I'm a 3-lb registered therapy dog, children's book author & philanthropist. I also give pretty good high-fives.
Welcome to the Norberthood! Here is my story:
In 2009, when I was 4 months old, my Mom Julie Steines (formerly Julie Freyermuth) adopted me through PetFinder.com. I was not in a shelter or rescue but I needed a special kind of home due to my tiny size. I am the first and only dog Julie has ever owned. Get to know Julie here on her FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/juliedawnsteines
I am a mixed breed dog: Chihuahua, Cairn Terrier & Lhasa Apso. I was the only dog in my litter so people say I am one-of-a-kind. As a puppy, I was dark brown and my fur slowly changed color over the first two years of my life.
I was born in California and travelled across the country to my new home with Julie in Boston, MA (ironically, Julie & I recently moved back to CA).
My name Norbert was inspired by the dragon from the Harry Potter book series, the American mathematician & philosopher Norbert Wiener and Saint Norbert of Xanten.
Julie knew I was a special dog from the day she met me. She noticed I had a gift for making people smile just by being myself.
And so began our happily ever after. . . . . .
One day, when I was still a puppy, my Mom and I went into an eyeglass store in Boston. The woman working at the store saw me and said I would make a wonderful therapy dog.
At the time, Julie didn't even know what a therapy dog was or did. After some research, we learned that therapy animals are trained and registered to provide love and comfort to people in need at places like hospitals, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and more.
Julie trained me herself; and at age one, I passed the tests to become a registered therapy dog. I currently volunteer at Children's Hospital Los Angeles and by special request. Many of my commands are uniquely named which always make the people I visit smile (see Favorite Tricks).
My Mom had a lifelong dream to write a children's book with her mother, Dr. Virginia Freyermuth, as the Illustrator. My story of becoming a therapy dog and finding my special gift was perfect to translate into a beautiful picture book. The book, Norbert: What Can Little Me Do? went on to win 9 prestigious book awards and became the first in a series.
I created my Norbert Plush toy which is part of a kindhearted project I call Norberthood For Good. For every plush Norbert that is purchased, I donate a plush to Toys for Tots® where it will be given to a child in need. Currently, my plush toy is sold-out.
Everyone who helps me spread smiles is part of the Norberthood - a group of nearly 1.5 million people and growing. Let's spread smiles together!
I am happy you are here.
Age – 8
Breed – Mixed
Height – 7"
Weight – 3-ish lbs.
Color – cream & grey
Home – Los Angeles, CA
Zen (lie down)
PO Box 661443
Los Angeles, CA 90066
Journalist & TV personality,
"You don't have to be big, to make a BIG difference in the world." - Norbert
"His cuteness is transcendent" - Time.com
P.S. I also helped write a real-life Cinderella story for Julie. So grab a tissue and click to watch my NorberTale here: http://bit.ly/SteinesEverAfter
".....This little 3-pound mixed breed dog is changing the world, one smile at a time. And, he has changed Julie’s life forever by being her partner in spreading smiles and inspiring kindness, and by being the conduit connecting her with her soulmate, Mark. She told me he is “the love of my life.”
So, as she said with pride and love, “Norbert changed my life in every way imaginable.” This is indeed a true fairy tale. For Julie, “it’s magical.” "
Article by journalist: Francine Brokaw