She said the girl’s parents were so happy to see her comfortable with Fifi as they had been wanting another dog, but had wanted to be sure their daughter wasn’t afraid.
“You never know what kind of person you’re going to meet or what their story is,” said Ellen.
Ellen, a lifelong New Jersey resident, has lived in Plainsboro the last 25 years. After graduating from college, she worked in retail management and then stayed home to raise her two sons, now 22 and 29 years old. She has Fifi and Fifi’s daughter, Mabel, who also is a certified therapy dog and has done a few visits for AIR.
When she’s not volunteering for AIR, Ellen works out at the gym and is an avid reader. She also has her own craft room at home where she creates gifts and party decorations. She said her husband has been trying to persuade her to take up golf, but she hasn’t been convinced yet, even though they first met in a golf class in college.
Ellen’s advice to newer teams is to try and follow your dog’s lead and not get too intimidated.
“In the beginning it might seem a little overwhelming, but every visit you go on, you learn something new,” said Ellen. “I’ve learned more to sit back and let Fifi be more of the star.”