SERVICE DOGS
Service dogs have gotten lots of attention since 9/11 when they carried on bravely in the face of great danger. All of us, people and dogs alike, are proud of them and their service to mankind. To become a service dog, a dog must have the right temperament which means he likes meeting new people and likes to be with them. Also he must be learn how to carry out particular activities that will help his owner.

THERAPY DOGS
Another way dogs can help humans is to be therapy dogs who visit in healthcare facilities. Both Winnie and I are therapy dogs licensed by Therapy Dogs International (TDI). Each time we make a therapy round at the Hermitage, a continuing care facility in our hometown, it surprises us how happy people are to see us. So much so that we've decided to start promoting the whole idea of therapy dogging:

  • 1) Winnie and I have started talking it up with our friends to encourage them to become therapy dogs
  • 2) I am introducing a therapy dog section here on my website
  • 3) I'm writing a book that explains how you become a therapy dog and what you do as a therapy dog

SYMPOSIUM
Our PowerPoint presentation about therapy dogs was a huge success! The Greater Hampton Roads Disability Symposium was held at the Renaissance Hotel in Portsmouth. Many people came and were very interested, asking good questions. Mr. Bill Pine, Administrator for Health Services at Westminster Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay in Virginia Beach invited us to help him explain "Animal Therapy" in one of the afternoon workshop sessions. What a day. When we were finished for the day we collapsed.

HOOPS YOU MUST JUMP THROUGH TO BE A THERAPY DOG
If you love meeting new people and being with them, you would probably make a good therapy dog. To do so, you have to first take the Canine Good Citizen course sponsored by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Upon passing the CGD test, you must pass the test for the therapy organization to which you apply for membership. The test is administered by an instructor certified by the therapy organization.

Back to Therapy Dogs
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