Critter Alley

Critter Alley

Monday, December 1, 2008

Four Pawed Therapist


(Thanks to justforfun.org for the photo)

Years ago, when Indy and I were a bit younger, we did all sorts of training classes. We did obedience classes, flyball classes, and agility classes. All of them were great fun. Then I decided to branch out into pet therapy. That's the practice of taking dogs to visit those who are ill, housebound, or disabled. Training is required. Indy passed his Canine Good Citizen test on the first try. I got ambitious and we tested for Therapy Dog International (TDI). He passed that, too! His photo was taken for TDI files and we received special tags for him to wear.
I have some great memories of visits to nursing homes, schools, and fundraising events. Kids and adults alike looked forward to the days that the dogs would come. Those small slices of time meant a lot to them and us, too. It's a great feeling when you see someone's face go from depressed to delighted as they interact with a dog. Unfortunately, my time grew short. We haven't participated in some time.
I recently received a letter from the TDI licensing group. After converting to a paperless system they no longer needed Indy's photo and mailed it back. The picture reminded me of a wonderful way to reach out to others.
If you have a sweet natured obedient dog that loves people, consider training to become a therapy team. You won't regret it.

For information about TDI check out:
http://www.tdi-dog.org/

3 comments:

nlindabrit said...

What a worthwhile thing to do, Pat! Congratulations to you and Indy for making a difference to people.

Judy said...

An absolute stellar idea! My son's dog goes to the assisted living facility every morning and spends the day. There has just been an administrative meeting to demand that he be allowed a minimum of ONE day at the nursing home also. Bugley is earning his keep at last!

irishoma said...

How generous of you. When my son was in a VA hospital, a group brought in some dogs for a therapy visit. The vets lined their wheelchairs up in the hallways to pet and play the dogs. It was a moving occasion and a sweet memory.