I'm a 3-lb registered therapy dog, 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 have an inspiring new photo book that was published in October 2017! Click here to learn more.
And, by popular demand, I am delighted to announce the Norbert Mini-Plush Toy. You can have your very own Norbert as a super-soft, cuddly, plush toy with soft white fur, big dark eyes, little black nose, and my trademark tongue peeking out of my smiling mouth. Click to order.
Everyone who helps me spread smiles is part of the Norberthood - a group of nearly 1.8 million people and growing. Let's spread smiles together!
Age – 9
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.
"...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