A career changed Guide Dog can often thrive as a Therapy Dog and puppy raiser Hallie’s journey with Buddy is a great example.
In this 29th episode of Therapy Dog Talk, I chat with Hallie and her friendly Golden Retriever, Buddy. We talk about their journey from training Buddy to be a Guide Dog to working as an Animal Assisted Therapy Dog. We discuss the ups and downs of working with therapy dogs and the amazing ways Buddy helps people.
Hallie tells us about her time raising puppies for Southeastern Guide Dogs. She explains how Buddy’s special traits helped him become a great therapy dog at a mental health center in Georgia. We talk about how important it is to understand a dog’s body language, handle separation anxiety, and the benefits of Guide Dogs that change careers.
We also share touching stories of how Buddy has helped people, like assisting someone in reconnecting with their community through one-on-one modeling. Hallie highlights the importance of therapy dog handlers, who must pay attention to their dog’s behavior and stand up for them.
During our conversation, we mention working in mental health care during COVID-19, the roles of different therapy animals, and accepting that not all dogs are meant for therapy work. Hallie gives helpful advice on training and getting dogs used to different places.
By the end of this episode, you’ll learn a lot about therapy dogs, their training, and the amazing impact they have on people’s lives. Join us for a fun and heartwarming talk about the fantastic work of therapy dogs like Buddy.
In this episode, we discuss …
- How Buddy’s hatred of crates and love of people led him to continue Lulu’s legacy.
- What it can look like when a dog is able to thrive through a change in roles.
- What Hallie finds most rewarding about being a puppy raiser for Guide Dogs and working in Animal Assisted Therapy.
Key moments you won’t want to miss:
- [01:10] Hallie talks about her time raising puppies for Southeastern Guide Dogs and her adventures with Buddy.
- [05:59] Buddy changes from Guide Dog training to becoming a pet and Therapy Dog.
- [10:54] Hallie shares a story of how Buddy helped someone reconnect with their community through one-on-one modeling.
- [18:55] Buddy’s amazing skill at working with groups of people and his role in Animal Assisted Therapy.
- [21:28] The challenges Buddy faced when switching from Guide Dog to Therapy Dog and how Hallie helped him succeed.
- [24:35] The good effects of Animal Assisted Therapy on patients in the mental health center.
- [26:10] The experience of working in mental health care during COVID-19 and how Buddy helped out.
- [32:17] Hallie explains Gold Star Families and what skilled companion dogs do for them.
- [36:35] The importance of knowing and understanding dog body language to stand up for your dog.
- [39:14] Hallie talks about the best parts of having a therapy animal and what she learned as a puppy raiser.
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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