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Fonzie Leaving Paw Prints on our Hearts

Our dear and sweet Mascot

​​FONZIE is Leaving Us Soon...... :(

You Can Thrive! hero and mascot since 2007 our little Fonzie, (or Fonzarelli, or to the latina ladies Fonzito) is transitioning from heart failure at 14 years old. We welcome your waves of love and support for this amazing angelic creature that has brought hope, comfort and joy to the hearts of our volunteers, members and family for the past 15 years. He is a true service animal, and he gave to everyone around him.

If you've ever visited any of our centers or events you've felt his warm paws or nose, he was always willing to give you a butt snuggle and lean against you so you could feel his warm soft breathing.

Fonzie started working at You Can Thrive! at our first center in 2007 when he was just 4 months old. Right away, he was the perfect service animal. His gentle nature and tough calm exterior was remarkable for a 4.5 pound furrball.

We knew Fonzie was tough when he got his first rabies vaccine, it was a huge needle for his little body, same size and dosage as the 25 lb golden retriever puppy next to him. That dog howled with pain when he was injected and Fonzie just jerked his head back and gave the vet a dirty look!!

This little guy was born perfectly stuffed with all the things that a skilled healer imbues and as the years rolled by his skillset grew. He was attuned to Reiki in 2011 and worked at many in person Reiki courses and events. He was present with each and every person he shared a moment with, and there were many that he suppored during their final hours. He went to hospitals and recovery units. He went to funerals and comforted those left behind. He always brought a smile and a calm energy.

CIrca 2007

Fonz worked as a Reiki Dog, as you can see in some of the photos. He didn't like to be touched and handled all the time but instead he would lay on the person or next to them where they needed it and ground them for the treatment.

When Fonzie started slowing down, not wanting to work so much, in 2015, we adopted his younger (but bigger) brother Zeke.

Now, Zeke is a cuddler. He likes to hug, but by the time he was 10 Fonzie was an accomplished healing artist, and he didn't want to be sharing his energy with a puppy all day. Zeke didn't care he glommed on.

We would hear Fonzie growling and barking at him from the next room, and then we would go in there and Zeke would be spooning with him-- wheather he liked it or not, lol!

What a joy this little man is in the lives of everyone he has touched, and his perfectly trained 'brother' Zeke is now ready to take over the responsibility of supporting our community when Fonzie says farewell.

So many lives have been touched by Fonzie, you can see him working directly with a client here. There is a very special energy about him, he finds a way to comfort softly, gently. Just leaning against someone while they received treatment, recounted their story, or cried.

He always tried to lead the class when we worked together, and he even slept near everyone or gave them the Reiki paw as they worked on the computers in our office. At our center and events he would sniff out and around everyone, pick someone first (usually the person with active cancer) and then he would spend just a few minutes giving each person his gentle loving Reiki presence.


This effected our ability to do our jobs of being a space of hope and comfort for so many. Fonzie held a big load for such a small guy. Not to mention that he was always at the side of his at home family supporting and traveling with our founder.

He will always be a bright spot on the history of our work.

Fonz, adorable reiki dog

At You Can Thrive! we believe it is important to offer puppy love to the world -- we have seen the impact it makes on those who need a smile and a hug. Our little guys certainly have a big heart.

Unfortunately, for Fonzie, his heart is tired, and it won't pump enough to keep him with us too much longer.

We will say goodbye and send him off with loving warm wishes for a happy happy hereafter.

Fonzie Warrior

Enjoy the photos and find us on Facebook and Instagram. Please add yours. If you wish to visit, donate or give a personal greeting call our offices 917.463.4267.

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