Charlene never runs out of projects but her favorite one is volunteering as a Therapy Dog team with her Great Dane, Grey.
Charlene tells me how she fell in love with Great Danes and her dream of becoming a therapy dog team. She shares with me how she socialized and trained Grey to become a successful therapy dog.
We talk about their volunteer experiences during the pandemic, and Charlene gives valuable advice on how to make your visits impactful with extra touches like gifts and take-home items. She also talks about her plans to create a resource website for volunteer pet therapy teams.
If you’re interested in volunteering with a therapy dog, Charlene and Grey’s story is sure to inspire you. Tune in to learn more about the joys and challenges of volunteering with a therapy dog, and how to prepare your furry friend for this important work.
In this episode, we discuss …
- Why Charlene decided she wanted to train a Great Dane as a Therapy Dog.
- What it was like to find places to volunteer during the pandemic and how her solutions led to over 200 visits.
- What Charlene is doing to help support other pet therapy teams to make an impact.
Key moments you won’t want to miss:
- [01:11] Charlene and Grey have visited over 200 places as a Therapy Dog team with Alliance of Therapy Dogs within just one year of volunteering.
- [03:38] Charlene explains why she named her Great Dane, Grey, after her first Great Dane, Emmet.
- [07:34] Charlene talks about her first Great Dane, Emmet, and why he wouldn’t have enjoyed being a Therapy Dog because of his nervous and fearful behavior.
- [09:40] Charlene tells us how she found Grey’s breeder and why she chose them.
- [12:02] Charlene shares how she helped Grey during his challenging puppy stage by having positive socialization experiences and turning him into a successful Therapy Dog.
- [14:38] Charlene discusses what surprised her during Grey’s first month of Therapy Dog visits.
- [17:39] Charlene talks about how hard it was to convince breeders to trust her as a young person and shares what she’s learned to ask breeders about early socialization experiences.
- [20:59] Charlene’s favorite thing about volunteering with Grey is the positive impact he has on people they visit.
- [22:27] Charlene’s biggest advice for someone who wants to be a Therapy Dog team is to “just do it” and how she got certified through Alliance of Therapy Dogs (ATD).
- [24:26] Charlene explains how she makes their visits special with extra touches like Christmas gifts and take-home items. She also plans to create a website for volunteer pet therapy teams to use as a resource.
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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