Monday, November 14, 2011

Thank You!

I would like to take a second to Thank Everyone for supporting my family through this wonderful journey with the Hero Dog Awards & Teddy Bear Project. Not only that, but giving us, as a family, the opportunity to share it with everyone. We are very appreciative of everyone who has taken the time to help us with our project throughout the 11 months since we started the Teddy Bear Project. We have since collected over 2,000 stuffed animals for the kids in the nursing home and elderly in the nursing home. All thanks to you!

If you missed the awards show the other day, here is our segment that was played on the Hallmark Channel. Click the link below.

If you are interested in donating to the Teddy Bear Project Click Here

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

National Fire Dog Monument

Arson K-9 Sadie kissing Betty White
About 4 years ago Jerry Means started the National Fire Dog Monument to build the Arson Dogs a bronze Monument. The monument is a full-size bronze firefighter standing upright, looking down at a sitting Labrador Retriever who is looking up at his/her handler.

They are nationally approved 501 (c) (3) monument operating under the Federal Number of  26-2962698. The NFDM has an approved  in writing permanent home for the monument at fire station 3 in Washington DC when it is complete. The Monument will be in a permanent loan to the Washington DC Fire Museum. The Fire Station 3 is located downtown DC area and protects the Capital Building of the US.

Jerry has been trying to raise the $40k that is required to sculpt the piece. He has held silent auctions, sold prints, and challenge coins, attended pancake breakfasts, and ice cream fund to collect approximately $23k the $40k that is needed. Approximately 4 weeks ago their 22 year old fire fighter/artist started on the piece. That is wonderful that the sculpture is being started, however, it put a ton of pressure on Jerry to ensure the balance of $16k is raised to finish the Financial burdon of the project.

Jerry is now thinking about setting up a kissing booth for Sadie after seeing the recent Betty White Incident.

The Majority of the K-9's in the Fire dog program are rescued from the New York City pound, and a blind dog school in Florida.

Both Sadie and Jerry have been active in numerous fundraisers for animals in need, and general emergency services. Sadie has won numerous awards including the Max Fund (A No Kill Shelter) "Golden Paws Award" for saving acts towards animals. They have also been recognized by the American Humane Association for their work on a case where an idiot broke into an animal shelter in Englewood, Colorado, stole some puppies and set them on fire in public places where they were trapped inside a plastic case.


   Below is all the contact information for 
the NFDM in Washington DC.       

Jerry Means & Erin the first Arson dog at CBI.
Erin was Jerry's Inspiration to Start the NFDM in Washington DC. 

National Fire Dog Monument
5862 W, 114th Place
Westminster, Colorado

(303) 941 - 3117

Artist, Austin Weishel - web address:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Do it for Ken

In Loving Memory of Ken Jenkins
July 16 1928 - September 22 2011
As many people know by now we lost someone really special to us recently, Ken. Ken was 83 years old and full of life. He loved to tell jokes and share stories with us. He passed away on September 22, 2011 while we were away on our trip to L.A for the Hero Dog Awards, so we just found out about his passing when we got home.

Ken was included in Stacey's video for the Hero Dog Awards. He was looking forward to watching himself on TV.  Unfortunately he will never have the opportunity to do so.  So I am asking YOU to turn on the Hallmark Channel  and tune in on American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards on Friday November 11, 2011 8/7c. Watch Ken while he get's his 30 seconds of fame on the big screen. I know it would have meant a lot to him.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

His name is Ken

Ken and I
Ken is his name. We visit him regularly at the nursing home. I first met him over my spring break in April. He is such a kind and funny guy, but there is something really special about him. Ken is a diabetic and he has a couple other medical problems. Before he went into the nursing home he lived at home with his wife. His wife spent a lot of time taking care of him to where it would wear her down. Ken saw this and wanted to do something about it. So he said he would move in to the nursing home. It wasn't an easy decision to make.

Ken has been at the nursing home now for several months and seams to be adjusting well. He does miss somethings at home which is understandable. We started visiting Ken and brought him some cookies. He really enjoys our visits especially with Stacey.

Ken is a big dog lover. He use to have a little Chihuahua named Tequila. She use to ride with him and his wife on the boat that they had. I love Ken so much. He means a lot to me. I am so lucky to have Ken in my life.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Why the Teddy Bear Project?

Trying on hats @ the nursing home when I was 7. 
Many people don't know the story behind the Teddy Bear Project. So I want to take a second to share it with everyone.

Growing up I use to visit the nursing home with my dad and our beloved dog Gracie. I was little so I don't remember to much. All I know is I really enjoyed visiting the folks especially Marget. She was one of the people who I became somewhat close too. After visit for a couple years the nursing home closed down.

So we stopped going for a while. Back in 2009 we started going again. Gracie had passed away and we had our puppy Stacey Mae. Stacey was just a little over 11 months old when she first visited. Stacey is a very mellow dog and really good with people.

The first people I had visited was Gene and Ruby. They were married for over 60 years. Gene was almost 100 years old. He talked softly but can remember a lot of things from his life. He would share stories about living in Colorado and pets he had in the past. He really enjoyed getting visits from Stacey Mae. She really helped brighten their day some.

Ruby "Rolling Ruby" Gene's wife. 
The first time I visited Gene he grabbed my hand and cuffed his other hand around it and looked into my eyes and said "Thank You". I never thought those two words would change my life.

When Gene passed away my heart was broken and I must say it still is. Everyone I visit I form some kind of bond with them. One thing I miss the most about Gene was the way his face lit up when ever he smiled.

One night I was thinking about what I wanted to do for the folks in the nursing home for the holidays. Many of the folks there are forgotten about and have no one to visit them. I wanted to do something that let them know there are still people out there who care about them. Even if they are strangers.

Ken and his bear Sr. Samuel. 
As I was thinking about this I thought of Gene and how he would hold my hand and look into my eyes and say "Thank You". He knew there were other people out there who cared about him. So I started the first Teddy Bear Project in Honor of Gene. We did our first collection for the folks in the nursing home and expanded it to the Children in the Hospital.

As of today I have collected over 2,000 teddy bears and stuffed animals for the kids in the Hospital and folks in the nursing home. It's all thanks to everyone for helping me and Gene for inspiring me. God Bless you Gene. I miss you very much.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Westcoast Dogs

Hey everyone my friends over at West Cost Dogs did a small interview with us check it out by Clicking Here

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Teddy Bear Project - December 2011

With Christmas fast approaching I thought I would put together a little something about the Teddy Bear Project. December 20th will be a year since we started the Teddy Bear Project. Since it will be a year I want to do something else along with Collecting bears.

There is a hospital in Colorado Springs called the Memorial Hospital For Children. They see thousands of kids a year. Now a lot of these kids are scared when the first walk through the hospital doors. They are in an unfamiliar place. Back in May the Memorial Hospital for Children had sent out a Blanket SOS . They ran out of comfort blankets for the kids.   Blankets help brighten the patients rooms. But most importantly, the provide comfort in a big, strange and - despite the doctors best efforts - sometimes a painful place.

Preferred Materials
  • Polar fleece
  • Flannel
  • Cotton
 Materials That Can’t Be Used
  • Polyester materials
  • Crocheted and knitted blankets
 Preferred Sizes
  • 4 ‘ x 8’ for older kids
  • Traditional baby blanket size for babies
  • Nothing larger or smaller than sizes listed above works for most kids
 Suggestions for Girls
  • Cartoon and Disney characters
  • Bright colors
  • Cute patterns with dogs, ponies, dolls, princesses, toys, flowers, etc.
 Suggested Prints for Boys
  • Cartoon and Disney characters
  • Fun patterns with trucks, dogs, dinosaurs, toys, sports team logos, sports themes like football, baseball, soccer, etc.
 Suggested Prints for Tweens and Teens
  • Bright, solid colors
  • Bright colored prints – stripes, paisley, plaid, polka-dots, tie-dye
  • Patterns with sports team logos, or sports themes

I will also Still be collecting Teddy Bears/Stuffed Animal. They NEED to be gently used or Brand New. They can be any size. 

Kids and the Elderly love really soft animals as they can rub it against their faces. Pillow Pets are big hit. If you send A Pillow Pet those MUST   be new.  

They May be sent to:

Stacey Mae Mandel
171 Stream Drive
Guffey Colorado

Also my friend SurfDog Ricochet made it possible to donate via Pay Pal if it is easier. We will use the donations to buy more Stuffed Animals and Blankets. To donate via Pay Pal Click Here

If you have any questions or concerns you can email me at: 

All of them will find a new home and someone to love them. Some of them will even be saved to be sent in a care package to kids around the U.S who are fighting cancer or other illnesses.

I really want to thank EVERYONE who has helped me out in the last year. It has been amazing to see how everything has fallen into place. I never imagined that I would collect 2,000+ In less then a year. 

Thanks, Maria & Stacey Mae 

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Big Thank You!

I would like to thank my friends & family and people all over the world for helping me so much over the last 10 months. It is so hard to believe that almost a year I started the Teddy Bear Project in honor of Gene who passed away at the age of 99. So much has happened, I don't even know where to start.

In September of 2011 we collected our 2,000 teddy bear and stuffed animal. I never thought I would collect so much in a short time and now I plan on working on getting a non-profit status.

Anyways the biggest thing that has happened was going to L.A and getting an award for Stacey Mae because she won the Therapy dog of the year in the Hero Dog Awards.

On October 1st, 2011 the Hero Dog Awards took place at the Beverly Hilton. Lots of people and celebrities were there. We had such a great time meeting so many wonderful people. Especially Pauley Perrette who plays Abby in NCIS. She presented the award to us.

The Hero Dog Awards will be on the Halmark Channel on November 11th 2011.

This will be something that I never forget and I owe it to everyone for helping me get this far. I am looking forward to seeing what the upcoming year has to bring as far as it goes with my project and such.
Stacey Mae's Award 

Friday, September 30, 2011

Poor Stacey Mae

We have been having a good time meeting new people and other dogs. Unfortunately there are 2 dogs here at the hotel that want to attack Stacey. She also got bit in the face by a little dog but she is fine.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A day on Rodeo Drive

I had a wonderful day with stacey and our friends walking around on Rodeo drive. Everyone that was there was so nice and friendly. Everyone seamed to love dogs and let them in their stores. There is so much more to say but i am just to tired to write. I will add some photos tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Guffey therapy dog already a hero

This is copied from Guffey therapy dog already a hero

Therapy dog Stacey Mae, a 4-year-old Greater Swiss Mountain Dog who lives in Guffey, has her own Facebook page, a charitable project called The Teddy Bear Project and is a finalist for the American Humane Association’s inaugural Hero Dog Award. Photo by Norma Engelberg

Four-year-old Swiss Mountain Dog Stacey Mae is a big dog with a big mission.
A therapy dog who lives in Guffey with her handlers Richard and Pam Mandel, Stacey Mae collects Teddy Bears and other stuffed animals to give patients in nursing homes and hospitals.
She is also one of eight finalists in the American Humane Association’s inaugural Hero Dog Award Contest. More than 450 dogs were nominated.
Richard Mandel’s daughter, 17-year-old Maria Mandel, helps Stacey Mae collect the stuffed animals for The Teddy Bear Project by creating and maintaining the big, friendly dog’s Facebook account.
“We’ve collected more than 2,000 stuffed animals,” Richard Mandel said. “Most of them have been donated through the Facebook page.”
Stacey Mae wasn’t always a therapy dog. At first she was just a dog that visited nursing homes with her owners.
“Someone thought she fit the description of a therapy dog and somehow the label stuck,” Richard Mandel said. “I thought she was just doing what dogs do, bringing love and comfort.”
He isn’t sure who nominated Stacey Mae for the hero dog contest but he found out about the nomination last May. “We heard she was a finalist last month,” he said.
According to a news release from the American Humane Association, Stacey Mae and the other finalists have received more than 300,000 online votes since their nominations. This has helped the association meet its goal of earning a $200,000 donation from Cesar Canine Cuisine. Voting continues through Sept. 30 Friends of Stacey Mae can vote once a day.
On Oct. 1 Stacey Mae, will join the other finalists as they walk the red carpet at the association’s Hero Dog Awards show, which will air on Veteran’s day, Nov. 11 on the Hallmark Channel.
According to the contest rules, the winner in each of eight categories will receive $5,000 for its charity and the top dog will receive another $10,000. All finalists are the top dogs in their category: law enforcement and arson dogs; service dogs; therapy dogs; military dogs; guide dogs; search and rescue dogs; hearing dogs; and emerging hero dogs to honor “ordinary dogs who do extraordinary things.”
“It isn’t just the votes that will determine which dog will win,” Richard Mandel said. “It also will have a lot to do with whether or not the dog’s story fits the (association’s) overall mission of encouraging volunteerism. That is as it should be.”
For more information about Stacey Mae’s charity, visit her on Facebook at

Stacey Mae, a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog with a mission, was greeted as a guest of honor at a ‘Puppy Picnic’ in Colorado Springs. With Stacey Mae are her handler Maria Mandel, left, and Anna Cannan, founder of Puppy Rescue Mission. Photo by Norma Engelberg

Guffey therapy dog Stacey Mae and her owner Maria Mandel, center, were guests at a Puppy Rescue Mission Puppy Picnic in Colorado Springs last month. Stacey Mae is now one of eight finalists in the American Humane Association’s inaugural Hero Dog Award Contest. Stacey Mae’s friends are asked to vote for her once a day through Sept. 30 at Pictured at left is Anna Cannan, rescue mission founder, and in the background are Maria Mandel’s father Richard Mandel and his wife Pam Mandel. Photo by Norma Engelberg

Finally in Las Vegas

After a 5 hour drive that felt like 2 we are finally in Las Vegas. We drove through a small part of Arizona today and brought back some great memories. When I was in 7th or 8th grade my dad took me to the Colorado Rockies spring Training in Arizona. We had such a great time and shared some wonderful memories.

It's almost 95 here today. Not the best place for a big black dog so we are going to be spending most of the day inside. We have been putting some plans together for when we get to L.A tomorrow and the days we will be there.

Wednesday we just plan on laying around and taking it easy until the events start on Thursday. Thursday we have a photo shoot at 10:30 A.M. for the Hero Dog Calendars. The American Humane Association is putting together Calendars of the eight finalist.

Friday we have another photoshoot at 10:30. A group of young girls asked if Stacey Mae could be in their coffee table book. That evening we have a dinner where the eight finalist are really the stars of the dinner.

Then comes Saturday. It's going to be a long day, but a day we will not forget

Monday, September 26, 2011

One woman and her dog

On our way to Utah we were looking for a place to eat. There were a couple places in Breckenridge, Colorado but there were no places to park so we kept going till we got to Frisco, Colorado. We stopped at the Butter Horn Bakery & Cafe. Wonderful people there and amazing food.

When we sat down our waitress asked us if we were traveling somewhere and we told her to California for the Hero Dog Awards.  She thought it was so neat and congratulated us on our accomplishments and gave us two cookies for our trip.  She went over to her friend who is such a big dog lover.

She put her black book down on the table and pulled out a photo of her dogs. One a Australian Cattle dog and another one that looked like a mutt. She was telling how she went into the shelter one day and laid eyes on the cattle dog. She knew this was the one she had to get. The only problem was he had a back problem and needed to be seen by a vet to get some treatment. She didn't have the money.

Her uncle had just  passed away and left her some money. When she looked it was just enough money to get her dog the treatment he needed to get better.

She was telling us how she suffers from bad Panic Attacks and how he can sense them way before they are about to come and help her through them.

When she found out Stacey Mae was nominated for Therapy Dog in Hero Dog Awards. She had to go meet Stacey Mae. So we brought her out to the truck and let her give Stacey Mae a good but scratch. Stacey Mae met a new friend today.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Heading to L.A

Tomorrow morning we are heading to L.A. We have everything we need packed in the truck ready to go. Now that we are getting closer and closer to the awards ceremony I must say I am getting pretty nervous. I really don't know what to expect. I just know it will be a great experience and that  I am really lucky to have this experience.

Our first day we will be driving about 7-8 hours to Richmond, Utah. We have 3 days worth of driving. We could properly make this trip in 2 days but with the dog it makes it a bit harder.

And some exciting news! Yesterday we collected our 2,000 teddy bear. I never thought in 10 months I would have collected over 2,000. Thank you everyone for being so supportive of my project and helping me bring joy to many.


Stacey's Facebook Page:

Friday, September 23, 2011

Trip To L.A

Back in July of 2011 8 winners of the Hero Dog Awards were announced. Each dog and their handler won a 5,000 donation to their charity of their choice as well as a trip to L.A for an awards ceremony that will be held at the Beverly Hill Hilton.

Stacey & I won first place out of 100 other Therapy dogs and their handlers. The American Humane Society sent out a film crew from L.A to our small town, Guffey Colorado. They spent the day with us at the nursing home filming Jackie, Ken, Stacey and Me. Once we finished we went up to the house and they did an hour long interview with me. They will be taking the clips that they got from the filming and turn it into a 3 minute video. The awards ceremony will be on the Hallmark Channel on November 11th. I am not sure what time it will air yet. Once I get the time I will let everyone know.

It really has hit me on what exactly I won. I think the people around me are a bit more excited them I am. I am sure once I get to L.A it will hit me.

I really think it is amazing though to see how far the Teddy Bear Project has gone from December 2010 when I first started. As of today I have collected 1967 teddy bears and stuffed animals for sick kids in the hospital and elderly in the nursing homes. I never thought I would collect this much. To be honost I thought I would only collect 100. It's amazing to see how many people will come together to help someone out. People from Australia, Canada, United Kindom etc have sent bears.

Now others are interested in starting the Teddy Bear Project in their area. As far as I know people from, Florida,  Canada and California has started a Teddy Bear Project.

I am planning on expanding more on the Teddy Bear Project. I am going to start looking into getting a non-profit status for my project so I can do more with my Project. I have been wanting to send out care packages to kids fighting Cancer and other illnesses but it has just been so difficult since everything is coming out of my own pocket.

I want to Thank everyone for supporting me along my journey with my project over the last few months.
Especially my teachers Mr. Aamodt, Mrs. Harkins. Mrs. Miller, Mrs Jackson and Dr. Riendeau.

Filming at PCC in Canon City, Colorado

Stacey Mae's Facebook Link:

Teddy Bear Project Video:

American Dog Magazine Article:

Monday, May 9, 2011

Final Count?

I have had a couple people ask how many teddy bears and stuffed animals that they think we collected. It is hard to say. In April we handed out around 449. We have a school in vermont sending us around 600-700. Another person sending 100 as well another gal sending 400. So in the end we will have over 1,600 I believe if I did my math correctly. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

So many boxes

I thought I would take a second and post a couple of photos on the amount of boxes we have gotten filled with teddy bears. There are at least 2 boxes that must weigh about 25 pounds! Thank you everyone for contributing towards the Teddy Bear Project. We also just received a check for $500 to buy teddy bears with. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Thank you Dogs for the PAWS for doing this wonderful Logo! To see more of the wonderful work that Dogs for the PAWS do check out their Facebook Page:

Teddy Bear Project 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Tigger giving Mr. Teddy a kiss before he leaves on his new journey across the world.

Charlie jumped up on the table by himself to check out the Teddy Bears

Alamae a 12 month old American Pit Bull Cross found the stash of Teddies.

Queen'land, Australia

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Teddy Bear Project 2011

Dear Friends and Family,

Here we are again sending a reminder about Teddy Bear Project. For the new folks on our page incase you missed last Christmas (December 2010, here are a few photos: my family collected 88 Teddy Bears from all around the world. I still have some that came in a few weeks late that didn't get to make the Christmas rounds. So we are doing another Teddy Bear Project this summer. Our goal is to reach 100 Teddy Bears.

We have already had a few boxes arrive for Teddy Bear Project 2011. We are really looking forward to it. Many people have asked many question concerning the Teddy Bears. 

1. Do they have to be Teddy Bears? 

  They can be any stuffed animal as you desire 

2. Do they have to be brand new? 

Preferably they should be new. If you are able to clean them up very good to make them look like new then that if fine. 

3.  Do they have to be a certain size? 

They can be any size 

4. When can I send it? 

The Official Teddy Bear Project starts June 3rd, you can send before that if you would like

5. When do they have to be at your house by?

The Collection will end June 30th, 2011 

7. Where do I send the Teddy Bears to? 

You can send them to my house, inbox me and I will give you my address 

8. I know someone who has a bunch of Teddy Bears can I share the Teddy Bear Project with them?

Yes, if you know anyone who has Teddy Bears just laying around or has more then they know what to with tell them about the Teddy Bear Project

Thanks again for all your support,

Stacey Mae & Family.