Meet Gizmo, a Superdog with a Helping Heart

IT Solutions Staff Member and Furry Friend Dedicated to Making a Change

July 18, 2019 |

Gizmo is a French Bulldog with a mission to help spread happiness and comfort. She is registered with the Alliance of Therapy Dogs and has been serving the Mankato area for nearly seven years. Her role is to provide affection and bring ease to those who need it. She travels with her parent, Cathy Colby, to many different places on a regular basis. 

When she was just four months old, Gizmo found her forever home with Cathy. Cathy has worked at Minnesota State University, Mankato for 37 years. She has been with IT Solutions for 11 years and is currently a Solutions Architect. She helps manage projects between IT Solutions and other divisions on campus, making sure communication flows smoothly and objectives can be completed. In her free time outside of work, Cathy takes Gizmo to visit groups and individuals for therapy sessions in the city of Mankato and surrounding areas.  

Cathy and Gizmo volunteer to bring their service to nursing homes, schools, and more! They have visited several colleges nearby, including Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter and Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, and, of course, our own Minnesota State Mankato. They have been to Kennedy Elementary School in Mankato as well as Eagle Lake Elementary School, where students get the chance to read to Gizmo. They also visit many social services organizations, including the Harry Meyering Center and MRCI in Mankato and the Leo Hoffmann Center in St. Peter. The two even make special trips to private residences that allow individuals a one-on-one experience with Gizmo. 

Gizmo loves her job and the individuals she meets. She gets an instant bounce in her step as soon as Cathy brings out her special uniform, which consists of a tag and a Gizmo-sized harness. Gizmo knows when they’re about to set off for another visit to meet new people, and she is always eager to go! She’s friendly and warmhearted to everyone she crosses paths with, so it’s no surprise that she is wonderful with people of all ages. Her calm and gentle demeanor help her navigate many different situations during her therapy sessions. She has even tested for and earned the Canine Good Citizen certification, which verifies that she has great behavior and is always well-mannered. 

Although she enjoys her travels, Gizmo does need to take time for herself to relax and recharge. When she is off duty, some of her favorite activities are going for walks and riding in Cathy’s bike trailer. At home, Gizmo loves to sun bathe near the window or lounge by the warmth of the fireplace. She also enjoys play dates with other dogs who visit her house frequently. She is currently looking forward to her 8th birthday, which is coming up on August 1st.  

If you’re a student at Minnesota State Mankato, be sure to stop by and visit Gizmo during the monthly Hound Hugs and Kanine Kisses program in the Centennial Student Union. Spend time de-stressing with Gizmo and the other happy hounds, and don’t forget to thank them for their service! 

Cathy was featured on the Centennial Student Union Blog in 2018 for her involvement with the Hound Hugs and Kanine Kisses program.


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