#092: Advocating for your Therapy Dog with Sarah and Pixel

by | July 17, 2023 | Therapy Dog Talk

Therapy Dog Talk - Sarah + Pixel

Sarah and her Klee Kai Pixel teach us the importance of advocating for your Therapy Dog.

In this 92nd episode of Therapy Dog Talk, I had the absolute pleasure of sitting down with Sarah and her talkative Klee Kai, Pixel. These two are more than just a therapy team; they’re a dynamic duo that showcases the essence of a handler-dog bond.

Our conversation kicks off with Sarah giving us a little insight into Pixel’s unique appearance, often mistaken for a baby wolf. But Pixel’s more than just a pretty face; she’s got a heart of gold. Sarah shares a story about a young boy in a hospital who hadn’t spoken in days until Pixel’s visit. With just a few sounds mimicking Star Wars’ Chewbacca, Pixel made the boy laugh, reminding us of the magic these therapy dogs bring.

But it’s not all fun and games. Sarah gets real about the ongoing journey of training and the importance of advocacy. From getting Pixel’s crisis response credentials to ensuring she’s always at her best during therapy sessions, it’s clear Sarah’s dedication knows no bounds.

Before we wrapped up, Sarah dropped some golden advice for anyone looking to dive into the therapy dog world. The key? Look at the dog in front of you, train consistently, and always, always advocate for them.

After listening to this episode, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation of the therapy dog world and the people and pups who make it so special.

In this episode, we discuss …

  • Sarah and Pixel’s strong connection that led them down the path of therapy work.
  • Pixel’s interaction with a young hospital patient that demonstrates the profound impact Therapy Dogs can have.
  • The importance of ongoing training, understanding the dog’s needs, and advocating for them.

Key moments you won’t want to miss:

Note that the timecodes match the video, not the podcast.

  • [00:01:07] Dive into Sarah and Pixel’s journey as a Pet Partners team since May 2019. Their adventures span from the UCI Medical Center to schools and destress events at colleges.
  • [00:02:45] Sarah reminisces about her introduction to Therapy Dogs, emphasizing Pixel’s innate therapeutic touch. The bond she shares with certain individuals is truly something special.
  • [00:03:53] Sarah paints a picture of Pixel’s natural flair for therapy including the joy she finds in human interaction and her ability to tune into someone’s emotions, especially when they’re down.
  • [00:06:19] Peek into the behind-the-scenes of Pixel’s training. Sarah and Pixel work together, emphasizing calmness and managing Pixel’s vibrant energy.
  • [00:09:05] Sarah drops an impressive Pixel fact! Together, they’ve embarked on roughly 115 therapy visits, touching the lives of 4,000 people.
  • [00:11:05] Ever wondered about the history of Klee Kais? Sarah traces their lineage back to Alaskan and Siberian Huskies, American Eskimos, and even Schipperkes.
  • [00:13:10] Prepare for a heart-tug as Sarah recounts one of their most touching visits. A young patient’s transformation during an interaction with Pixel beautifully captures the magic of therapy dogs.
  • [00:14:57] Sarah’s dedication shines as she talks about her ongoing efforts to acquire crisis response credentials, ensuring she and Pixel are ready to help in emergencies.
  • [00:16:23] If you’ve ever thought about forming a Therapy Dog team, Sarah’s advice is a must-listen. At the heart of it? Know and advocate for your furry partner.
  • [00:21:51] Wrapping things up, Sarah reflects on their experiences at UCI Medical Center, expressing her gratitude for the warm reception Pixel has received as a Therapy Dog.

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!

Mentioned in this episode:

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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.

Do you know someone who would make a great guest? Be sure to reach out and let me know.

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