Meet the Pack
Tail Waggin' Welcome!
Hello. I'm Irene McHugh, dog mom for the McSquare Pack. Dog dad is Matthew "McRuffRuffShy" who is not on social media. When we adopted our first puppy Bernie, we decided to combine our Irish last names as McSquare. Yes, we are geeks!
When Matthew and I decided that we wanted to train Bernie to become a therapy dog, starting McSquare Doodles was an easy choice. I hold a bachelor's in journalism, so I love research and writing. I spent over 15 years teaching English and social studies, so serving others is in my nature. Now as a middle school library specialist, I have prioritized work-life balance, so I have time to pursue this volunteer goal and share what I've learned.
We hope you'll find tips here that help you feel less overwhelmed as you care for your smiling dog and work toward therapy dog certification. If you're new to McSquare Doodles, I encourage you to visit our Start Here page for a tour of what we have to offer.
Bernie is our sweet happy-go-lucky outgoing 37-pound mini-Labradoodle who we adopted from Crawford Doodles in Queen Creek, Arizona.
He's a proud graduate of Ruff House's 8-Week Puppy Obedience Class, and he's currently working towards earning the AKC title Canine Good Citizen. His ultimate goal is to become a certified therapy dog through the Humane Society of Southern Arizona's Pet VIP Therapy and Visitation Program in 2018.
In November 2016, he was diagnosed with atypical Addison's Disease, but that hasn't stopped him from being an adventurous pup. He loves going on long walks, meeting people, scampering around with his little sister Lizzie, playing fetch with his squeaky ball, and exploring dog-friendly locations around Tucson and Southern Arizona.
His favorite toy is Marvin Moose.
At 22 pounds, Lizzie may be smaller than her brother, but her spunky personality shines! She loves pup field trips for special one-on-one time, but she's always thrilled to be reunited with Bernie.
One of her cutest quirks is her quizzical head tilt. When she cocks her head to the side, you can tell she's paying attention and figuring things out. She's one smart Doodle!
Like her big brother and mentor Bernie, Lizzie also graduated from Ruff House's 8-week Puppy Obedience Class. She's continuing her studies with Professor Blaker with ongoing obedience group classes.
Lizzie's timeline for therapy dog certification is different than Bernie's. Since she has a passion for zooming around, we're going to see how she likes agility classes. Once she's a bit older, we'll focus our efforts on passing CGC, and therapy dog certification goals.
Her favorite toy is her plushie Jenny Giraffe.