Meet the ASL Product Models: Norman Enzo Kieffer!



This is the first bio in our series of Meet the ASL Product Models written by our intern Skye Isabella Rose Iwanski.


Norman Enzo Kieffer

Norm looking thoughtful on a drive.

Norm is a gregarious, adorable joker. He’s a border collie/husky mix with a huge personality. Norm is a registered therapy dog with Pet Partners and certified in assisted play therapy. He loves working with people, especially kids. He’s an incredible little fellow with eyes that wrap you up in a big warm hug and an absolutely infectious smile--you can’t look at him and not smile right back.

Norm, hard at work!

When Norm walks into a room, he immediately wants to make people feel at ease: he seeks people out and nudges their hand until they’re petting him. He’s named after Norm from Cheers, after all. Norm likes to remind people that it’s normal to get around a little differently--he’s missing one of his legs, but that doesn’t hinder his agility at all. He can jump four to four-and-a-half feet in the air and clear a fence or jump onto a counter without a problem.

Norm loves providing companionship to people.

He likes to use his jumping ability to play pranks on his adopted dog siblings--he sometimes steals their food bowls off the counter and brings them to his bed. He also likes to hide tennis balls and other toys where his siblings can’t find them--but if they did the same to him, they would be in big trouble! Norm likes his things to stay his. He’s very particular with his toys.

This is Norm's toy--nobody else's.

Norm’s favorite toy is a stuffed goat, and one day, a dog named Fiver stole it from him! Then she tore up one of his burrow toys-- a rocky start to any relationship. But, she brought a piece of the burrow toy back and offered it to him, and he accepted her apology. They’ve been in puppy-love ever since.

Norm looking snazzy in a bow tie at work.

COVID-19 has been hard for Norm to adjust to. He’s used to doing therapy in-person (or, in-dog), so telehealth visits are strange for him. He doesn’t like his routine being uprooted, and being cooped up inside made him really mopey at first. But, he does really like window-visits with his clients, because at least he still gets to see them! He also dislikes baths, and water in general. He’s not a fan of getting his paws wet. He’s excited to get back to in-person (or in-dog) therapy visits once it’s safe to do so!

This is about as close to the water as he'll get!

Norm is talented and knows a lot of tricks. His favorite trick is using YES/NO buttons to indicate what he’s thinking. He’s learned lots of adapted skills, too. He can roll dice, bowl with his nose, and shake hands while lying down. He can even play cards and board games with the kids he works with. Norm is a hero in his own right. It’s no wonder he was a natural when it came time to model for the ASL Dog Palace (for which he gave a pawprint of approval). He could’ve been on a Chicago TV show, but he decided he liked working with kids too much as a co-therapist to leave them behind.

Norm playing cards with clients.

Norm’s perfect day would start off with a nice big breakfast and a few hours of working with kids. Then, he would go on a long walk with some friends, maybe someplace new and exciting. If he could meet some new friends and socialize with them out and about, that would make his perfect day even better. He’d finish up the day with a nap in his favorite spot--his raised bed, or the air-conditioning vent. He might not mind going for a drive with Fiver and stopping by Starbucks to get a Puppuccino, either.

Norm riding shotgun.

Some of Norm’s proudest moments were when he was first brought home by his forever family and when he passed his Pet Partner test. His humans were so proud of him! His silliest moment was probably when he took an agility test, which is supposed to be fast-paced. Norm took his sweet time strolling through the agility equipment, and paused in the middle to make sure everybody was watching. When it was time to climb the A-frame, he decided to lay down on top of it for a little dog-nap, and the crowd was in stitches watching him. It might not have been the agility test anybody expected, but it was certainly one everyone remembered, and that’s just the way Norm likes it.

Norm posing with panache in front of the grey Dog Palace.

Norm also has his own Facebook page, so if you want to check him out and see what he’s up to, that’s the place to start!




Photo credit: Cindy Kieffer

Comments

  1. I am picturing Norm’s namesake, Norm Peterson, responding to the question “How’s it going, Mr. Peterson?” with "It's a dog-eat-dog world, and I'm wearing Milkbone Underwear".

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