Empathic Mission

Our Empathic Mission, © J. Maricevic, 2022

How Empathic Paws Came to Be

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, I attempted to navigate the initial weeks of a novel pandemic with a confirmed coronavirus diagnosis, teach high school students from my kitchen counter via Zoom, and be a mom to a soon to be eleven year old boy. To manage the physical, mental, and emotional toll of this new norm was close to impossible. Manage I did, but not without the help of my German Shepherd, Judge, and my Leonberger, Daisy.

During those early weeks, Judge and Daisy didn’t just help me.

On one especially difficult day, I found myself motivated by a cheerful and happy sound, walked through the COVID-fog and looked towards the back window. There stood my son with an ear-to-ear grin, and then appeared the source of his laughter.

Two gentle giants proudly pranced to what appeared to be their designated positions alongside a boy, their boy. The protectors of childhood innocence, Judge to the left and Daisy to the right— and the playful laughter continued, the spring air filled with hope and love.

It was this very laughter and canine companionship which sparked my empathic mission.

Welcome to Empathic Paws.


Judge, Daisy, & Jessica – Fall 2020

Empathic Paws is committed to promoting and equitably assisting organizations in the integration of animal-assisted therapies for the physical, mental, and emotional benefit of individuals in public and private settings, one paw at a time.