Even though she was bred to herd cattle and lives on a ranch in Weatherford, Texas, Shakespeare found another calling early in life. When she was just a few months old, Jan Emison began taking the Bernese Mountain Dog with her to visit residents in local nursing homes

Today, at the tender age of 18 months, Shakespeare looks forward to regular trips with Jan and Pets on Wheels, a pet therapy group that Jan brought together to serve the community. Her sweet disposition and calm demeanor – Bernese Mountain Dogs, a centuries-old breed that originated in Switzerland, are known as “gentle giants” – make Shakespeare the perfect guest for elderly and physically challenged residents. But she is also somewhat of a ham and never fails to steal the show, when she jumps up and grabs Janís cap (on cue) and presents it to one of the residents.

Shakespeare shares her home with Jan and her husband Ben, who is a partner in Western Bloodstock, the nationís leading performance horse sale company. The Emison household also includes another Bernese Mountain Dog, five-year-old Beethoven, and three Border Collies Ė Bo Tucker, 12; Coonie, 9; and Cheyenne Brodie, 8.