#100: Animal-Assisted Crisis Response with Tessa and Finn

by | September 11, 2023 | Therapy Dog Talk

Therapy Dog Talk - Tessa + Finn

From office dog to Animal-Assisted Crisis Response and Dog Scouts of America, Tessa and Finn are always improving their bond.

In this 100th(!) episode of Therapy Dog Talk, I chat with with Tessa Bodey and her Golden Retriever, Finn. Together, they navigate the impactful world of Animal-Assisted Crisis Response (AACR) with HOPE, achieve recognition through American Kennel Club (AKC) titles and Dog Scouts of America badges, as well as spread comfort and joy at LAX with the PUPs program.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll hear:

Finn’s Valuable Roles in AACR and Beyond: Delve into the world of AACR with HOPE Animal-Assisted Crisis Response, where Tessa and Finn provide comfort and encouragement during crises and disasters, illustrating the indispensable role and profound impact of therapy dogs in providing support and facilitating healing in the wake of major events.

From Everyday Companion to Recognized Hero: Celebrate Finn’s accomplishments, including his AKC Urban Canine Good Citizen (CGCU) and AKC Community Canine℠ (CGCA) titles. These honors reflect Finn’s proficiency in demonstrating good manners and adaptability in both urban settings and community environments, showcasing his disciplined training and exemplary conduct.

Spreading Comfort at LAX with PUPs: Experience the warmth and positivity Finn brings to travelers as part of the LAX Pets Unstressing Passengers (PUPs) program. His presence in the airport, complete with his “Pet Me” vest, helps create a friendly and stress-relieving atmosphere for passengers, enhancing their travel experience by offering a slice of comfort and a wagging tail.

Creative Learning with Dog Scouts of America: Discover the fun and enriching side of Finn’s life with Dog Scouts of America. Earning badges like painting and participating in various activities, Finn demonstrates the organization’s mission to improve the lives of dogs and their owners through positive training and community involvement, proving that Therapy Dogs deserve a well-rounded life full of learning and joy.

This 100th episode is a celebration of the incredible work done in AACR, the commendable achievements in AKC training, and the joyous experiences shared with Dog Scouts of America and LAX PUPs. Whether you’re a dog enthusiast, someone interested in AACR, or simply inspired by stories of companionship and service, this episode offers a wealth of insights and heartwarming tales.

Be inspired by Tessa and Finn’s ongoing adventures in AACR, their disciplined pursuit of AKC titles, their comforting presence at LAX, and their joyful learning with Dog Scouts of America. If you’re considering a path in therapy dog work or striving for excellence with your dog, let their story illuminate your way.

So, tune in, immerse yourself in the heartfelt stories shared by Tessa, and discover the potential and heartfelt impact that therapy dogs like Finn can have in various spheres of life.

In this episode, we discuss …

  • Finn’s impactful role in HOPE’s Animal-Assisted Crisis Response, providing essential comfort during crises.
  • Finn’s distinguished behavior as evidenced by his AKC CGCU and CGCA titles, showcasing his adaptability and discipline.
  • Finn’s dual role in spreading joy at LAX with PUPs and exploring his creative side with Dog Scouts of America, highlighting his well-rounded capabilities as a therapy dog.

Key moments you won’t want to miss:

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

  • [00:00:38] Welcoming Tessa and Finn: Tessa joins Sherrie with her Golden Retriever, Finn, sharing their involvement with Alliance of Therapy Dogs, LAX PUPs, and Hope Animal Assisted Crisis Response.
  • [00:01:06] Discovering Therapy Work: Tessa discusses her pre-Finn involvement in equestrian therapy and how it inspired her to pursue therapy dog work, leading to Finn’s training with LAX PUPs.
  • [00:02:01] Finn’s Office Beginnings: Tessa recalls Finn’s early days as an office dog, where his calm demeanor and people skills hinted at his potential for therapy work.
  • [00:03:01] Finn’s Social Nature: Finn’s sociable traits are highlighted, showing his aptitude for therapy work and acting, as Tessa describes his innate ability to connect with people.
  • [00:03:23] Finn’s Acting Skills: Tessa talks about Finn’s additional role in acting, where he demonstrates his ability to perform tasks on cue, enhancing his skills for therapy work.
  • [00:04:59] LAX PUPs Experience: Tessa explains why she and Finn were drawn to the LAX PUPs program and how it suited both their interests and Finn’s skill set.
  • [00:06:34] Dog Scouts of America: Tessa shares Finn’s involvement with Dog Scouts of America, where they participate in various activities and earn badges, such as painting.
  • [00:07:46] Joining HOPE AACR: Tessa describes their journey with HOPE Animal Assisted Crisis Response, detailing the intensive testing and training that prepares teams for various crisis situations.
  • [00:10:23] Therapy Dog Advice: Tessa offers advice for those interested in becoming a therapy dog team, emphasizing the importance of finding activities that suit both the dog and the handler’s interests.
  • [00:17:58] Finn’s CGC Achievements: Tessa proudly mentions Finn’s AKC Urban Canine Good Citizen (CGCU) and Advanced Canine Good Citizen (CGCA) titles, reflecting his good manners and training.

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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