Certified Animal-Assisted Counseling team Maggie and Dorothy are spreading joy at work and through volunteering.
In this third episode of Therapy Dog Talk, I’m joined by Dr. Maggie Dou and her Australian Labradoodle, Dorothy, about their experiences as a Certified Animal-Assisted Counseling team in San Antonio, Texas. We talk about their training, volunteer work, and the happiness they bring to others.
Dr. Maggie tells me how she learned about therapy dogs from her daughter’s involvement in a local Read to a Dog Program and a colleague who used a dog in her counseling practice. Once they found out that her daughter could be around Australian Labradoodles without allergies, they welcomed Dorothy into their family.
During our conversation, Dr. Maggie shares the importance of starting training early with a professional who uses positive reinforcement methods and has experience with therapy dogs. She also talks about how they dealt with the pandemic and the certification process through Alliance of Therapy Dogs and Texas State University’s Animal-Assisted Counseling program.
Dr. Maggie and Dorothy spend their time volunteering to make people’s lives brighter, creating a mutual benefit for everyone involved. Dr. Maggie offers helpful advice and book recommendations for anyone interested in becoming a therapy dog team.
Towards the end of the episode, we discuss the importance of understanding your dog’s unique preferences and respecting their boundaries. Dr. Maggie highlights the need for educating clients and volunteers about these aspects to ensure a positive experience for all.
After listening to this episode, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the joys and challenges of working as an Animal-Assisted Counseling team, as well as insights on how to prepare and train your furry friend for this fulfilling work.
In this episode, we discuss …
- How Dr. Maggie learned about incorporating dogs into her counseling practice from a colleague.
- What she looked for when selecting Dorothy for their family pet and her animal partner.
- Why she decided to pursue certification through two different organizations.
Key moments you won’t want to miss:
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:
- Alliance of Therapy Dogs (ATD)
- Animal-Assisted Counseling Academy at Texas State University
- Calming Storms Counseling
- Doggie Language: A Dog Lover’s Guide to Understanding Your Best Friend by Lili Chin
- Perfect Puppy in 7 Days: How to Start Your Puppy Off Right by Dr. Sophia Yin, DVM, MS
- The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs by Patricia B. McConnell, PhD.
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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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