Acts of Kindness: Dagger DogVinci, Long Island’s Do-Good Dog

Dagger Dogvinci

Dagger spent his canine life helping people, rightfully earning being named after famed painter Leonardo da Vinci. He started out training to be a service dog for Canine Companions. Due to fear issues, he was released from the program, but continued his mission of helping others in a new way. 

How He Got The Name Dagger Dogvinci

Yvonne Dagger, the owner of this talented dog, is a painter herself, so when Dagger nudged her one day while she was working on her art, she was quick to give him the chance to express himself. “I jokingly said to him, ‘What, do you want to paint like mommy?”’ she said. After that, Dagger quickly assumed his role as DogVinci by holding the paintbrush in his mouth, and she knew exactly what to do with his paintings. 

Dagger’s career started with a fundraising event where someone could make a $50 donation to Canine Companions and receive a painting by Dagger.

His first fundraising event was for a shelter called Forgotten Friends of Long Island, and it turned out to be one of their highest-attended events.

His paintings helped raise money for getting service dogs for those in need, and soon they began to donate to other charities including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the ASPCA, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

The Work Dagger Dogvinci Did

During his life, Dagger raised more than $213,000 and painted close to 900 paintings. 

Soon, they began to hold workshops.

“We would go to libraries and schools, and I would teach about art and talk about Dagger’s history, and then Dagger would do a painting demonstration,” she said.

They hosted more than 150 workshops during Dagger’s life and all  the proceeds went to charity. Dagger’s talent in painting enabled him to give back to the Long Island community through these events. “We were about education and community service,” she said. 

They traveled to the Long Island Museum and held classes there as well as at local libraries and schools.

Dagger Dogvinci’s Legacy

She said, “He was supposed to help one person. He ended up helping thousands of children with disabilities and children who learned that creating was part of their life.” 

Though Dagger passed away this past January, his legacy continues. Yvonne still posts positive messages on Dagger’s social media page and devotes her time to giving back to the Long Island community.

Reflecting on Dagger’s life and impact, she said, “He was a gentle soul who just happened to be in love with everyone. And that’s the message: create, learn, and inspire.”