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Therapy dog advocate, four-legged pal pause in Burnet on cross-country walk

Michelle Breach and Kip Dogie in Burnet

Michelle Breach with her dog, Kip Dogie, on Texas 29 outside of Hill Country Motorheads motorcycle museum in Burnet. Breach and Kip are walking across America to raise awareness for the nonprofit HOPE Animal-Assisted Crisis Response, which pairs therapy dogs with those going through challenging circumstances. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

Michelle Breach and her standard poodle, Kip Dogie, passed through Burnet on Thursday, Nov. 17, on a cross-country walk to raise awareness for HOPE Animal-Assisted Crisis Response. Breach and Kip volunteer with the organization, which pairs therapy dogs with people going through hard times.

Breach began her walk in Carlsbad, California, on Sept. 9 and plans to end the journey at Jekyll Island, Georgia, some time in mid-January. She hopes her trek brings attention and support to an organization she holds near and dear.

“I’m a volunteer firefighter, I do dog training, therapy work, and counseling,” she told during a break at Hill Country Motorheads on Texas 29 in Burnet. “(Working with HOPE) is just a natural blending of all of those things: to go out and make people feel better using my dog.”

Across the country, HOPE dogs and their owners respond to a variety of crises, such as someone struggling with cancer or first responders dealing with the aftermath of a mass shooting. The dogs are certified therapy animals that have been vetted by the nonprofit to handle the challenging circumstances. 

Breach’s husband, Peter, is her support on the walk, making sure she is safe on roadways and setting a good pace. The couple is from Spokane, Washington, but chose a southern route to avoid northern winter conditions. 

Keep up with Breach and Kip on Facebook. Make a donation to HOPE or learn how to get involved on the organization’s website.