Veterans Museum hosts speaker for monthly coffee

By Jordan Green

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TROY — On Wednesday, Aug. 3, the Miami Valley Veterans Museum of Troy held its monthly coffee featuring Michelle Collett and her dog, Zeke.

Collett and her therapy dog in training, Zeke, came to speak to the veterans about the process of training dogs, what they can do, and to allow everyone to spend a little time with Zeke.

“The breeder that we went to said, ‘Yeah, I have this little puppy. He’s the runt of the litter and his right leg is shorter than the other so he kind of walks with a limp.’ I jumped at the opportunity,” said Collett.

“We took him to Gem City obedience down in Dayton and he got his STAR [socialization, training, activity, responsibility] puppy certification. And he passed a 10-point test on different skills.”

Collett went on to talk about the different ways she and Zeke get involved in at local senior centers.

“One of the first gentlemen we were introduced to was a gentleman that had had a stroke. It melted my heart. [Zeke] jumped right up there onto the gentleman’s lap and laid down. I didn’t even half to tell him to and a big smile came over the gentleman’s face. They said it was the first time they had gotten a smile out of him,” said Collet.

“I felt like Z could be an inspiration to everybody. You know, he’s the runt of the litter. He’s not perfect, but he is perfect in my eyes. You get to go out there and he is the highlight of their day.”

Collett then treated the audience to a display of the tricks Zeke has learned in his time in training. He responded to an array of commands and even ran through tunnels. Afterwards, Zeke made his rounds to the many veterans who came to the event and a Q&A session was held.

The Miami Valley Veterans Museum of Troy holds a coffee on the first Wednesday each month at 9:00 a.m. Each features a unique guest speaker as well as coffee and pastries.

Future speakers include:

• Sep. 7 – Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak on new Ohio gun laws

• Oct. 5 – Retired U.S. Air Force member Ray Snedegar on the end of the Vietnam War

• Nov. 2 – Miami County Veterans Services Director, Selena Loyd, with an update

• Dec. 7 – Historian Rex Maggert on the daily life of a Civil War soldier

Other reminders and updates were given out on Wednesday morning.

The project to switch the museum from well-water to the city water supply will begin by the end of September. The presentation room, in which the monthly coffees are held, is 95% renovated and the museum is working with architects on getting a heating and cooling system installed in the gallery.

This Saturday, Aug. 6, Operation Veteran and Caregivers Support will be holding their first back-to-school ice cream social and school supply distribution at the WACO air museum from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Miami Valley Veterans Museum is located at 2245 S. County Road 25 A in Troy.