Have you ever wondered what it’s like for an Assistance Dog to volunteer as a Therapy Animal?
In this 27th episode of Therapy Dog Talk, I sat down with Evelyn and her charming Cavalier, Indie, about their incredible journey as an Assistance Dog and Therapy Dog team. We explore their experiences volunteering with Story Dog Australia and their plans for the future with Pets as Therapy in London.
Evelyn shares how her family’s involvement with Guide Dogs Australia influenced her decision to train Indie as an Assistance Dog. We discuss the unique challenges and joys of training a Cavalier and how Indie’s dual role as a Service Animal and Therapy Dog has created a strong bond between them.
As volunteers with Story Dog Australia, Evelyn and Indie worked together to build confidence in children. They share their favorite moments from volunteering, as well as the valuable lessons they’ve learned along the way. With their recent move to London, Evelyn and Indie are looking forward to continuing their volunteer work through Pets as Therapy.
Throughout our conversation, we touch on the importance of maintaining a balance between work and play for Assistance Dogs, the impressive skills Indie has acquired through professional training, and Evelyn’s advice for aspiring handlers.
After listening to this episode, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the dedication and passion that goes into training and volunteering with a therapy dog, as well as the impact that these amazing animals have on the people they help.
So join us for this heartwarming and insightful conversation with Evelyn and Indie, and be sure to check out our other episodes for more inspiring stories from therapy dog handlers and researchers!
In this episode, we discuss …
- What Evelyn looked for in an Assistance Dog which led her to finding Indie.
- How impactful a program like Story Dog Australia can be to build confidence in children.
- What their plans are to continue Therapy Dog work now that they’ve relocated from Australia to London.
Key moments you won’t want to miss:
- [01:51] Evelyn’s family has a long history of raising and training puppies for Guide Dogs Australia.
- [03:05] Training with Indie has been a great way for Evelyn to strengthen their bond.
- [03:54] Evelyn chose a Cavalier over a Labrador after borrowing a friend’s Labrador for a week.
- [05:00] There’s a big difference between researching Cavaliers and actually living with the energetic Indie.
- [06:00] Having a safe space for an Assistance Dog to be themselves is crucial.
- [07:27] Evelyn and Indie had a rewarding experience volunteering with Story Dog Australia.
- [09:14] Indie’s training helps her detect stress levels and bring calm to others.
- [10:05] Evelyn aims to volunteer with Pets As Therapy and continue their Therapy Dog work.
- [11:01] Parks should be kept free of training so Indie can relax and have fun.
- [12:08] At just six months old, Indie learned to alert Evelyn about nearby lizards on her own.
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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