Kim and her Greyhound Therapy Dog Bubbles bring the fun to their campus visits as part of the founding BGSU PAWS Team.
In this 37th episode of Therapy Dog Talk, I spoke with Kim and Bubbles—a Greyhound Therapy Dog team who have found their place volunteering as part of the Bowling Green State University (BGSU) PAWS Team. BGSU reached out to Alliance of Therapy Dogs (ATD) looking for dogs to fill their starting lineup on a mission to help destress students on their campus. Not only were Kim and Bubble up to the task, but they have found ways to bring their own personalities to the work in a way that even won over the hearts of the SICSIC, a secret society on campus.
(Here’s hoping Bubbles in an honorary member for the 2022-23 school year, right?)
Bubbles is not the only dog in the household, and not even the only Greyhound, but Kim has been able to identify which parts of her personality make her interested in volunteering as well a good fit for volunteering. She shared with us why her other Greyhound, Piper, would not be able to volunteer without being a safety risk or squashing a key part of how she expresses happiness and how her daughter’s dog, while not socialized enough for campus visits, excels at showing off her tricks during their virtual pet therapy visits through Pets Together.
If you’re ready to catch Kim’s contagious joy in sharing her journey with Bubbles, let’s dive in:
In this episode, we discuss …
- Why Kim knew early on that Bubbles would enjoy Therapy Dog work.
- What gear Kim and Bubbles always have on hand (paw?) during visits.
- How Bubbles won the hearts of a secret society and our hope that she become an honorary member.
Key moments you won’t want to miss:
- [01:02] Kim share how Bubbles’ personality inspired her to research volunteer pet therapy and what she did to help her prepare to be a Greyhound Therapy Dog.
- [01:56] Bubbles’ love of people and comfort with letting them pet her while she’s lying down.
- [02:45] How Kim and Bubbles found Bowling Green through Alliance of Therapy Dogs.
- [03:50] Kim’s discovery that National Greyhound Association (NGA) greyhounds can get Purebred Alternative Listing (PAL) through AKC and how that allowed her to add on her CGC title when applying for her Therapy Dog Novice title.
- [06:09] A few Greyhound specific learnings Kim has discovered along the way including temperature regulation.
- [06:48] How Kim enjoys seeing the smiles when volunteering with Bubbles.
- [07:24] Kim and I attempt to answer a live question on being registered as a Therapy Dog in multiple states.
- [08:44] Kim’s advice to prospective teams to know your dog inside and out including any potential triggers.
- [09:03] Why Kim decided not to have her other Greyhound, Piper, volunteer as a Therapy Dog.
- [09:48] We meet the third dog of the household and learn why she only makes appearances when volunteering online through Pets Together.
- [10:36] Some gear must-haves that Kim take on visits with Bubbles include her RexSpecs goggle with a custom BGSU PAWS Team from LifeIsGolden.com and trading cards with Bubbles photo and facts.
- [11:39] Kim’s tendency to be a “jokester” on visits with students and her puzzlement as to how Bubbles’ brindle markings remind them of lions and cheetahs.
- [12:12] Previous guest and BGSU alumn Jared gets Kim talking about BGSU campus culture and she shares how Bubbles has met the infamous secret society SICSIC.
- [13:50] Kim’s important observation and reminder not to assume how someone will react to meeting a Therapy Dog.
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:
- Alliance of Therapy Dogs
- American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen (CGC), Purebred Alternative Listing (PAL), and Therapy Dog Program
- Bowling Green State University PAWS Team
- Life Is Golden
- National Greyhound Association (NGA)
- Pets Together
- Rex Specs
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