Jim Nordin and Drake: Helping people who’ve had a “ruff” day

Interior Systems Local 68 member Jim Nordin has worked for Olympic Companies for more than 31 years. After 41 years as a Union carpenter, retirement drew closer for Jim, and he began to think of new and meaningful ways to spend his time. One idea that appealed to him in particular was working with therapy dogs.

With the help of Animal Inn Training School, he began the process of training his 5-year-old Yorkie-poo, Drake, to become a therapy dog.

After taking classes, Drake and Jim were evaluated and registered as a therapy team by Pet Partners. The duo joined the North Star Therapy Animals Group and began logging hours at assisted living facilities.

Jim and Drake ready to volunteer at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport.

Drake and partner Jim are involved with Fraser Walk for Autism, Special Olympics Minnesota, Minnesota Elementary School Principals Conference and National Education Association Conference.

In addition, Drake has become an Animal Ambassador at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, a Reading Education Assistance Dog, and the duo also participate in the Read With Me program.

Jim says that Drake is ready to go the minute he sees his leash and backpack getting taken out. Jim and Drake love the smiles they bring to so many faces at the places they visit. Since the beginning of 2018, the team has logged more than 70 hours of volunteered time.