Adele and her Therapy Dog Rosie know what it takes to pursue a career in Animal-Assisted Social Work.
In this fifth episode of Therapy Dog Talk, I chat with Adele Saka and her charming mini Australian Labradoodle, Rosie, about their inspiring journey into the world of Animal-Assisted Social Work. We discuss how Adele discovered this fulfilling career path and how she prepared Rosie to become an excellent therapy dog.
Adele tells me how she stumbled upon animal-assisted therapy while searching for non-medical careers with animals. She knew she had found her passion, and with the help of an experienced breeder, she selected Rosie to be her therapy dog partner. Rosie’s loving nature and attentiveness to people’s feelings make her a perfect fit for therapy work.
Throughout our conversation, we explore the importance of ongoing therapy dog training and not rushing the process, allowing the dog to develop at their own pace. Adele shares her experience working with a PetSmart trainer who had therapy dog-level training and emphasized that therapy dog work is a continuous journey.
We also discuss the positive effects of therapy dogs on mental health, including reducing anxiety and depression and lowering heart rates. Adele talks about her plans to start professional therapy dog work in a couple of years and hopes to begin volunteer work at fire and police stations even sooner.
As a bonus, we learn how Rosie inspired Adele to start her own accessories line, designing harnesses, collars, leashes, and poop bag holders in coordinating prints. Adele even introduces a new leash design that easily converts from a standard six-foot leash to a shorter therapy dog leash.
By the end of this episode, you’ll have a deeper appreciation for Animal-Assisted Social Work and the dedication it takes to become a therapy dog team. You’ll also gain valuable insights on how to prepare yourself and your furry friend for this incredibly rewarding work.
In this episode, we discuss …
- What Adele looked for in selecting Rosie as a Therapy Dog candidate.
- The importance of patience and continuous practice when training a therapy dog.
- How Adele’s pup Rosie inspired her to create a pet accessory business.
Key moments you won’t want to miss:
- [00:23] Adele tells us about herself and her mini Labradoodle, Rosie, who is 1.5 years old and lives in New Jersey.
- [01:11] Adele shares how she found animal-assisted therapy while looking for non-medical jobs with animals.
- [02:00] Rosie finishes her therapy dog training and passes her test, with only some paperwork left to do.
- [04:53] Rosie loves to comfort people and is great at understanding their feelings, which makes her perfect for therapy work.
- [05:46] Adele talks about choosing Rosie as her therapy dog, including working with a breeder experienced with therapy dogs and testing the puppies’ temperaments.
- [07:41] Adele says she didn’t realize at first how much work and time it takes to train a therapy dog like Rosie.
- [09:15] Adele plans to start therapy dog work professionally in a few years but wants to do volunteer work even sooner.
- [10:20] Rosie inspires Adele to start a business making matching harnesses, collars, leashes, and poop bag holders.
- [11:14] Adele introduces a new leash that can change from a regular six-foot leash to a shorter therapy dog leash.
- [15:05] We discuss the many places therapy dogs can help people, like airports, dentist offices, and therapist’s offices.
I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I do. Give it a watch or a listen and then let me know in the community which part you found the most helpful!
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Therapy Dog Talk is a podcast where I interview a different team each week via Instagram Live. If you enjoyed this episode please find us over at Apple, Google, or Spotify and give us a follow after you leave a review.
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