you to the Cherwinka family for the PRICELESS gift they have given me. I’m so lucky to call Macy mine! Thank you to all the supporters, staff, foster homes, and other people or businesses that are involved in carrying out the Helping Paws mission.

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