#006: Upstate New York Therapy Dog team Kara and Walter

by | October 26, 2021 | Therapy Dog Talk

Upstate New York Therapy Dog team Kara and Walter

Upstate New York Therapy Dog team Kara and Walter on Cobberdogs and the importance of insurance for volunteers.

In this sixth episode of Therapy Dog Talk, I talk with Kara Conway Love, Founder of Dog Like Me, and her amazing Australian Cobberdog, Walter, about their unique journey to becoming a therapy dog team. We dive into their experiences, the impact of Covid-19, and the various environments where therapy dogs can volunteer.

Kara tells me how she found Walter and how he’s actually an Australian Cobberdog, a breed similar to Labradoodles. We discuss how their therapy dog training was delayed due to COVID-19 and the challenges they faced when returning to training, especially Walter’s excitement around people.

Throughout our conversation, Kara shares her motivation for wanting a therapy dog, including her desire to work with hospice or cancer patients. She also talks about other therapy work, such as helping pre-partum patients on bedrest, and how Walter might fit into those environments. We even touch on other therapy animals like cats and how they can make a difference.

We explore the process of getting Therapy Dogs International (TDI) certification and the challenges brought on by Covid-19 restrictions in hospitals. Kara emphasizes the importance of having insurance for therapy dogs and their handlers, as well as how different organizations may have varying requirements.

Towards the end of our chat, we discuss the importance of a strict “leave it” command for therapy dogs when working with vulnerable populations and being careful with fragile individuals, especially elderly patients.

After listening to this episode, you’ll gain a better understanding of the ins and outs of therapy dog work and how to navigate the challenges that come with it. You’ll also learn about the incredible impact therapy dogs like Walter can have on the lives of those they help.

In this episode, we discuss …

  • The difference between a Labradoodle and an Australian Cobberdog.
  • What it was like for Kara and Walter to train through COVID-19.
  • The importance of knowing your legal protection from the organization you volunteer through and how you can supplement your coverage.

Key moments you won’t want to miss:

  • [00:57] Kara talks about her dog Walter and their special account, Dog Like Me.
  • [02:11] Walter is an Australian Cobberdog, a breed much like Labradoodles.
  • [03:57] COVID-19 caused a delay in Walter’s therapy dog training.
  • [06:02] Kara wants a therapy dog to help hospice or cancer patients.
  • [07:41] Kara talks about therapy work for pregnant patients on bedrest.
  • [08:30] They discuss different therapy animals, like therapy cats.
  • [11:27] Applying for TDI certification and COVID-19 challenges in hospitals are explored.
  • [12:41] It’s important for therapy dogs and their handlers to have insurance.
  • [17:37] Therapy dogs need a strict “leave it” command when working with vulnerable people.
  • [18:42] Walter looks forward to being a therapy dog and comforting people.

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:

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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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