Meet Maple, our San Diego Kids First Love Heels Facility Dog! We could not be more thankful for Cynthia Williams at Talaki Ridge Labradoodles for matching us with Maple, and Patricia Dibsie at Love Heels (and her generous sponsors), for providing us with training and certification to allow Maple to be a facility dog!

Maple is trained to accompany Dr. Pontillo in her professional duties which include individual in-person sessions, as well as volunteer opportunities in San Diego Schools, Head Start programs, and in other community projects.

Why did we Choose Maple to be our SDKF canine companion?


We cannot speak highly enough of Cynthia Williams, and her group of pups at Talaki Ridge Labradoodles. After searching the nation for the best dog breed that is intelligent, social, responsive, sensitive, and uniquely human-like in their attachment to their owners, the Australian Labradoodle was clearly the right choice.

We found Cynthia after searching for breeders that not only prioritize the health and wellbeing of their dogs, but also goes the extra mile to assess temperament with each pup. Talaki Ridge Labradoodles ensures that the chosen puppies desired traits and qualities is perfectly matched with their individualized owner. Many of Cynthia’s puppies are in the service profession. Whether it be with an individual or child handler – or as a therapy dog with a professional in his/her office, this lineage of dogs has been bred for service.

Since getting Maple in 2018, Dr. Pontillo has referred many of her families looking for canine companions for their children to Cynthia, as she has great trust that Cynthia’s dogs will provide emotional support, loyalty, and years of companionship. Maple has been the perfect addition to all our children and families at SDKF!

Cynthia at Talaki Ridge Labradoodles believes that excellence in health and temperament are equal in value when choosing the right puppy for each family. These dogs have been used for years as therapy dogs in numerous situations from seeing eye guide dogs, to people who need some extra emotional support. They have a keen sense of how you, their human, are feeling!

Their strong intuitive nature comes natural to them. From birth, Talaki Ridge Labradoodles utilizes a three-phase method called Bio Sensor Training, Early Neurological stimulations, socialization, and enrichment. These three phases will positively influence the pup’s neurological growth and social development. Using this system of training has been proven that the puppies are very inquisitive and active, less stressful and calmer. Setting them up for a more successful happy family life.

All of us here at San Diego Kids First are so excited to have Maple in our office and can’t wait for her to meet you all! If you’d like to speak to us more about having Maple come to your community or educational setting, please contact us at

For more information about Cynthia Williams and Talaki Ridge Labradoodles, please visit email or call (805) 478-0446

“Did you know that Labradoodles have a 98% success rate when being trained as service dogs? That is what they were originally bred for and born to do! I love that their life’s purpose is centered around sensitivity and intuitiveness. As a service dog, Labradoodles stay closer to their owners than the average dog and I believe that’s why they have become so popular as family pets and emotional companionship dogs. They touch your heart and your soul with their eyes and their touch – sometimes even their very presence – just brings peace. It’s hard to describe since it’s more of a feeling! I love them can you tell!!” – Cynthia Williams, Owner, Talaki Ridge Labradoodles

How was Maple certified as a Facility dog for San Diego Kids First?


Love Heels is a non-profit organization led by Patricia Dibsie, which was initially formed to meet the special needs of people whose lives are enhanced by teaming with a canine companion. Love Heels has facility dogs all over San Diego County in therapy offices, schools, and other professional and educational settings. Maple was provided generous sponsorship to complete training and certification by Patricia, to wear the Love Heels vest and to bring joy and love to children and families at SDKF and at schools and community settings!

We couldn’t be more thankful to Patricia at Love Heels and our generous sponsor, for helping us achieve our therapeutic goals with Maple! We are excited to be tied to an organization whose number one passion is to place facility dogs with health care professionals that work with adults and children living with physical and/or neurological disabilities.

We are so thankful for Maple’s new certification and look forward to seeing the continuous smiles she brings to the children here at San Diego Kids First!

For more information on Love Heels, please visit