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: