What if I told you that a Husky and her human are on a mission to pioneer Therapy Dog work in Korea?

If that sounds intriguing, then this is definitely the episode for you.

In this 22nd episode of Therapy Dog Talk, I had the privilege of speaking with Jeena (aka “Clinger”) about her journey to Therapy Dog with her Husky, Juno. Their journey began with rescuing Juno from the shelter just before she was set to be euthanized. From there, Jeena was able to help Juno regain the use of her back legs through physical therapy.

Along the way, they moved to London for a year where they discovered the role of Therapy Dogs at a Pets As Therapy event with @dogfuriendly. Jeena shared that London made it easy for them to learn agility at outdoor courses while tackling the many tasks needed in order to train towards becoming a Therapy Dog.

Unfortunately, the world shut down shortly after they were able to complete their training journey for therapy work; however, a move back to Korea gave Jeena a new mission: pioneering Therapy Dog work in Korea.

If you’re ready to hear their inspiring story, let’s dive in:

In this episode, we discuss …

  • What it has been like to rehab Juno from not being able to bend her back legs to becoming an agility dog.
  • What it was like to work through the Therapy Dog training criteria on their own for several months.
  • How their experience with @petsastherapy_uk London has led them to collaborate with others in their area to pioneer Therapy Dog work in Korea.

Key moments you won’t want to miss:

  • [03:42] Jeena talks about moving with Juno from Korea to London.
  • [05:38] Jeena shares how she learned about Therapy Dogs through a @petsastherapy_uk event with @dogfuriendly.
  • [06:22] Jeena gets real about how difficult. itwas to adjust to living in a new country and how Juno helped her.
  • [07:58] Jeena shares about Juno’s physical therapy for her back legs from being in the shelter for 8 months.
  • [08:42] Jeena shares how they learned Therapy Dog training on their own.
  • [10:24] How COVID hit right as they were able to finish the training criteria and how it impacted their volunteer plans.
  • [11:28] Jeena shares how the pandemic boredom led to the beginning of agility work for Juno with obstacles made from toilet paper and water.
  • [12:50] How the London lockdown led to Jeena and Juno returning home and the opportunity that created to look for ways to pioneer Therapy Dog work in Korea.
  • [14:28] Jeena’s work building community with other dog owners through her boutique Fur All Dogs.
  • [15:24] Jeena’s Therapy Dog work with her nonprofit volunteering with assisted living homes and senior citizens.
  • [17:17] How Jeena’s husband convinced her that they should rescue Juno from being euthanized.
  • [20:00] Jeena shares how her mom went from being fearful of Juno to needing to see her at least every other day.
  • [21:42] The impact that dogs are making on senior citizens in Japan and Korea.
  • [23:02] What Jeena says when people ask her what motivates her to spread awareness.
  • [23:28] How Jeena inspires others through sharing silly videos with Juno on her account.
  • [28:35] Jeena reminisces on how her husband started Juno’s account to observe and document her personality because he found her so hilarious.
  • [31:57] The top two things Jeena learned about preparing a dog to be a Therapy Dog.
  • [36:48] Jeena shares that the tools you use matter in Therapy Dog work and the importance of finding what works with your dog.
  • [38:48] Jeena’s reminder that you’re seeing the result of her hard work in training and building a bond with her dog.
  • [40:43] Jeena discusses the power of social media and how she’s built friendships on Instagram.

I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I do. Give it a listen and let me know which part you found the most helpful!

Mentioned in this episode:

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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.

Do you know someone who would make a great guest? Be sure to reach out and let me know.

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