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Tuesday, February 19 , 2019, 10:24 pm | Fair 41º


Therapy Dog Lokee Lends a Paw at Santa Barbara Airport

Local therapy dog Lokee has begun volunteering at the Santa Barbara Airport with his handler, Larry Reiche. Click to view larger
Local therapy dog Lokee has begun volunteering at the Santa Barbara Airport with his handler, Larry Reiche. (Santa Barbara Airport photo)

Santa Barbara Airport is pleased to announce the arrival of Lokee the therapy dog, a certified Grand Champion Keeshond, owned and handled by Larry Reiche. Since March, Reiche and Lokee have been volunteering at SBA to engage with the traveling public.

Lokee was born March 11, 2011, and began his career as a show dog nine months later. By the age of four he had achieved Grand Champion status, certified by AKC Organization.

Lokee’s owners, Larry and Carol Reiche, heard about Therapy Dogs International and immediately signed up for the training.

“Lokee and I trained on our own for approximately three weeks and then reported for the testing and passed,” Reiche said. “In 2014 Lokee became a certified therapy dog through the AKC Organization.”

The duo began visiting Hospice of Santa Barbara, Cottage Hospital, Casa Dorinda and several nursing homes. In late February, the Airport was contacted and asked if a therapy dog might be something the passengers would enjoy. 

Hazel Johns, airport director, met Lokee and realized that he would be a wonderful asset for travelers.

Lokee is now a regular and has become a major attraction for passengers flying into and out of SBA.

SBA would like to thank both Reiche and Lokee for their volunteer service to the community, and it applauds their willingness to share their time with people from around the world.

For further information about Lokee, visit Lokee’s Facebook page.

Hazel Johns is the director of the Santa Barbara Airport. Owned and operated by the City of Santa Barbara, the Airport is a self-supporting enterprise fund serving 640,000 passengers annually.

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