Berakah’s Trading Cards

Berakah’s Trading Cards

Last year the Alliance of Therapy Dogs sent an email with information about ordering trading cards for our therapy dogs.  I looked at the website but the cards were designed for groups that visit, with only one photo of each dog.  That didn’t interest me at all, since I have multiple therapy dogs and LOTS of great photos of each. We go to Tongue River Elementary School (grades pre-kindergarten through 5th) every Monday.  I wanted to do trading cards to give to the kids who participate in Reading Dogs as well as the kids who write letters to the Reading Dogs, enclosing one in each letter the dogs write back to the kids on their personalized stationery.  Since most of the kids read to the dogs every month of the school year, I wanted a lot of different trading cards so they could collect them and – of course – trade them with friends.

So I sent the info on the commercial trading cards to my artistic friend, Teresa, at Epiphany Printing, and asked her if we could design our own.  She said, of course, so i began choosing photos.  Then covid hit.  Epiphany shut down, and even when it reopened on a limited basis it didn’t hire back all the staff.  The ones who stayed – especially my two creative friends (Teresa, who has done my therapy dog posters and Wendy, who is doing GloryToo’s books for the Reading Dog participants) – were buried with work and my projects were pushed aside.  

Finally, this spring, they were able to work on my creations.  The trading cards were delayed until they and I could choose color schemes for Berakah and Lovely.  The same color combinations will be used in their books and trading cards.  

We could have done GloryToo’s cards immediately since we’re working on her second book, but Berakah at 12.5 years old was failing and I didn’t know if she’d even finish the school year at Reading Dogs.  So I pushed for the new color schemes to be chosen, and eventually we got that done.  I am NOT artistic so I was overwhelmed by the discussions the other two had about the suitability of three colors for each dog out of what looked like thousands of look-alike colors.  I thought primary colors would work for children – and I’m kind of a primary card, upfront person anyway – but they wanted more subtle combinations.  I thought we were never going to get the colors chosen.

Eventually, we did, and got the cars done just as Berakah had a couple of mild strokes and ended up having to retire.  We had 11 cards for her and 4 weeks left of Reading Dog, so at three of the weeks I gave each kid 3 of her trading cards, and on the last week gave the final two.

The nursing home residents always enjoy stories of what the kids do at Reading Dogs, so I enclose a trading card in the weekly letters I write 6 to residents (3 at each nursing home), the Alzheimer’s Unit at one nursing home, and a shut in.

We’re printing them a little larger than normal trading card size so that both the very young and the elderly can enjoy the photos and explanations. 

The last picture shows what is on the back of each card.

Because, unfortunately, people steal things off the internet, these photos have “sample” printed on them, though the ones I give out do not.

See GloryToo’s Trading Cards
See Lovely’s Trading Cards
See Spirit’s Trading Cards
to Berakah’s page