COVA Conference - Keystone ColoradoStart Date: 10/27/2019
Rocky Mountain Region teams attended the annual COVA (Colorado Organization for Victims Assistance) Conference from Oct 27-30 in Keystone Colorado which hosts approximately 1100 participants. It is the 6th year that HOPE has attended the conference and many participants looked forward to seeing their favourite dogs. They expressed disappointment that Kara and Lucas were unable to attend (as they were featured in the program). COVA and conference participants also welcomed Dawn and Keeper, newcomers to our team, and many provided condolences to both Sandy and Tina in the absence of their dogs this year. Hondo and Lani were acknowledged for their past work in the conference program. A major snowstorm and bitterly cold temperatures hampered the conference, including the inability of many speakers to attend. As noted, teams arrived earlier than usual to ensure that they were able to travel safely.
COVA staff identified specific workshop sessions in which they wanted HOPE dogs available and we were able to accommodate these requests. The conference venue is busy, and presentations are highly impactful so the presence of the dogs is significant to reduce stress. The dogs also participated in the costume contest at the President's Dinner.
There were other dogs (and mini horses) on the premises who presented additional challenges for our dogs. All members were watchful to ensure that we did not have any negative encounters.
Karen Klein & Sarah, Dawn Griebelbauer & Keeper, Lee Fernholz & Grace