#058: Finding the right fit as a Therapy Dog team with Tara and Juno

by | November 21, 2022 | Therapy Dog Talk

Dena and her tripod Therapy Dog Petey

Finding the right fit as a Therapy Dog team can be challenging, but for Tara navigating that journey with Juno has been worth it.

In this 58th episode of Therapy Dog Talk, I talk with Tara Hoover and her 14-year-old Chocolate Labrador, Juno. They have been volunteering together in Pittsburgh for 10 years with Therapy Dogs International and Alliance of Therapy Dogs. We chat about finding the best place to volunteer and how they learned that hospitals were perfect for them.

Tara tells us about the challenges they went through during Juno’s long training process and why it’s important to know about therapy dog insurance and the rules at different places. She gives helpful advice for people who want to do therapy dog work, like going to obedience classes, talking to people with experience, and being patient with your dog.

We talk about all the different places therapy dogs can work and Tara shares two amazing stories about her work with Juno. These stories show how therapy dogs can really help people. Tara also reminds us that the dog’s handler is very important in therapy dog work. They need to look out for their dog and know when it’s time to stop a session or retire from therapy work.

Tara and Juno’s story shows us that there is a right place for every therapy dog team, even if they have problems or challenges in some places. By the end of this episode, you’ll understand more about the fun and challenges of volunteering with a therapy dog and get great ideas on how to get your dog ready for this awesome work.

In this episode, we discuss …

  • How Tara figured out the right environment for volunteering with Juno.
  • Who Juno has a celebrity nickname with on the PIT PAWS.
  • What Tara and Juno both enjoy about doing this work.

Key moments you won’t want to miss:

  • [01:23] Tara talks about her 14-year-old chocolate lab, Juno, who has been a therapy dog since 2012.
  • [02:29] Tara explains how Juno gets physical therapy, chiropractic work, and acupuncture to stay healthy.
  • [03:43] It took over three years of training for Juno to pass the therapy dog test.
  • [06:11] Tara shares how they found out hospitals were the best place for Juno to volunteer.
  • [07:09] A therapy dog visit in the hospital inspired Tara to work with Juno as a therapy dog team.
  • [08:13] Tara talks about how they slowly got Juno used to volunteering in hospitals.
  • [10:31] They first joined Therapy Dogs International but switched to Alliance of Therapy Dogs for more options.
  • [11:19] Tara shares her experience with different therapy dog organizations and insurance while volunteering.
  • [22:19] Tara emphasizes the importance of looking out for the therapy dog and knowing when to stop a session.
  • [26:53] Tara gives advice for people interested in therapy dog work, like taking obedience classes and talking to experienced handlers.

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:

Rate, Review, and Follow the Podcast

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.


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This