Tail Waggin' Welcome!

Irene, dog mom for the McSquare pack.

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 About Therapy Dogs page and Archives for a tour of what we have to offer.

Bernie McSquare

Bernie McSquare reads about the geology of the Santa Catalina Mountains at Catalina State Park.

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 Chuckit Breath Right Fetch Ball, and exploring dog-friendly locations around Tucson and Southern Arizona.

His favorite toy is Marvin Moose.

Catalina State Park is one of my favorite destinations for communing with nature. Whether we’re spending a quiet morning sniffing the plants, watching mule deer run across a field, or reading about the geology of the Santa Catalina Mountains, I feel at home here.
— Bernie McSquare
Bernie McSquare naps with his favorite plushie buddy Marvin Moose 
Bernie McSquare takes time to sniff the flowers along the RIllito River Path during one of our daily walks.

Lizzie McSquare relaxing in her Tucson living room with her favorite plushie Jenny Giraffe from Charming Pet.

Lizzie McSquare

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.

I’m always ready for a pawsome adventure around Tucson! I could walk for miles and miles, and never tire. Ask Mommy. She can confirm this statement.
— Lizzie McSquare
Lizzie McSquare enjoys pup field trips to places like Home Depot where she can jump on all sorts of interesting objects like these planters.
Labradoodle Lizzie McSquare practices her down-stay during Park Obedience class with Ruff House Dog Training & Behavior Modification.

Latest from our blog...