‘Johanna knows what her gift is. I am very thankful that she chose Firefly as the agency to use her gift!!! ” Dawn A., Johanna’s Manager
You’ve lived in several different places. Tell us a little about that: I spent my early
childhood in Indiana before we moved to Corpus Christi, Texas, when I was a teenager.
In my early twenties, I lived in Hawaii for about four years before I returned to this area.
I moved to Taiwan in the mid-1990s, where I taught English as a second language. I met
my husband Joey there and we’ve been married now for twenty-seven years. It was
while I lived in Taiwan that I became very active in rescuing dogs. Today we have eight
dogs—four of which are ours, and four are up for adoption. I rescued the four dogs from
You rescue dogs from Taiwan? Yes! My first caregiver job was caring for dogs. I
volunteered for an association that housed 1,300 dogs and a handful of cats. I even
provided hospice care to some dogs in the shelter. I became very passionate about
helping these dogs find a better life. I helped the organization with marketing by making
bumper and scooter stickers and t-shirts. I am bi-lingual and can speak Mandarin
Chinese. This was helpful in building a bridge between the shelter employees and
westerners. By 2008, I began reaching out to associations abroad asking for help to give
the dogs a second chance at life. That’s when we began to send dogs to the United
States and Canada. Since then, we’ve sent well over 1,000 dogs abroad. It’s been a real
journey of love.
Johanna helps her client with meal time.
It sounds like it has been quite the journey! How did you go from rescuing dogs to
becoming a caregiver? While I was in Taiwan, I started visiting some nursing homes in
Nantou City and spending time with older adults. Then, in the summer of 2016, we
returned to this area so I could become a caregiver for both of my parents. My dad, who
has since passed away, was a Vietnam War veteran, and therefore, he was eligible for
services. It was a long road caring for my bedridden father for three years before he
passed away and his caregivers from Firefly were how I first came to know the company.
My mother also required care because of her dementia. I learned a lot about caregiving
from the Firefly caregivers who visited my dad.
When did you start working for Firefly? I’ve been with them since December 2022, so
about eight months now. One of my first clients was my neighbor. Like my dad, he was
also a Vietnam veteran. I first started working for Firefly, because I wanted to care for
him. Then I later became a primary caregiver for another veteran until his daughter
moved him to New Jersey, where she lives. I have a special place in my heart for
Is there a type of client you enjoy working with the most? My specialty is bed-bound
patients. I’m good with hands-on care. I feel it is a privilege and honor to care for them
and pamper them.
What would you say to a person who was thinking of becoming a caregiver?
Caregiving is a very important job. People rely on you—that is big! I do my very best for
my clients and I want to create beautiful memories for them and with them. Life is short
and tomorrow is not promised. I want to do my best every single day for my family,
clients, Firefly and my community.
Johanna and her client sharing companionship.
” I know I can trust her because of the excellent job she does caring for my wife. ” – Clients Husband
The husband of one of Johanna’s clients had this to say about her: Johanna is a very
caring person and a very good caregiver. She really cares about what she is doing for my
wife. My wife isn’t very social with people anymore, but Johanna is very upbeat and
tries to interact with her by showing her things on her phone and trying to get her to
smile and laugh. The evening shift is only for an hour to get my wife ready for bed, and
it’s really nice that she lives close to us—it makes it convenient for her to come to our
house. This week she gave my wife a shower. I know I can trust her because of the
excellent job she does caring for my wife. If I need to get away, I have no problem with
her staying with my wife. She’s also great with my two dogs.