Erica and Charlie learned valuable insights on their unexpected journey from shelter dog to School Therapy Dog.
In this eighth episode of Therapy Dog Talk, join me as I chat with Erica and her incredible rescue dog, Charlie, about their inspiring journey from shelter dog to school therapy dog. We dive into the ups and downs of their training and discuss the impact of therapy dogs in a school setting.
Erica opens up about her experience fostering Charlie and how she decided to adopt him after he overcame several health issues. She shares the heartwarming moment she realized Charlie was her “heart dog” upon reuniting after her vacation.
We explore the beginning of Charlie’s transformation into a therapy dog, starting with Erica’s principal suggesting the idea. Erica talks about addressing concerns like Charlie’s reaction to fire alarms and developing a plan to handle emergencies at school.
Erica and Charlie worked hard to achieve therapy dog certification through the Alliance of Therapy Dogs and pass their Canine Good Citizen test. Once certified, Charlie started visiting school once a week, bringing joy to the students.
In this episode, I also share my own experience with my dog, Sunny, as we work towards therapy dog certification and participate in the Canine Good Citizen test. We discuss our plans for Sunny to join a local therapy dog program for children with autism and an animal-assisted counseling program.
Throughout our conversation, we touch on various challenges faced during therapy dog training, including distractions, pandemic-related factors, and the importance of patience when searching for the right dog for therapy work.
We highlight how rescue dogs, like Charlie, can make excellent therapy dogs, as their foster caregivers can provide valuable information about their personalities and quirks.
By the end of this episode, you’ll gain valuable insights into the process of training a therapy dog, the unique challenges faced along the way, and the incredible positive impact these dogs can have on students, staff, and the community.
In this episode, we discuss …
- When Erica realized Charlie was her heart dog and decided to foster fail.
- Things you need to consider when having a Therapy Dog in a school setting.
- Why you might want to consider a rescue dog in your search for a Therapy Dog.
Key moments you won’t want to miss:
- [01:12] Erica shares her experience fostering Charlie and adopting him after he recovered from health issues.
- [05:14] Charlie’s journey to becoming a therapy dog starts with a suggestion from Erica’s principal.
- [07:37] Erica and Charlie work towards therapy dog certification through the Alliance of Therapy Dogs and their Canine Good Citizen test.
- [08:24] Charlie begins visiting school once a week, spreading happiness to the students.
- [09:42] Plans for Sunny to participate in a local therapy dog program for children with autism and an animal-assisted counseling program.
- [10:38] The positive effects of therapy dogs on students, staff, and the community are discussed.
- [12:35] Pandemic-related challenges, like social distancing and mask-wearing, affect therapy dog training.
- [14:46] All dogs, including rescues, can become therapy dogs, regardless of breed.
- [15:43] Allergy concerns are addressed, emphasizing proper communication and hygiene practices.
- [20:30] Advice for aspiring therapy dog owners includes patience, practice, and seeking guidance from experts.
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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